Hunter 2E Open Dev: Tier Two Compacts and Globalization

Hunter: The Vigil logo
Hunter: The Vigil logo
Last time, I kicked off Hunter the Vigil 2E featuring the Slasher Chronicle’s Open Dev by diving into Ashwood Abbey and how this compact might be presented in the 2nd Edition corebook in my post titled Slashers and Ashwood Abbey.

First and foremost, I want to thank everybody for commenting and participating in the discussion to shape Hunter: the Vigil’s future. This has been hugely exciting, and you’ve given me a lot to think about. For this reason, I’m going to hold off making any firm decisions until we get through a few more OpenDev posts about tiered play and the Slasher Chronicle.

A couple of things I wanted to clarify before I get to today’s topic. If you weren’t sure what Hunter: the Vigil 2nd Edition will be, Rich addressed what the word “chronicle” means in this post. This definition, I feel, is important for both fans and any hopeful writers–especially if you haven’t read the other 2nd Edition rulebooks yet.

Second, while I might use terms like “antagonist”, that does not mean I am leaning toward painting a black-and-white picture of any villain or group that opposes hunters–especially if they’re mortal and have a conscious. Typically, I don’t feel black-and-white depictions make for interesting characters, whether they be used by the players or the Storyteller, and this is especially true for Hunter as a whole. While a clear cut villain might serve a great purpose for a one shot or as a red herring, I’m more concerned about long-term play via the possibility of recurring characters and compelling story hooks. In other words, a good villain from my perspective could either be used as a one shot target or as a recurring character, at the Storyteller’s discretion.

Lastly, I wanted to mention that I also appreciate the comments regarding the fact that this is a new edition of Hunter, and that means many of you expect changes. On a meta level, we could go round and round about the value of a new edition, but I’d much rather talk about the game itself. This is partly why I’m getting a jump start on OpenDev by addressing certain topics with you, the fans, before I propose an outline for approval. Regardless, I am aware that I can’t make every fan happy–but I can balance my decisions based on your feedback.

Compacts in 2nd Edition

On to compacts and Tier Two play!

In the Hunter 1E, the six featured compacts and their primary base/origin includes: Ashwood Abbey (Scotland), Long Night (U.S.), Loyalists of Thule (Germany), Network Zero (U.S.), Null Mysteriis (London), The Union (U.S.). There are a few other locations mentioned in the write-ups, such as France for Null Mysteriis and Australia for the Long Night, but my point here is that the corebook’s compacts are primarily split between three US-based groups and three European. (H:tV 1E pp. 102-125) There were also a fair number of compacts introduced in the supplements up to (and including) the new compacts in Mortal Remains and the handful that’ll be featured in Dark Eras. Some of the compacts, such as the werewolf-hunting Les Voyageurs from Dark Eras’ Doubting Souls (1690s), are no longer around while others, like the U.S.-based Utopia Now, are active and have a recent history.

With that background information in mind, I’m concerned about several things with respect to selecting and designing new compacts for this edition. First and foremost, while I do have technical concerns from a design perspective, it’s important to me that the choices for compacts are fun to both write and play. To that end, I’m thinking about aspects like globalization, scalable integrity of members (e.g. the morally grey areas and potential to turn into slashers), playing styles, ensuring you can still play your favorite compact even if it’s not featured, leaving room for expansion in future books, and ensuring most of the compacts make sense if used for the Slasher Chronicle. (Regarding that last point, please note I do want to create one or two slasher-specific compacts for this rulebook for that reason!) My goal is to have eight-to-ten compacts in the core rulebook, with eight being a more realistic number, as well as a few pages devoted to “Other Compacts”.

Expanding the background for compacts to other parts of the world may sound like a no-brainer (and I am having waaaaaaaaay too much fun thinking about this) but there are some challenges that I want to carefully navigate. Structurally, I am thinking about how this aspect might be reflected in (what we call) the splat pages for the compacts. In the Hunter 1E rulebook, compacts were featured on four pages, with the first page as an “in universe” artifact and half a page devoted to stereotypes. In the new edition, compacts may get three or four pages, depending upon how my outline eventually shakes out, but there is a precedent for changing splats a la Vampire the Requiem 2E, and I definitely want to get the most out of the space we have.

Globalizing Tier Two

Here’s an example of how I’m thinking about adding in other locations to an existing compact: Network Zero has traditionally been based in the U.S. and also “lives” online. This compact could also add hubs in places like South Korea–one of the world’s frontrunners in tech manufacturing. The easiest way to do this, would be to add a section in the splat for “Locations”. This would allow an update to NZ (especially since a lot of tech has changed in 8 years), and add in something that gives hunters the ability to move around or travel if need be. Compacts (like Network Zero) that have spread out are the easiest to update, because the roots of a pre-existing diaspora are already there.

But what about other compacts, such as the Long Night and the Union? At first, I had a lot of fun trying to imagine what the equivalency of the Union might be in Russia or Guatemala, but then I ran into a hiccup because I was mulling over the strength of each compact and how they felt more specific to their locations in the core rulebook based on how they were written up. The Long Night, for example, draws its strength from being faith-based, and yet I could definitely see how a different faith (Hinduism, Judaism, etc.) might be at the heart of a similar compact elsewhere in the world. However, I can’t see that new, alternative compact “fitting” inside the Long Night as easily as it might be to drop in different locations for Network Zero, because the differences between them might be too great to ignore and wouldn’t fit in the space provided.

Its [Long Night] members have included Branch Davidian-style militarized gun-cults, Family Values campaigners, paranoid survivalists, affulent Southern fundamentalists and middle-class conservative evangelicals. They’ve sprung up in the southern USA, the cities of Australia, and the southeast of England. They have many different takes on what constitutes the correct response to the imminent, self-evident end of the world. – The Long Night (H:tV 1E pp. 106-109)

In a sense, the same held true when I was thinking about the Union, because its history is derived from the American Labor Movement and was expanded to other Western locations.

Across the Western world, the labor movement spawned more than just trade unions. It happened in England in the late 19th century, and in the 1920s. It happened in Australia in the 1930s and 1970s. Each time, as people banded together to support each other, someone or other discovered the creatures that preyed upon them, and did something about it. – The Union (H:tV pp. 122-125)

So, while locations make sense for other compacts, more research would definitely be required to ensure the specific details were authentic for new places–even if an equivalent compact gets a couple of paragraphs and a new name.

Another way to look at what I’m considering, is that the compacts’ various themes could be enhanced for the new edition by either adding locations or switching them around in key places to show how such a group is possible anywhere in the world. While every compact may not require the same approach in the text, I do need to look at some static aspects in order to have consistency across all of the compacts within a reasonable wordcount. Plus, this also means I’d be more likely to seek out writers who have specialized knowledge for various locations so they are believable and resonate with Hunter. Themes of compacts would also emerge more distinctively in the compact-creation section, so it’s not as big of a concern for me here, but in terms of tying everything together? Locations that are designed based on the theme of a compact serves the purpose of how hunters might find a compact anywhere in the world.

Overall, I feel the compact write-ups are one way to enhance and clarify Tier Two play, because it puts any new locations or mentions of additional groups in context of the compact, its theme, and its history. However, I’d like to note that I am not interested in tacking on locations if they do not make sense for that compact, nor am I thinking about any sort of quota. Locations can always be expanded upon, sure, but in the core rulebook I definitely want to set the tone that the Vigil may be upheld anywhere, by anyone, on any tier. This globalization approach for Tier Two would strictly be on an “as-needed” basis, mind you, but I’m also thinking that additional locations would give you more options to play–which is a good thing. This would also allow for deeper connective tissue between compacts as to how they’d work together/oppose each other on the hunt, too.

What this essentially boils down to, is that locations aren’t as simple as “add this one sentence” and “massage this concept” in order to make this effort appear seamless and achieve the goal of giving you more options as both players and Storytellers. It’s fun to consider, yes, but at the same time the compact introduction and write-ups have to have some consistency within their proposed word counts, so every word and sentence matters–just like they did in the first edition.

My next post will depend upon what shakes out from your comments here. We’ve got a lot of ground to cover for conspiracies, Tier One play, and slashers ahead of the outline, but I want to make sure that I’m being thorough with respect to Tier Two on a meta level. The rules update and any other rules-based changes will support gameplay–which is why I’m reserving those posts for a later date when that work actually gets started with my future team. For now, though, I want to remain focused on getting clarity on the tiers.

I feel this is a great stopping point, so I’m going to turn the discussion over to you now. Here are my questions three… Er, four! You will have an opportunity to revisit compacts and slashers in a later Open Dev post, so don’t worry about being specifically married to that type of monster for your answers.

  • What are your top 3 favorite existing compacts and why? These can be pulled from any book that’s been published thus far, including compacts that are no longer around.
  • What are your thoughts on globalization and locations for the compacts you selected?
  • How married are you to the history of the compacts? Have those details come up in actual play for your group?
  • We have compacts formed around playing styles such as belief, hedonism, research, atonement, communication, defense, vengeance, hunting specific monster types such as vampires, etc. If you had your pick of “a” new style of play that’d be fun to play, what would be the theme and why? Where would it be based? Please try to avoid creating/naming new compacts, as I do want to reserve that honor for my future team.

Just like last time, please note I am not thinking about/weighing your feedback as a popularity contest. The back-and-forth discussions you’re having really help flesh out what you’re thinking and feeling about this beloved gameline, and are having a positive impact on me as a developer. Go us!

65 thoughts on “Hunter 2E Open Dev: Tier Two Compacts and Globalization”

  1. My top three in no particular order are the Loyalists, the Null Mysteriis and the Bear Lodge. I love the Loyalists because they just have that perfect mix of occult knowledge, the taboo of the forbidden and a sincere desire to make good on their mistakes both personally as a group. I’m a big X-Files fan so the Null Mysteriis were just instantly a hit with me, but I understand how difficult they can make things from a Storyteller’s perspective. Finally the Bear Lodge just resonates with me because I can absolutely see people who throw themselves into the deeper world of the supernatural for something as callous and morbid as the bragging rights for having killed something that shouldn’t exist.

    As far as globalizing the Compacts I have no problem with it, but I really don’t see a need to get so granular as to bullet point specific places for each compact. Just a rough overview of the kinds of places where those compacts would flourish, how regional off-shoots might differ and namedrop a couple places as examples.

    I have no strong attachment to the history behind any of the compacts so long as their themes remain intact. In fact, I think a second glance and a clean-up of some of them might even help refocus to what they should look like anyway.

    I’d like to see a compact of explorers, the kind who don’t just want to hunt the supernatural but want to find where they live, either their otherworldly abodes or just their unique societies within our own. I could see it based anywhere really, but I’d think it’d attract those people who have a pioneer spirit in a world that’s seemingly devoid of mystery until you scratch the surface. There’s so many unqiue and strange places in the CofD that are generally closed off to mortals (and with good reason) but since when has danger ever stopped us from wanting to see what’s beyond the horizon?

    • “I’m a big X-Files fan so the Null Mysteriis were just instantly a hit with me, but I understand how difficult they can make things from a Storyteller’s perspective.”

      Can you expand on this a bit? Thanks!

      • Not him, but Null Mysteriis are in a somewhat awkward place in that they’re either the eternal dupes trying to apply human science to a supernatural world, or else relegated to the realm of pulpy madmen with Tesla coils and flux capacitors.

      • It’s dealt with a bit in their section of the compacts & conspiracies book, but basically there comes a point where you have to decide as an ST just how much of the supernatural can be explained scientifically. Trying to strike the balance between allowing science to have a measurable effect and keeping the mystery of the CofD world intact can be a struggle. Allow too much to be explained and the Null Mysteriis become very powerful, think of those anti-coagulant syringes from the movie Blade. They work on a very scientifically sound principle in that world, and with a little applied science the Null Mysteriis can do something similar with every supernatural you allow them to.

        Swing the pendulum the other way and the supernatural is completely unexplainable which, to me, would make playing a Null Mysteriis very frustrating. If no scientific method or process can give you any insight into what’s going on then what point is there in relying on science for the Vigil? And how do you make it only work some of the time without it coming across as arbitrary?

        Maybe it’s not a problem with other players / STs but it’s one I’ve encountered during play and I’ve not yet found a solution I’m happy with.

      • It really doesn’t help that every splat book says effectively that no amount of forensics or blood tests etc can find any trace of the supernatural.

        The explanation that people are too afraid to come forward because they’ll be looked at like quacks is a much better explanation.

        • Null Mysteris is obviously doomed to fail in squaring the supernatural with existing physical sciences, but approaching monsters with absolute skepticism is hardly a stupid approach. If you refuse to acknowledge that a Kindred is a vampire, you’re unlikely to fall victim to incorrect folklore that will get you killed. Some emphasis on how they apply the scientific method to studying monsters would be good.

  2. I like Ashwood Abbey, the Loyalists of Thule, and Network Zero. Conflicted Groups that still need to work together are something that i like to play around with. Keeping the locations & history is a nice extra but not something i’m interested in beyond basic historical context.

  3. Top Three: The Loyalists of Thule, Division Six, and Habibti Ma.

    Globalization and Locations: First things first, I’m definitely looking forward to a much more international Vigil in 2e. That’s been a great move for the Chronicle books thusfar, and I’m excited to see more.

    The Loyalists certainly qualify for a diaspora throughout Western Europe, Russia, and the United States, stemming from their postwar roots; it might be fun to see them cleaning up Nazi messes in Argentina. Division Six is a firmly American compact, so I think they’d do best in D.C., where they can rub shoulders with the real spooks and wonder who their patron truly is. Habibti Ma is in a delicate spot with the current fears about ISIL and general Islamaphobia, but you could get some very poignant stories that echo how disenfranchised youth wind up recruited in European cities; that said, I adore their Egyptian flavor and would love the chance to have any North African setting for Hunter.

    History: I adore the Loyalists’ story, and emphasize the German history side over the more general shame angle; they have the strongest narrative behind them of any 1e Compact. Division Six matters much less – all you really need to know is that they think they’re working for the government, and someone else is pulling their strings; they work better with an ambiguous backstory, Habibti Ma works as a more general archetype, comprised of people across the globe who have lost loved ones to radicalized faith, suicide cults, and hate movements; while Habibti Ma can work on converts to a Mummy cult or a violent jihadist group, you could just as easily put an Eastern European equivalent trying to save youths from skinhead movements,

    New Focus: I’m honestly hurting for a group with a diplomatic angle to the Vigil. I’d love for 2e to focus on the fact that there’s more to being a Hunter than leaving a sea of broken bodies behind you (which the Slasher angle should nicely emphasize, ideally), that the monsters out there can think and talk just like us. This doesn’t mean “we should all be friends with vampires!” but instead allows hunters to distinguish between a rabid pack of cannibals and a coven of fae who only care for their peculiar solstice rites.

  4. I admit that the only supplement I’ve read was Slasher, so I’ll choose my favorite Compacts from the corebook.

    My 3 favorite Compacts are: The Long Night, Network Zero and Null Mysteriis.

    The Long Night is to me the people from the Protestant church in your community, the church that sometimes has a very charismatic and over-the-top (not to say charlatanic) pastor or reverend.
    I think it’s easy to locate them in other places in the world; anybody living in a place were Protestantism is strong can understand what the The Long Night is in a very basic frame. Here in Brazil we have the Pentecostal movement rising in the last two decades, and now they are the second largest religious group, so we’d have a lot of members of this Compact here, for sure.

    Network Zero is the people from the forums, message boards and “chans” all around the World Wide Web. Their ranks are full with Julian Asange and Edward Snowden types. “The truth is out there and we’re here to reveal it to you”. I like that about them a lot. By their very nature, they can be anyone, anywhere in the world.

    Null Mysteriis are the classic supernatural denialists, the rationalists, the ones that think (no, they are SURE!) that everything can be explained by the scientific method. We need them. Oh my goodness, we really need them in this world full of gullible people. Also, there’re philosophers and scientists in the whole world, so it’s easy to understand who are these people and put “franchises” of the Compact anywhere.

    I’m not that married to the history of any Compact, I think. You can twist and change them whatever you like, since their themes stay the same.

    Oh my, I’d LOVE to see a Compact based here in Brazil formed around the Afro-Brazilian religion called Candomblé, where the members would be able to harness the powers of the Orishas (“Orixás” in Portuguese, they’re kind of the deities of Candomblé) to help them in their Vigil. That would be AWESOME!

  5. Asan aside, I’d kill for a good Chinese group. Go modern and Communist or old and folk religion (or throw British influence form Hong Kong in if we really wanna get weird), and I’m a happy camper.

  6. For me, my favourite three Compacts have always been Ashwood Abbey, Null Mysteriis and Network Zero. With the Abbey it was that sort of wildly human element of “Why wouldn’t someone do this for fun?” That it was even an option was a shot across the bow in the Core that this wasn’t anywhere near as simple as being a holy mission or quest of vengeance.
    Null Mysteriis always appealed because they’re fundamentally tilting at windmills in reverse; you’re trying to prove something as scientific fact that often defies logical explanation- but they still try and they have this wonderfully complex series of interactions where they’re all sniping and scrutinizing, like any other band of scientists. The war between quackery and rationality within means that you really can run the gamut of scientist characters and outlooks, which always appealed to me.

    With Network Zero, it sort of underlines the questions that concern any kind of concerted Masquerade or supernatural obfuscation in the 21st century. How safe are you, when there’s a camera in every hand? How much does it take for people to think; “no, this isn’t just bad CGI” They’re information crusaders, trying to change the world or to be ready for when the world needs to change, and there’s something hopeless and yet noble about the whole undertaking.

    With the compacts I’ve selected, I think that they already sort of speak for themselves in terms of globalisation. The Abbey has the whole licensing angle, Null Mysteriis has its scattered memberships and committees and Network Zero is very much a guerilla affair, a sort of viral marketed mission. I suppose that with Mysteriis and the Network, it would be good to get a sense of how practices differ, and what sort of safe-houses or resources your fellows could put up for you. Maybe sites of outrageous interest, for both of them? Places where scrutiny is especially focussed?

    I’m only really married to the history of the Abbey, since it speaks to me as a Scotsman and because reading it was when I really fell in love. The origin story and the history of Doctor Reverend Marcus Ogilivy has a sort of timeless refuge in audacity and knuckling down that any arrogant self-assured hedonist could actually display. He gets hit by the supernatural and instead of flailing in fear, he turns around and spits in its eye. That’s something that can be admired, from the standpoint of the Vigil.

    I think that there does need to be a Compact that looks at things socially or logistically; that sort of breaks down the capabilities of the enemy and tries to either play their own strengths against them or tries to match them at their own game. Something with a bit more of a social skills focus, that gets into a monsters face and makes hard bargains, that forces things through- sort of an almost Mafia-esque approach.

    • Basically, it’s just come to me on that last point, sort of a Hunter equivalent of the Legacy of the Black Apple from Changeling.

    • “Follow the Money”
      When you want to find out who’s in control, you look for the means of control, and in modern times that’s money. A hunt group that is focused on destroying a monsters ability to exert influence and isolate them like a wolf pack cutting one from the herd would be very social/mental

  7. My favorite compacts are the Ashwood Abbey, as they’re really fun to play and go all out with. The Promethean Brotherhood, (though I think their power is outclassed by that of the Faithful of Shulpae) because I think envy is a really solid motivation for hunters and the chance to steal the power of others to use it against them lends itself to so many stories. And the Docendo Discimus, who seemed more about just gathering and compiling information for use by hunters than exposing it to the world or quantifying it scientifically.

    I think globalization is really important, but it’s hard to balance demand with it. I’m sure everyone has some places in the world they’d love to see a hunter compact originate from, but how many of those places overlap?

    I’m not married to the histories at all (except the Knights of St George, who have a history stretching well back before their name when they wandered around killing sorcerers like Conan).

    I asked about playstyles with my group and we thought “ancient mystery” was a good one. A lot of Hunters deal with the here and now, but one of the things lacking in nWoD has been the millenia-old plots of beings of vast power. A group who thinks long term and is more concerned with threats from the past (and their potential danger in the future) seems like it could lend itself to cool stuff. I realize it seems like something the AKD are supposed to do but they seem more intent on gathering objects and not recording and connecting ancient prophecies in order to forestall future doom.

  8. Three favorite Compacts: Keepers of the Source, Ahl al-Jabal, Barrett Commission

    I like the idea of globalization of compacts. I have often felt that keying compacts strictly to specific locations has been limiting. Having historical grounding in an area is excellent, but tying things down too much limits the potential for players and Storytellers to use a location they want but still have the full array of source material to draw upon.

    Compacts fit in that niche between highly organized globe-spanning conspiracies and disconnected and isolated cells. I’d be very happy with an expanded notion of what that might entail. Some Compacts might have had a historical grounding in one area, but have since developed offshoots abroad (Loyalists of Thule springs to mind.) Others Compacts could be decentralized masses that have broad geographic distribution but limited central oversight (Network Zero seems like a possible candidate here.) Finally, some could be a composite of smaller groups with localized histories and backgrounds that have in recent years come in contact with one another and now operate under a common banner (The Long Night could work here.)

    The last of the options is the one I have really found missing previously. I like the several smaller cells with rich local or regional histories of their own who have begun pooling resources and cooperating.

    In short, I’d encourage you to challenge the notion of what a compact is and can be.

  9. Null Mysteriis, Loyalists of Thule, and Network Zero.

    Can you imagine Network Zero in an age of extremely proliferate use of smartphones?

    Null Mysteriis I only like when they’re being presented as being on the right path in terms of methodology. The scientific method works, it’s just that the evidence you’re looking for is actively attempting to hide itself. You have to go find it before you can even try to analyze it!

    The Loyalists of Thule are big for me, and the main reason they’re big is their direct ties to that period of history in World War 2, their legacy of involvement in Nazi occultism. They’re really the only compact whose history strikes me as the entire point of them.

  10. -What are your top 3 favorite existing compacts and why?

    UNION #1 ALL THE WAY! Besides the name resonating with my own socialist leanings, I love them because they exemplify one of Hunter’s core concepts: that normal humans working together can confront the supernatural. They allow for great stories about community and how much average people in the World of Darkness know–but might not admit–about the setting.
    I guess #2 is Ashwood Abbey just because I think their eccentric-to-amoral persona makes for interesting stories, usually as uncomfortable allies with other compacts and conspiracies. #3 would be… I dunno, Network Zero because they pose a unique, non-physical threat to monsters. Most compacts are on equal footing for me so ranking them is tricky.

    -What are your thoughts on globalization and locations for the compacts you selected?
    I’d be fine with keeping them more regional to contrast with conspiracies, but the approach you have described sounds good and should inspire some plot hooks.

    -How married are you to the history of the compacts? Have those details come up in actual play for your group?
    Not really for either.

    -If you had your pick of “a” new style of play that’d be fun to play, what would be the theme and why? Where would it be based?
    It’s hard to think of anything the supplements haven’t touched. Maybe another group that focuses on reforming monsters. An element of faith might set them apart, and because I vaguely remember stories of djinn being turned into devout Muslims, it could be set somewhere like Arabia or Indonesia.

  11. My three favorite compacts:

    Network Zero — They are the press. A small but devoted group trying to expose everyone to the truth. I love their goals of intelligence gathering and relative non violence. They also embody a rational fear that technology may lead to a point of now return as the masquerade/veil falls from the eyes of mortals.

    The Union — Protect the community. It’s elegant in its simplicity and feels like an easy compact to see its formation as a network of regional cells. In addition to their purpose and organization, I like that they blur the line of their vigil, going after criminals and corrupt white-collar mortals.

    The Loyalists of Thule — I love the idea of any compact that maintains an occult secret society. The Indebted have a some of the creepier trappings of a group that I’ve seen, and I’m really taken by their theme that they owe humanity a debt for their part in the rise of the Nazi party.

    I think the Union and Network Zero provide interesting contrast. Net Zero is one of the closest compacts to a Tier 3 organization. One of their hunters could feasibly be found anywhere where you might expect a journalist, but large concentrations of these hunters would be unexpected outside of a major city.

    The Union, on the other hand, seems to keep close to a tier one group. Everything is local for a particular cell, but there may be someone a half-hour drive south who needs some desperate help with a monster. I expect that several similar compacts exist in the world, each with different takes on a regional defense. As networks expand, there could be people with an ear to the Union’s sister websites, feeding some of the same memes to a compact of hunters in a foreign country. Even within the Union, I would expect major differences between different regions of the US, and I’d love to see such a treatment in a locations chapter.

    With the Loyalists, location seems very important, but I feel like they have a lot of spread, scattered to the winds at the beginning of WWII, I wouldn’t be surprised to see small cells in the North and South America as well as Europe. I feel like many of the cells would be a simple mentor-student pairing, so in any writeup of a location, there could be a prominent NPC Loyalist who can be tapped as an occult resource, but with the risk of being dragged into the compact by blackmail.

    I think the history of any compact could be changed around without much problem. The basic premise of the Loyalists of Thule is pretty important to their backstory, but who’s to say what’s true and what is a lie. The Union and Network Zero have enough decentralization that history could be difficult to trace at best, especially with the amount of times the Union has been decimated. The older a compact is, the more fun it is to explore it’s history, especially if it has ties to a small region. I think there’s also more drive for players to explore the history of a dead compact than a live one, because it adds the mystery of what lead to their downfall.

    For new play styles, I would love to see something more of a peacemaker. Seeking nonviolent solutions and alliances with supernatural creatures would add a lot of interesting challenges and be really fun for social-heavy players. Another fun play style could focus on the rescue or advocacy of lesser templates, or even weaker members and outcasts of a game line. For example group of hunters that’s trying to get a wolf-blooded away from an abusive pack, or is trying to make a better life for a family of ghouls or sleepwalkers.

    Such groups could be very interesting in a chronicle focusing on slashers, as there could very well be some concern from local supernatural faction about an increase in serial killings. And other hunters likely laying the blame for killings on less-human monsters than Slashers, factions who are investing their time and effort with these other factions would have a vested interest in preventing some kind of major incident.

    • > For new play styles, I would love to see something more of a peacemaker. Seeking nonviolent solutions and alliances with supernatural creatures would add a lot of interesting challenges and be really fun for social-heavy players.

      I actually had the local union rep say this had been done in Austin, but that the new hunters had broken the truce via over-zealousness. So not a bad idea

  12. your link to the previous post is broken, and this sentence needs to be fixed “especially if they’re mortal and have a conscious” is that supposed to be “are” or “conscience”?

  13. My top 3 fav compacts, after a lot of soul-searching, would have to be the Talbot Group, The Union and a toss-up between Network Zero and Null Mysteriis.

    The Talbot Group are one of my favorites because they bring something very unique to the field: a Hunter Compact that actually tries to show compassion to the children of the night. In the Black & Grey world of CoD, that’s *not easy*, and it really helps highlight that Hunters can actually deserve the position of “the heroic faction” on grounds other than “they’re human, of course they’re the good guys!” They’re misinformed and wrong-headed in a lot of ways, but it doesn’t fundamentally detract from the player’s suspension of disbelief the way that, say, the Keepers of the Source does, and it helps portray them as a Very Near White Hat group.

    The Union have a simple, direct appeal; the little people standing up to protect themselves. Can they turn ugly? Course they can; that attitude of theirs can easily turn xenophobic, bigoted and otherwise nasty. But, at their core, they just want to keep their homes safe, and they’re willing to live and let live. They’re the humble Joe Average of the Compacts, standing out wonderfully against the likes of the Abbey, the Loyalists or the Long Night.

    When it comes to Null Mysteriis and Network Zero, both are appealing to me because they have a big “investigative” theme; both compacts share the same core idea that The Truth Is Out There – Go Find It. Null Mysteriis, though, is hampered by the problem that they often come off as type 2 Agent Scullys. Which itself is conveyed by the books in an effort to be neutral on whether or not they can succeed in their goal – other posters here have mentioned why both are problematic. So, in the end, even if they do have a bit of a “Scooby Doo” feel to them, I prefer Network Zero. And hell, even that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

  14. A minor request: could we maybe ditch the “Tier One, Tier Two, Tier Three” terminology, and instead use labels sort of like what God Machine Chronicle does? Not the same labels, mind you; while “Local” reasonably fits for Hunter’s Tier One, the whole point of what I’m reading here appears to be that Compacts (the Tier Two orgs) are going to be reworked so that they’re often Global rather than Regional (and conversely, there are Tier Three orgs such as VASCU that are arguably Regional rather than Global) — so it seems that Local/Regional/Global is not what Hunter Tiers are all about. What “One, Two, Three” fails to convey clearly is what Hunter’s Tiers are about.

    My understanding of Hunter’s Tiers is that they’re primarily about what sorts of backing and resources the protagonists have: at Tier One, they’re on their own; at Tier Two, they have the backing of groups that primarily provide natural resources (information, gear, allies, etc.); and at Tier Three, the resources they provide always feature something supernatural (i.e., Endowments). So perhaps something like Isolated/Community/Empowered?

    I’ll provide another post that actually answers the questions you asked; but I wanted to get this out there early in the Open Development process before too much gets set in concrete.

    • Personally, I’d rather see tier expressed in terms of how far outside the human world you’ve gone. Whether you’re a few normal people who’ve scraped some weaponry together to deal with something inexplicable, or an organisation that’s developed a definite philosophy about the supernatural and what it means to hunt it, or whether you’re using supernatural means of your own (or supernatural *blood* of your own) or the psychological effect of living in a world where “monster hunter” can actually be a profession.

      • Or rather, that’s how I’d prefer to see it if the model of one type of organisation per tier is retained.

        However, I would also question whether it’s worth retaining compacts and conspiracies as distinct categories, as opposed to just having organisations, some with Endowments some not. I know the difference is meant to encompass other things, but it’s rarely been consistent about those other things either.

      • OK; so maybe “Normal”, “Extraordinary”, and ”Supernatural”? But yeah; “how far beyond normal human experience you’ve gone” might be a better definition for Tiers than what I came up with.

  15. “What are your top 3 favorite existing compacts and why?”
    Loyalists of Thule: one of things I looked for when picking up H:tV was (re)interpretations of the Big 3 hunter groups from OWoD. As a huge fan of Hunters Hunted, the Loyalists of Thule remind me of the much-loved Arcanum. But they have a more compelling back story driving the Compact. An academic, occult-fueled society trying to shake off the roots of Nazism; it’s a great basis for a group that exists pretty much everywhere (not just in the States)
    Network 0: One of the best conceived organizations in the game if not the whole of the World of Darkness setting. When I was running a WoD Mage LARP, I used a cell of Network 0 as mainstream antagonists. Watching players trying to outwit and deal with a group of hunters using cutting edge tech and mundane hacker tactics was terrific fun. Network 0 is perfectly evocative and adaptable for the modern age with factions that answer a diversity of play styles.
    Habibti Ma: one of the most compelling new Compacts from Mortal Remains, I was very glad to finally see a hunter group specifically dedicated to cults. This group has the right balance between research and action tropes for players but also has the seeds for some very dramatic and moving storytelling ideas. Losing loved ones to cults not only suggests supernatural influence but has ties to some real world groups like Scientology and ISIS. And with cults existing in some form or fashion across the different game lines, I can definitely see this group becoming a major player in future iterations of the Vigil

    “What are your thoughts on globalization and locations for the compacts you selected?”
    I live in Canada so many of my chronicles have taken place in cities north of the States (Vancouver is particularly evocative of the World of Darkness). Of course, Canada’s not as far removed from the States as Egypt or Russia but one of things I look for in a group is how adaptable it is to international settings. Specificity for the origin story is fine (ie. Germany for the Loyalists) but the more the group can integrated or tied with other countries and cultures after formation, I think, the better. All three of my selected Compacts have compelling origins and/or have a global mandate. They all could conceivably have agents on the ground in every part of the world.

    “How married are you to the history of the compacts? Have those details come up in actual play for your group?”
    With some compacts, the history is malleable and I can take or leave it to suit my chronicle and the backstories of the PCs. One of the things I deeply enjoyed about Compacts and Conspiracies was the impression the book conveyed that compact history was the purview of STs and players. Or even that the historical narrative was unreliable. The idea that “your organization is not your friend” goes to the heart of the paranoia I love about Hunter. In my own games, some compacts aren’t even around or are purely antagonistic (ie. Ashwood Abbey). Others have been retooled and leveled-up (Loyalists of Thule). So I don’t think historical specifics are as important as the thematic angle of the compact. The Loyalists answer the theme of occult societies hunting monsters and Network 0 tackles the information age and so on.

    “If you had your pick of “a” new style of play that’d be fun to play, what would be the theme and why? Where would it be based?”
    Restore/Rebuild/Cure: close to atonement and close to belief but I wonder about a compact that holds that the supernatural (and paranormal elements generally) are part of a larger issue of a world that is sick. Is a changing world that grows darker symptomatic of a larger ill? Setting aside Apocalypticism, is the world trying to tell us something about itself (or ourselves) and our future we’re unable or unwilling to hear? Which monsters are part of the world and which monsters are symptoms of something sinister? Can some monsters be part of the cure? I think about indigenous cultures alongside modern Gaia theorists and systems ecologists. Null Mysteriis has some of these elements and the Keepers of the Source are close, as well. But it’s less about fighting the change and more about understanding what’s truly wrong and how to make things right. Given the CoD shift to the God Machine template, a “big picture” compact of this ilk might be very intriguing. Honestly, it could be rooted in any number of places worldwide but I think Latin America would be a natural starting place.

    • Oddly Feng-Shui?
      trying to harmonize and better your environment in order to affect change on a small but overwhelming level to make the whole of the environment better. Thought about the Secret Worlds Chaos Dragon faction when reading this.

  16. I’m going to start by saying we didn’t play at a Tier 2 level. So…

    ok, firstly I want to say. For the core book I don’t know that I care about history or location at all, that’d be great for a 2nd edition of “Compacts and Conspiracies”. What I care most about is the tone of the group. Want X-Files or Men in black? go TF:V; Exorcist? Malleus Maleficarum or Long Night; etc blah.

    Now for what we’re missing Hunter wise in my opinion. As I mentioned in the previous post, Big Game (literal) Hunter (taxidermy make use of the beasts powers). Also I think we’re missing a more “Supernatural” style of hunter (hunters that use ritual magic and relics).

    In Tier 2 I also feel like we miss out on “powers”, unlike other Splats you are penalized for your Tier.

    My favorite’s are Network Zero (no Player has shown interest so i’m more interested in NPCing them), Null Mysteries (one player did), and everyone wanted to do Union. Union above all must stay. No on cared about its actual history, or location.

    Also I notice my group is interested in hunting a wide variety of monsters, so “monster specific” seems really off and I would probably never run a monster specific compact that way.

    I notice something about my suggestions, perhaps for powers, 2nd Tier doesn’t come with Innate powers so much as way to steal abilities from splats. This theft might take different forms though, and be reduced in scope (e.g. a ritual is not as powerful as awakened magic, a gorgon’s head is a double edged sword and you have to have it). The idea being that the compact teaches you how to collect certain things. This would give them powers that are unique, but harder to get than equipment at TF:V and perhaps subject to GM creativity/allowance.

  17. My three favorite Compacts are the Long Night, the Loyalists of Thule, and Network Zero.

    I like the Long Night because, for all its “Tribulation Warriors” vibe, it’s one of the more compassionate of the Compacts, with about as much emphasis placed on protecting the innocent and redeeming the guilty as on punishing the wicked. Also, I like the Endowment they were given in C&C (i.e., Prayer) which I feel could easily be applied to analogous Compacts or even individual hunters worldwide.

    The Loyalists of Thule have a “we screwed up; never again!” vibe that I find enticing. Plus, I like the fact that they push the stereotype of Tier Two play: it’s not so much that they don’t [i]have[/i] supernatural resources at their disposal as it is that they’ve got a strong reticence to [i]use[/i] said resources.

    Network Zero is all about trying to “break the Masquerade”, exposing the supernatural to the public at large. I like the notion that sunlight is the best disinfectant, and also that this Compact is running headlong into one of the fundamentals of the Chronicles of Darkness — that the supernatural is an open secret that’s kept “under wraps” more by self-imposed ignorance (there’s a reason why one of the standard Integrity Breaking Point questions is “what have you forgotten?”) than by nobody ever encountering it.

    In terms of globalizing these Compacts, I’d be more interested in presenting “stub alternates” for them than in reworking them to be more global in and of themselves (that is, one-sentence or one-paragraph capsule summaries of other Compacts from around the globe that scratch a similar itch, with a promise that they’ll be fleshed out in supplements should sales warrant it). I’m not wedded to the specifics of any Compact’s history, though in some cases the broad strokes need to be preserved (the Loyalists of Thule wouldn’t be who they are without their ties to Hitler and the Nazis).

    I don’t have an answer for new themes to explore, as I’ve never really thought of the Compacts in those terms before.

  18. The Long Night, this and the MM set a major tone shift from the Classic world of Darkness. The removal of Faith producing miracles allows for all sorts interesting interactions between faith and the Hunt without having to justify why someone’s deep and abiding belief in God that they are willing to die for isn’t enough to make a vampire run away by itself.

    I love that they have a whole faction dedicated to redemption, its so easy to fall into the stereotype of the fire and brimstone Christianity especially with the hunt and yet there are those who just wish to help the monsters be better people.

    Network Zero, trying to get the information out there so people can defend themselves rather than ignore it, it just resonates particularly well with more modern concerns.

    Its not a particular compact but sort of a meta concept of one, the “We protect people in our group” The Union, the Barret Commission, the Night Watch, I like the general idea of the hidden group in a subculture that protects it from the monsters.

  19. Top three are a no-brainer for me:
    1. Network Zero. Ghost-Facers all day. The inheritors of the best aspects of HtR’s organizational lore (Internet-based, crowd-sourced, knowledge-is-power hunt-as-info-sharing), coupled with an approach to things that can allow for a much broader definition of “hunter” than “guns, pitchforks, and torches.”
    2. The Union. Power to the people. If you want them to go global, look at ANY major labor movement—just because it was biggest in the 70s/80s in the UK doesn’t mean those tensions aren’t still there, and anywhere where there’s an institutionally oppressed lower class who make for easy prey for monsters, there’s a place for them. Basically read Devil in the White City and work it out backwards.
    3. Null Mysteriis. Because sometimes it’s fun to be the stick in the mud.

    So far down to the bottom of the list that it wraps over to a second page we can just, not print: Ashwood Abbey. Go away.

  20. My favorite compact is the Loyalists of Thule, I really thought I’d bounce off a group with heavy Nazi involvement, but the Loyalists treatment is always so serious that grounding their great failure in the Nazi party doesn’t come off as cheesy or camp. As a Storyteller in Hunter games the Loyalists are particularly fun for me because of the long tail their history has, I get to spend a lot of time thinking about the secret shames they all bring to the Vigil and what that might mean for my players. After them is definitely the Barrett Commission, people like to say that the Bear Lodge is the Ashwood Abbey done right, I feel the Barrett Commission really are. There’s something really satisfying about the idea of politicians and business executives hunting Vampires by night. Finally the Maiden’s Blood Sisterhood, because the concept is the right kind of silly, it doesn’t feel like a forced joke while still being a bit goofy, they’re delightful.

    I have no problem with globalization, I’ve always stretched Compacts to meet my needs anyway. But I feel like the Compacts you present in the Core at least all have to be usable together without any odd notes, so a new ST can figure out where to start before getting his feet wet designing Compacts to fulfill other locales himself with whatever creation tools you pack in.

    I’m kind of hit or miss on whether I really care about Compact’s lore. Some Compacts, like the Loyalists are so about their history that I will bring it up in game. Others, like the Night Watch I’m fully ready to wash of all but it’s name and theme and transplant in the middle of Paris for a game. I feel the difference between history I care about is when real world events inform the Compact, while fictional events are far less interesting.

    I really want a Compact formed around Organized Crime, because it just feels like an unexplored concept. There’s no way Organized Crime and monsters don’t meet sometimes, so what happens when the Criminals don’t fold and break out the stakes? And how far could such a group push its luck? There’s some stories to be told about people like that.

  21. I think that we should stop associating Tier 2 with Compacts.

    Compacts and Conspiracies imply size, Organization, and resources. TF:V PCs should be able to get support, make requisitions, inquire on problems, have databases etc. A compact isn’t necessarily that well structured, as a software engineer I think like the Local X User group, the Union in Lansing Michigan may have former members of the Detroit Union, but realistically they only have a shared interest, not really a shared organization. The upper of the analogy is that these kinds of groups tend to meet at conventions once a year. Groups like this range in size from 10-150 members, but no larger. Conspiracies on the other hand could range to something like 150-10,000, like a medium sized corporation.

    Tiers imply scope of chronicle, and level of “personal”. Tier 1 is highly local, and thus highly personal, e.g. a vampire killing locals. Tier 2 is Regional, Tri State killer. Tier 3 Global, mummy event happens in Chicago, leads the players back to Egypt. Tier 4 is Cosmic.

    This is the way I’m going to be running my games, though I’m going to stick to Tier 1 do to my experience level. Doing multiple cities currently seems too hard to me. That said all levels of Cell/Compact/Conspiracy.

  22. Top 3 are: Ashwood Abbey, Network Zero, and the Union.

    Ashwood Abbey because they resemble so much what I would consider a very realistic group if these supernatural monsters were to exist. We already have clubs for the elite; sex, debauchery, guns, money, etc. that only a select few have access to. It makes sense that the Abbey would also exist. Oh, and SCOTLAND. : )

    Network Zero because it reminds me so much of Hunter the Reckoning’s information system.

    The Union because of how gritty, how down to earth and utterly screwed these people are, yet the “regular Joe’s” still pick up that torch and fight against the things that go bump in the night.

  23. Does the yet unrevealed First Nations Compact I commissioned for Dark Eras count? 😉

    Of what we know –

    1. Favourite Compacts
    a) Ahl Al-Jabal – My GF is Ismaili and I have a degree in Islamic History, so this one is close to my heart in many ways. Ahl Al-Jabal is freaking perfect. It nails Ismaili beliefs and traditions, is a positive, anti-terrorist Muslim group, and get’s the history of Nizari State pretty much spot on, which is rare thanks to the hashashin myths. Ismailis also have large presence in my home of Calgary, our mayor is one, and many of my friends from high school are too.

    b) Bear Lodge – Another compact that is local for me and can be found in a lot of the areas I lived in as a kid.

    c) Third spot is a bit tougher, but I’m rather fond of Utopia Now. They have a neat way of interpreting GM Angels and Demons, plus they have a sweet Bioshock aesthetic going.

    2. Globalization and location – Before I start this, I’d like to be on record as loving the idea of Network Zero having a South Korean dimension. I think that’s a logical progression, and it adds new territory to the map of CofD. Great job! I’ve tried to take some inspiration from that and continue on with my own thoughts below.

    a) Ahl Al-Jabal is pretty easy to globalize, to the point that if globalization of Hunter 2e is a goal, i think it should automatically be included as a compact. They exist anywhere that there is a significant population of Ismailis, which means you could find them anywhere in the Middle East, Asia proper, North America, Europe, or Africa. In particular, Dubai, Dar Es-Salam, Syria, Northern India/Pakistan, and Calgary come to my mind as locations that could be used in conjunction with the Ahl Al-Jabal for the Slasher Chronicles. I’d also imagine that they’d have moved into former Soviet territories such as Tajikistan in the last 20-25 years.

    b) Not as much globalization here, although perhaps there have been some attempts restore relations with the Russian Federation by setting up Bear Lodges in Siberia? There could be a somewhat friendly competition between the Asian and North American chapters. An African “Big Game/Safari” chapter is another possibility, although that runs the risk of overlap with the Ashwood Abbey. Then again, that could lead to some not so friendly competition.

    c) Utopia Now has an interesting way of globalizing. They were originally based out of San Fran and want to build their paradise city in the middle of the Pacific. What if they became kind of a reverse Pacific Rim, seeding chapters all throughout the Pacific nations. Obviously, they would be drawn to places like Tokyo, Sydney, Hong Kong, and Seoul to find Institutional Demons, but what if they went for older angels as well? Things hiding in the volcanos and the ruins? If someone gets a beed on an institutional demon hiding in Ankor Wat, that would draw Utopia now like flies, so I could see them filling positions in Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Brunei and Indonesia just as easily. After all, Utopia Now is a start up, but in an increasing globalized and connected world, even a start up can have an international presence. Finally, and I think this is the neat part, Utopia Now seems like a logical compact to touch an area that hasn’t been in any CofD product so far: Oceania. Fiji, Tonga, Samoa and the other Polynesian Islands are basically virgin territory that could have some interesting aspect to explore. I think there’s a neat opportunity for overlap here.

    3. History – I’m a continuity nerd, so in general I’d prefer to see an expansion of past history rather than a rewriting. For Ahl Al-Jabal, please don’t touch the history we’ve been given. It was expertly crafted. Rather, summarize it, then tell us what happened to the compact after they got kicked out of Persia by the Mongols. For the Bear Lodge and Utopia Now, I’m less tied to it.

    4. New Play Styles – I’ll add my vote for a diplomatic/political compact. That’s an area the game is lacking in, and I could totally see a compact trying to pull a Bismark on monsters, negotiating them so they attack each other instead of the humans.

  24. Union is honestly so conceptually strong I’d almost rather see it gone/folded into some broader archetype of what a Hunter IS– it immediately appeals to everyone, but I find that it does not have nearly the character and flavor of most of the others. I think with the basic job of the Union being a baseline assumption for Hunters as, well, a splat, we could actually push players into more interesting archetypes alongside it.

    To make a direct comparison, there’s no “well, we like to keep the Masquerade and feed on humans” Covenant in Vampire. Everyone assumes that you’re gonna be into that if you’re at the table to play that game in the first place.

  25. Lian basically said everything I wanted to say Network Zero and most of what I wanted about the Long Night, but I guess I’ll throw in my own thoughts on the Union/Night Watch/Barret Commission and globalization.

    Compacts like them are probably the most common type. Wherever there is a community or large organization that has enough problems with the supernatural that a bunch of Hunters start coming around, these Compacts will either spread or form. While each group is different and wouldn’t necessarily get along, they are similar enough that they could be compressed into one section based around community Compacts and list the Union, Night Watch, and Barret Commission as examples of them along with some others. I think it would work well with the idea of globalizing the Compacts.

    As for the Long Night, I could see them having a presence wherever Evangelical Protestantism has caught on, even if the amount of followers isn’t particularly large. It doesn’t hurt that the Long Night doesn’t really have a strict criteria for new recruits.

  26. One more thing about the Long Night: I’d like to see its post-Tribulation stance softened from “we’re living in the Tribulation” to “we’re living in the Last Days”. Theologically, the two are very similar; but the latter allows for a broader range of options that includes all of the former.

  27. Top three: This is actually a tricky question for me, because while I prefer Second Tier play, I tend to like the conspiracies best in terms of splats, just played on the smaller scale. Not that I don’t like the compacts, but they’re not quite as sexy.
    That being said, I love the Loyalists of Thule. I love the creepy, lost origins, I love the Indiana Jones-as-monster hunter archetype, and I love the collective guilt. I actually might like them a lot because I always felt like they were a compact on the verge of becoming a conspiracy, but that’s a different conversation.
    As for two and three, I think it comes down to Null Mysteriis and the Union. Null Mysteriis adds a nice science fiction element that CofD sometimes lacks, and it has a unique paradigm the setting. I like the Union because they really fulfill the “take back the night” aspect of Hunter. They’re doing it for the common people, and they have day jobs because monster hunting doesn’t exactly bring in the big bucks.
    Globalization and locations: The globalization aspect is definitely appealing. The Loyalists and Null Mysteriis are pretty obvious in terms of a global scale (it’s pretty much already there with the Loyalists; they really only work if they’re global), but the Union would have to be tweaked a bit. I can imagine them as part of Solidarity in Poland, or an organ of the Communist Party in China, on the other side of the coin. On the other hand, I feel like that’s just changing the skin without actually integrating ideas. I think if you wanted to take something like the Union, and recontextualize them, you could look at the global labour movement, rather than associating them with whatever local authority that fits best. The Union becomes less a specific organization, and more a kind of phenomenon that pops up in the right circumstances. That gives a broader framework to fit them into locations. Off the top of my head.
    History: Loyalist history came up big time in a game I played. That ended up being a really nice marriage of the setting and my character’s journey. That being said, I’m not super married to any particular history, so I don’t mind changes…or rather, I don’t mind the idea that history in the Chronicles of Darkness is a nebulous thing. That even hunters aren’t immune to revisionism.
    For a style…politics. Many hunter organizations have political outlooks and associations (the Union and Utopia now sort of do it) but there isn’t really a compact that deals with monster hunting on a more direct political level. Hunters who get involved in systems of government to affect change. Taking over the police to route vampires; lobbying to get the local haunted house torn down. The hunter who runs for mayor because that’s the only way she’s going to get the witch’s cabal out of city hall. You’d need a good reason to get hunters like that in the field though, and that’s where the idea might break down. As for a location, I could see it as a South American compact; something that draws on the direct democracy and revolutionary movements that pop up there.

  28. > What are your top 3 favorite existing compacts and why?

    Null Mysteriis, Loyalists of Thule, The Union

    > What are your thoughts on globalization and locations for the compacts you selected?

    I think that Null Mysteriis and the Union are easier to globalize, due to their connection with modern society (Scientific communities and labor unions). They can support a good number of locations worldwide, without much problem.

    The Loyalists is a harder nut to crack. Their roots in German and European history are a little deep, even if their approach to the Vigil is broader.

    > How married are you to the history of the compacts? Have those details come up in actual play for your group?

    Not married at all. I’m all up for change.

    > We have compacts formed around playing styles such as belief, hedonism, research, atonement, communication, defense, vengeance, hunting specific monster types such as vampires, etc. If you had your pick of “a” new style of play that’d be fun to play, what would be the theme and why? Where would it be based? Please try to avoid creating/naming new compacts, as I do want to reserve that honor for my future team.

    How about *cooperating* with monsters, to hunt other monsters that threaten the status quo / the safety of the general population / what have you?

  29. Reading this post made me think that Hunter 2e should try to break away from and expand on the obligatory list of places before the storyteller section in all 2e books. You could try to explain to storytellers and players how to bring your tier 1 story from a local chronicle into a more global one. You could also expand on the global story, showing how tier 2 can grow into a larger story encompassing a whole country and how the culture influences those compacts. Rather than list a bunch of places in the compact section, you can use the location section to explain how the various compacts have a presence in these places. Network Zero is presented in its write up as an American compact, but in the location section you explain how there are plenty of members in England since they can tap into all those security cameras. It would save space in the write up of the compacts, and give more importance to what is really just a section to inspire the storyteller. Just the first thought I had while reading the post and I would like more of a reason to read read thosee locations sections. Is there a compact from a Nordic country? I’ll pick that one as my favorite, though it would be ironic if they hunted trolls.

  30. • What are your top 3 favorite existing compacts and why?
    I love all from 1ED corebook, but my Top 3 Favorites:
    1. Null Mysteriis – it’s very refreshing to play scientist trying to explain supernatural in NATURAL ways. Just make their theories sound more scientific like, less like from pulp magazines.
    2. Network Zero – monster watching YouTubers are fun. 😉 Also, they make great “Masquerade” breach devices.
    3. Ashwood Abbey – hedonistic society treating the Vigil as great hobby and being true to themselves that hunting is FUN. Also, love Hellfire Club vibe of them. 🙂

    • What are your thoughts on globalization and locations for the compacts you selected?
    I think Compacts SHOULD be “global, but individual” – they should be network of chapter houses, ranging from one country’s region ( and only one chapter house then ) to whole world. They would be “alliances” of similar organisations – each chapter house can has other local name, local rules variant but in the end, they work under very similar general ethos. There is one “Union”, made by various local, smaller “unions” that go from the same blue collar sort, but from different time period – each chapter house can be a small regional organisation in their own rank. But they still answer collectively as “Union” in general hunters culture. Or each Long Nights’ “congregasion” is in the end different protestant small church – they are only connected on the idea of Apocalypse coming and need to redeem some monsters. Or each chapter house of Ashwood Abbey it’s Hellfire Club with it’s own rituals and history, maybe even local name – still, they are all nominal under rule ship of Scotland HQ.

    • How married are you to the history of the compacts? Have those details come up in actual play for your group?
    Not very much, but some vague history of the group – or how it’s spread on the world – can lead to some general story ideas to be used in chronicle.

    • If you had your pick of “a” new style of play that’d be fun to play, what would be the theme and why?
    Interesting could be group based on the “searching of missing persons” – this group was very much missing in 1ED. Other group could be made about “diplomacy” between supernatural, and making “Pax Romana” – but I feel it should be more in Conspiracy territory. ( Fan created Lords Steawards were great way of showing this. 🙂 )

  31. What are your top 3 favorite existing compacts and why? These can be pulled from any book that’s been published thus far, including compacts that are no longer around.
    What are your thoughts on globalization and locations for the compacts you selected?
    How married are you to the history of the compacts? Have those details come up in actual play for your group?
    We have compacts formed around playing styles such as belief, hedonism, research, atonement, communication, defense, vengeance, hunting specific monster types such as vampires, etc. If you had your pick of “a” new style of play that’d be fun to play, what would be the theme and why? Where would it be based? Please try to avoid creating/naming new compacts, as I do want to reserve that honor for my future team.

    Question 1:

    I’m not sure I could pick just three, so I’ve picked three that give different answers to question 2.
    The Maiden’s Blood Sisterhood. In this case, it’s because I was interested in a compact with a neopagan vibe, and more generally, that its origin, history and nature tie together very well.
    The Barret Commission have a modern take on noblese oblige. They share a feature I like with the Maiden’s Blood Sisterhood in that they “specialise” in a monster type by virtue of moving in spheres that type is especially likely to frequent.
    The Loyalists of Thule combine the vibes of dusty occultist and penitent, both of which are interesting (and don’t come together very often).

    Question 2:

    The Loyalists have considerabe scope for globalisation, I think. Aside from the fact that they recruit other sorts of wrongdoer than Nazis, many Western countries – the relatively famous Operation Paperclip, the British analogue Operation Surgeon, countries in South America and the Middle East, and the Soviet Union – were happy to make use of Nazis after the war was over. Any may now regret such a bargain. Add in that all these areas have a long tradition of secret societies making trouble, and the Loyalists’ deriving identity from the rejection of former bad allegiances, and the group could take penitents of all stripes pretty effectively.

    The Barret Commission seems likely to have analogous groups all over the place. Corridoors of power exist everywhere, after all. However, I don’t see them fusing into one compact. The Barret Commission’s interest is America, while an analogous group appearing in Tokyo would be loyal to Japan. Different groups of this type might cooperate, ignore one another, send the occasional warning, or even sabotage one another to make some other country a more tempting target for power-minded monsters.

    The Maiden’s Blood Sisterhood, in the form it’s written in in Night Stalkers, doesn’t strike me as a good candidate for globalisation. The cultural foundation it formed from (I mean the sororitiy system and its relationship to academia, not the neopaganism) isn’t common elsewhere as far as I know. (The colleges of some of the older universities in the UK have a similar vibe, but they’re much more localised – a Sisterhood analogue there is more likely to be a cell that has no contact with hunters elsewhere). So a global Sisterhood would have to take some other aspect of its identity – like the witchcraft, or anti-abuse work – as its defining trait.

    Question 3:

    Not hugely. Enough history to set a tone for the later culture is enough. And so long as it sets that tone, I’m not bothered by the details changing. (However, I’m *not* a proponent of “same tone = same group” fuzziness, as is often applied to vampire covenants). It does vary by group of course: I’m far more invested in the Loyalists’ Geselschaft origins, or the formation of the Barrat Commission from American flashpoints, than I am in which communities formed the first core of the Long Night or the Union.

    Question 4:

    It might be interesting to have a group that’s very new – one where its culture is still forming, and the player characters can have some influence on it.

  32. – I’m sorry to admit that despite I like for different reasons every Compacts, only two are my “most favorite” and are the Ashwood Abbey and the Union.
    One of the reasons I like them both it’s because I find them very simple and immediate for their method and goal.
    Don’t have a big global masterplan, one it’s just a group of Very rich addicted thrill seekers,the other, normal people that only want to protect their families and ther neighborhood, and I think it’s “things” you can set up whatever you want.
    An Other reason I like them it’s because I find them a bit different in comparison at the other Compacts.
    The Abbey for his obviously “on endge” attitude and “selfishness” about the whole “save people from mosters” because they just want to enjoy a good hunt.
    The Union because I find very easily to emphatize for them.
    don’t have magic power, money or a big ass arsenal.
    Are just low\middle class “nobody”, nomal people like me and you that just want to be safe from the horror of the night.

    – As I said probably already say above, for my personal point of view both are easy to set up everywhere.
    I think probably the Ashwood Abbey are the Compact that remain basically almost the same around the world without big changing from country to country.
    The Union instead I find very contestualized form the place they operate.
    For example in Italy I see the Union as different thing with a very different approach at the whole “protect the
    neighborhood from monsters” not only in comparison to other country but thanks the big cultural diversity we had here even from town to town.
    For example it’s probably even normal for a Italian Union Cell to fight and target another one from a nearby cities only because of a trespassing during an Hunt or just because the other Hunters live in “that Other city”.

    – generally speaking I love the history and the background beyond most of the Compact but I admit in my Hunter games I had in the past there was just some references to time to time not an actual story or huge detail emerged related to the history of a certain Compacts.

    – As someone have already say above I like too the Idea of Compact works or have a some sort of cooperation with a particular kind of moster to hunt another.

  33. 1) my 3 favorite groups? well, let’s see..

    – Ashwood Abbey: I like those bastards, I really do. Their desire for freedom and pleasure and the way they channel all of humanity’s vices into the Vigil is truly alluring for me. I always like playing such unstable characters, making them into a wild card at any situation.

    – Keepers of the Source: yeah, I know some people don’t like them because their philosophy is not supported by what Mage says- but I’m not playing Mage 😛 Anyway, I like their connection to Ley Lines and other “places of power” and that they seek to protect them from being manipulated by witches and similar beings. The fact that they don’t agree with Mages about how magic works only makes me like them better.

    – Scarlet Watch: not even out and I already like them! (once that place belonged to the Promethean Brotherhood, but they are already half conspiracy so I don’t feel bad with it :P). Anyway, for me the Watch feels like the “Heritage House done right”- their emphasis on the old families who are bound by blood and fate to carry on the Vigil and their rich merchants origin done wrong by vampires and the Church makes me eager to play one as soon as possible! (also, on my table, they are still around- maybe as a compact and maybe they reclaimed their lost rites. Still didn’t decided).


    Well, among the three the Ashwood Abbey are the easiest as far as globalization is concerned- Compacts and Conspiracies has already presented them as having chapters all around the world, all tied together by the licenses of the pyramid scheme. While each chapter may have its own view on a “good game”, the way their structure works well to keep them working together all across the world.

    The Keepers of the Source, however, feel a lot more localized- while there should be similar groups all around the world (Chinese geomancers for example) and the Keepers does seem to have an interest to spread in order to protect more places from being abused, I’m not sure they have enough resources to do so. If they go for globalization, I assume they’ll work as some sort of “occult Greenpeace” as a green movement with small chapters around the world, all desperate for funding. The other option would be tying them specifically to San Francisco in order to strength their hold over the city- although as idealists, I think they’ll choose the first option.

    Now, the Scarlet Watch, if they are still around, seem to be a former conspiracy- so I assume that they may have some connections both in Latin Europe and the North America. Assuming that their families are still rich enough (and willing to actually invest that money in the Vigil), they may still be able to operate on both continents, even if not as much as they want to. The same is true for Salem, although I feel their connections to Europe are a lot less strong during that Era.

    3) new edition usually means some changes for the history of the groups. Usually the backstory of certain compact or conspiracy doesn’t play a big role in my games, and it is used mostly for thinking about a Chronicle size plot hooks or when developing the setting (that is, it stays on the background, but still influence the game).

    4) well, what I would really want to see is a “mostly male group” who have a reason to not include women in the compact which is not Chauvinism. Yeah, I understand why there should be female-only groups and I like them, but I really feel an urge to see a male exclusive one. That was one of the reasons I was excited for getting the Bijin in Edo Era before discovering that the initial “male escorts compact” idea was abandoned to the level there wasn’t even an example character of such concept in the draft. Also a group of Ghosts Hunters would be nice.

    Anyway, just wanted to say I really like the Globalization angle for the compacts, and it got me even more excited for the new Edition! I always felt compacts to be somewhat lacking and not well defined, and I think that the way you are going to present them (either as localized or as globalized) could make me more interested in 2nd Tier. Also- two new Slasher specific compacts! Yea! 😛

  34. I would have to say my favourite compacts would have to be Ashwood Abbey, Loyalists of Thule and Network Zero. I love the idea of globalization to see the Union popping up in mining towns in the north of England, or the after affects of an immigrating Long Night preacher. The only Compact history I am married to is the history of Ashwood Abby but that is only because I find it hilarious. The only time I have had a compact’s history come up in the game was in a speech made by a Leader of a Union Cell describing the struggles faced in the past. I would love to see a compact based around the play style of “Artisans of the unknown”. A compact of obsessed artists trying to capture the essence of different unnatural creatures and occurrences. The theme would be that of Obsession of perfection. Many would try and create Paintings,Music,Sculptures, etc based upon the subjects their vigil’s candle illuminates. But it would never be perfect they will always think it should be better, more refined and so on. Maybe set in Paris but with members and galleries spanning the globe. That would be interesting.

  35. I really would like a compact or conspiracy that is allied with Demons against the God Machine because the GM is the bigger threat. It would contract Knight of Saint Adrian,…. Would make interesting crossover material too.

  36. hmm… continued thought on powers for compacts. Maybe Members could belong to both a Compact (think User Group) and a Conspiracy (think Employer). This also becomes more like X/Y access that many other splats have.

    Null Mysteries – have a power in being able to identify the type of supernatural being by analyzing samples (nullifies any “science can’t”)

    Network Zero – have a power(s)? that can create sensors / camera’s that can capture supernatural. I’m thinking like they have camera’s that can see GM infrastructure, or that Vampire’s can’t screw with, or ephemeral entities in twilight.

    Union – Seems like either a strength in numbers, bonuses to improvised…

    Thule – Able to adapt relics and Rote spells

    Utopia Now – harvest equipment from demon/angels (and maybe it works on the unfleshed)

    The more I think about it, this and decoupling the Tiers sounds awesome.

  37. I’d prefer an approach to compacts similar to what 2nd edition Changeling is doing with courts. The main rules have guidelines and frameworks to build a compact for your locale and then the locations part of the book introduces a few of the fully-formed compacts from the previous edition, relating to their region. This helps to make compacts more localized than the global conspiracies and gives more of a toolkit option for those who want to cook their own to fit their campaign.

  38. Given the secretive nature of the organizations, I don’t think history more than 50 years old is important. It could just as easily be all a lie. It gets tricky with organizations that aren’t more than 50 years old.

    Play styles that could be added are coexistence, servitude, and subordination. I suppose the first would be more supernatural police and negotiation (as mentioned by others). The other two would be serving monsters (which is the realm of cancer cells) and forcing monsters to serve humanity, respectively.

  39. 1. Hmmm, hard to pick a top three. I’ve not played Hunter that much and I mostly Storytell so I can usually find some pretty awesome ideas when I think of each one.

    buuuuuut, If I were to try and pick a few I’d pick:
    – Heritage House: I love this one because it explores rather close-to-home (pun intended) feelings that everyone is used to and also helps the players feel they have characters that are special in a non-elitist way,. I feel like the characters “get into character” a lot easier when they are playing Family but with monsters.

    – Network Zero: a favorite because of the way it plays out in-game. The characters with their cameras and talking through mics to the 90’s style hacker who’s doing a lot of the tech work behind scenes, the trash talk. Just the way that it feels when the game is based around it is a lot of fun.

    2. You already mentioned how easy Network Zero globalizes so i’ll skip that. For Heritage House, It could be as simple as calling them Noble Houses in a way. Houses that have dug their roots in hunting and so have come across other houses. There can be some political intrigue or not depending on what themes you want to introduce but I think on the surface it’s as easy as “here are some families, for the most part they know of eachother and may, in extreme cases, band to-gether”.

    3. I’m not married at all to them. I mean I’d like to see them in 2nd ed but it’s not ‘them’, precisely, that I want to see. I want to see the themes that they used and we got to explore.

    The histories of the compacts have sometimes been mentioned but when I personally start a chronicle I make it as a part of a different universe to the other chronicles I create (other than my Seattle Chronicles series ^.^)

    4. I LOVE that you asked this question.

    – I kind of like the idea that there is one based around compettitive sport/leagues. Like what if there was a group that saw hunting as a tier or a ranked ladder that they could climb? through out a year or more they could get a kill with their group and they present and report it all to their local representative. Near the end of the year or perhaps more than one year the top ‘x’ teams go head to head fighting a monster that only gets released in that period of time. Perhaps that’s why the games started, because there’s no real beating this thing, only pitting their best against it. What if the end result is the best team is sacrificed? But most don’t know about that part?

    – Another Idea is the astral. What if there was a compact specifically created to combat the crap that leaks out of dreams and the astral real. They don’t have powers or anything but they might have good tactics for battling manifested astral beings. It could be like native american medicine men or the sleep healers of Austrailia. Like that could be how they started and now it’s like a psuedo-scientific ghost-hunter kinda of vibe. they’re somber and see their duty as keeping waking life safe from sleep but tend to be paranoid. I don’t know, just word-vomit at this point.

    – now what about this? What about the theme of helplessness. You know how in the beggining of a lot of stories of hunters the main character or a side character is actually rather weak? Their cowardly, physically ill, or otherwise downtrodden but through the coarse of the movie or whatever medium this is they overcome their “burdens” and take a step into baddassery. The geeky kid who gets shoved into lockers but becomes a harsh leader. The sick-and-dying patient surprising everyone with her resolve. The homeless bearded man with a dog throwing himself into a dangerous situation to protect a stranger that would have otherwise ignored them.

    That intro was long but what if there was a compact that was more like a refugee camp for those that monsters have “ruined” the life of. But in gaining the vigil and sticking with eachother they find that they are stronger now than they’ve ever been despite the poor and varied conditions that each of them have.

    That, would be really fun to play. That hospital worker that was mind controlled by some witch or other monster that has had their job and home and family ripped from her but finds a new found desire to help other victims of monsters and help mitigate the damage of other attacks.

  40. My ability to answer your questions as written is pretty hard as the only Hunter game I’ve played in has been at Tier One using a made-up organization (a few loosely connected cells in Tokyo) (I touched on this briefly in my reply to your last post) but I did have a few thoughts come up in a general sense.

    “Globalization” is not a term that comes to mind when thinking Tier Two. I use that when talking/thinking about Tier Three. “National” is closer to what I get with Tier Two. As I got near the end of your post, I started thinking that rather than having specific Compacts, each write-up should describe a way of approaching the Hunt and give a few names and locations of Compacts that follow that methodology as examples (perhaps one per continent) and leave research and the amount of “local flavor” up to the individual gaming groups.

    About the only question I have a direct answer to is the third one: no, the histories haven’t really come up in our games because our group hasn’t played a lot of Hunter. I’m currently working on a cross-over game that will include the Hunter Compacts and Conspiracies but I’m also drawing on sources as varied as Classic WoD, New WoD, Chronicles of Darkness, anime, and a few other conspiracy/horror RPGs so any changes made between 1E to 2E will be used, abused, modified, or discarded as fits the needs of my chronicle.

  41. My top three would be Null Mysteriies, The Loyalists of Thule and the Night Watch. The first two best exemplify hunters theme of a candle in the dark and acting and reacting without really knowing the full story.

    From a narrative standpoint it really doesn’t matter to me if the scientific method is or is not applicable to the supernatural, only that they try and the story can flow from the outcome. That said, to escalate, give them the God Machine to chew on since its supernatural traits are rooted in mundane physics (or is its ‘mundane’ physics grafting onto the supernatural world).

    The Loyalists show just how bad a compact with a little knowledge can screw up. To escalate I can see the newer members forming cliques within European academic and political circles again, with all the twisted irony that flows from that to explore. Can’t happen again … right?

    The Nite Watch, however, mostly provide a average Joe vigilante group that does not go of on a huge tangent about 20th century labour groups. Sorry, but that was a hell of a hoop to jump through and I had to read their entry tree times before I realised they were … in fact … average Joe vigilante group. The reach of an organised crime outfit is probably a good way to escalate them and that would be my pick for something I don’t thing hunter has touched on.

  42. I wouldn’t mind seeing the Compacts globalized, but they need to be kept distinct from the Conspiracies. I think it all comes down to leadership and flavor.

    To me, Conspiracies achieved globalization through centralized leadership and a uniform organizational identity: members of the Malleus Malificarum all answer to the same leader and share the same raison d’être for their Hunt, no matter if they operate in Baltimore, Buenos Aires, or Sydney. Bring together members from all three cities, and they would instantly click on why they hunt and how they hunt.

    On the other hand, Compacts globalized through decentralized leadership and a malleable organizational identity that can adapt to regional biases and viewpoints while preserving tactics and the like: members of the Union in Philadelphia, London, and Moscow all answer to independent leadership; Philly Joes may be blue-collar Democrats or Republicans, London Joes may be Labour guys, and Moscow Joes are Communist holdouts; however, sit them down, and after they get past the ideological differences, they realize that their methods are identical.

    So to summarize: Conspiracies are uniform in both flavor and mechanics regardless of location, while Compacts are uniform in mechanics regardless of location but flavor varies with location.

  43. Choosing my three favorite Compacts is not an easy task, but the ones that I tend to mine the most story out of would probably be:

    The Union – I love the Union in part because they are one of the most straightforward organizations. A loose affiliation of cells that are focused on dealing with local supernatural problems. This creates great potential for exploring the human impact of supernatural phenomena. What does a neighborhood infested by ghosts and plagued by demonic possession look like? How does the corrosive influence of vampiric control manifest itself? The Union also challenges one of the fundamental conceits of the World of Darkness; that regular people “just don’t want to know.” While the written history of the Union ties it rather closely to the American labor movement, I’ve generally used the Union as a catch-all for a variety of locally-minded organizations. The Union also plays into what I like to call “economic horror” or “rest belt gothic.” The desperation and horror of being trapped in your small town/neighborhood with the monsters you know are hiding there, making the Vigil into an act of defiance or even revolution.

    Null Mysteriis – This is one that I feel gets misplayed a lot. To say that Null Mysteriis “doesn’t believe” in the supernatural misses the point. Null Mysteriis simply refuses to shrug its shoulders and resign itself to accepting the supernatural as unknowable and unquantifiable. They want to understand the supernatural, to throw aside the fear that the unknown creates in us and put it in a box. If it doesn’t fit, you build a bigger box. While yes there’s going to be a lot of flailing in the dark and misapprehension, eventually you are going to start making meaningful discoveries about the way the World of Darkness ticks. Secrets that even the monsters may not know about themselves. Null Mysteriis also lends itself well to entertaining techno-babble, drawing from Warren Ellis’ Planetary and Charles Stross’ Laundry Files as a couple of my personal favorites.

    Network Zero – I’ll admit up front that I’m a sucker for found footage and creepypastas. Network Zero fits into that niche exceptionally well. A compact that focuses on what can be seen whose horror comes from what cannot be seen; from what is happening just out of frame. They also have a somewhat sideways approach to the Vigil, which creates potential for novel, non-linear, and even non-violent hunter plots. Other hunters might criticize Network Zero for not taking a more active combat role, but I’d argue that Network Zero is actually fighting the more important war. By attacking the veil of ignorance that the supernatural conspires to pull over humanity they are chipping away at one of the monsters’ most important foundations. Every victory in the war of information and propaganda is another skeptic convinced, another candle lit in the Vigil.

    As to globalization for the compacts I’ve mentioned.

    The Union is bit of a paradox where that is concerned. On the one hand the factors which lead to the necessity of the Union are going to crop up all over the world. Its a very human and universal sort of Compact. On the other hand its local emphasis makes it unlikely to have a truly global organization and reach. One solution I might propose is having a number of Union-esque groups in different countries with different names and localized agendas, but which operate under the loosely affiliated franchise of the Union for the sake of simplicity. One easy area to expand them into would be Latin America with its history of both labor movements and locally organized militias.

    Null Mysteriis I’ve always seen as a global Compact. In my chronicles they are based in France and have inroads into the scientific establishment that criss-cross international boundaries. During the Cold War there was an ideological schism between Western and Soviet scientists in the Compact, but even then the back channels stayed open and both sides remained committed to their core goal of illuminating the murk of the supernatural and casting aside its superstitions. Something I’ve yet to work with but which I think would be interesting is to discuss the role Null Mysteriis plays in shaping the Vigil globally. I like to imagine that Null Mysteriis would see educating hunters as part of its mandate. Not only sharing information on proven knowledge and techniques but also in steering hunters away from false positives and superstitious bias that could result in innocent casualties.

    Network Zero has already been discussed at some length as a global Compact. It thrives on the internet and generally ignores borders. What would be interesting is to explore its role both in countries that have significant internet penetration and those that don’t. Iran actually has an incredible number of connected internet users and a surprisingly unregulated web. Coupled with Iran’s booming independent film industry Network Zero could definitely find a foothold, however strange, in the Islamic Republic. On the other hand we can look at China, which has a large population and an ever-growing number of connected users but tight government controls on the internet. How the Network operates behind the Great Firewall could be interesting. The bring things back into the Network’s grainy A/V past it could be rewarding to look at some areas of Eastern Europe or Subsaharan Africa where there is limited internet connectivity and bootleg VHS tapes are still a thing. Cells are going to be less closely connected to the rest of the Compact and are going to have to work harder to get their message out.

    As far as histories are concerned I tend not to be overly attached to the canon. The historical actions of previous cells and members of the various Compacts do tend to come up in my games, but not really as extensions of the written material in the books.

    If I were to suggest a possible new play style I think what I would go with would be “engagement.” A group that seeks to be proactive rather than reactive in its interactions with the supernatural. Hunters are the only group in the World of Darkness for whom crossover is the default mode of the game. Taken as a whole they interact more often and with more splats than any of those splats do individually. There is potential there for a Vigil that is focused less on conflict with the supernatural than with managing its impact on the mortal world. Brokering a peace between the vampires and the werewolves because the hunters know more about either of them than they do about each other. Allying with a changeling court to help the reintegration of newly escaped changelings into society. Creating safe houses for nomadic Promethean throngs where the effects of wasteland will be minimized. Obviously there is still the potential for conflict in these situations, but conflict of a different sort than just finding the monster and driving a stake through its heart.

  44. I posted this in the OPF thread on this post, which is something I’ve never quite managed to get into words before; regarding whether to have specific groups of archetypes of groups:”

    “To me it’s archetypes that make the setting feel small, because they inevitably end up being treated as specific groups anyway, and very dilute ones as a result. I’d prefer to start with specific groups and root them in the context of their locations.”

    I realise you don’t want a ton of groups with similar tones, but tone isn’t enough to define a group (especially *to* that group). So I guess this is me nailing my colours firmly to the specific rather than necessarily global.

    On the other hand, a section of ideas regarding intersections of times and places and contexts where similarly-toned groups might arise would be a welcome addition.

    • For clarification: archetypes and playing styles are part of game design and they occur behind-the-scenes. Compacts and conspiracies will be presented as specific, but their backbone is an archetype that I do need to look at. To some extent, the archetypes may make an appearance in the “build-your-own” compact/conspiracy sections as a way of framing whatever players like you come up with.

    In my games, I generally prefer Tier One, and I’ve mostly used Compact/Conspiracy cells as NPCs and antagonists. That being said…

    1. Network 0 – They feel the most plausible to me as for a group that could really exist in reality. They also make great Contacts for hunters who already have a working knowledge of what they’re up against. If you know the telltale signs of supernatural activity, you can have NetZo folks keep an eye out and update you when you find things.

    2. The Long Night – Really, these guys also feel plausible. Part of me is waiting for the day when WBC whack jobs go postal and start murdering people they think are in league with the devil. Ever see the movie “Red State?” The congregation in that flick feels a lot like the Long Night. I’ve often used them as antagonists, having them target supernatural friends or allies of the players’ cell.

    3. Promethean Brotherhood – I love this one because they’re such cruel, evil bastards. Also, the fact that they’re on the verge of becoming a Conspiracy once they perfect their ritual for stealing a Mage’s magic.

    I like the idea of globalization in Hunter because, as it was pointed out, the existing Compacts are exremely West-centric. What I’d really like to see is a little bit more devoted to how they interact with one another. Like I said, my groups have largely stuck with Tier One, mostly because we’ve had a hard time figuring out why an individual member of one would ever team up with individual members of others.

    I’m not super invested in the histories of the Compacts. I’ve never had their origins come up in play. Conspiracies on the other hand…

    A Compact that deliberately allies with supernaturals might be interesting. There are plenty of “mutual threats” out there that could justify such alliances. It’d be another Compact on the border with Conspiracy status if they have the potential to get Endowment-like abilities from their inhuman allies.

      What about an organization like the movie version of the MIB? A hunter organization that helps keep the supernatural a secret?

  46. • What are your top 3 favorite

    existing compacts and why? These can be pulled from any book that’s been published thus far, including compacts that are no longer around.

    The Ashwood Abbey – Because I love playing a hedonistic anti-hero that will not only kill anything but also desecrate it with a devil may care grin. Also, without them I couldn’t have Little Timmy, my favorite Hunter NPC. I can’t think of an acceptable way for a Hunter, not a Slasher, to do a fist full of coke before taking what is clearly a two handed shotgun and jumping blindly into a Nosferatu catacomb as he screams, “YEEEAAAHHH” without a pause to remember what they did to his other hand yesterday.

    Network Zero – I know a lot of people enjoy playing this group because of their “Truth seeking” but personally, I just like them because I enjoy an underdog who’s desperate to make the world all make sense, which isn’t to say kill, capture, or understand it and while that could be true of any compact, there’s a certain level of isolation with the Network since they’re primarily an online assistance kind of group. No Hunter compact can suspend disbelief like they can as far as walking blindly into the darkness unprepared, not to mention, as NPC’s they can make or break a tier 1 game anywhere anytime as talking heads.

    (None) – I could say the Union, Talbot Group or Utopia Now for various reasons but these would just be aesthetic reasons that I flip back and forth through while running/playing. Honestly the rest have never settled well to me. You’d think that with experience more Hunters would intermingle a bit more with the Splats that don’t inherently want to kill them, maybe even learn something legitimate about the larger world as a whole, but they don’t. Every single compact at this level has very large misgivings and even though they have the resources and capacity to see and know something about the other Splats they just don’t seem to care to do more than shoot them to death, despite the fact that it’s contrary to their ethos. I think Tier 2 should definitely see more cooperation with the other splats.

    Oh, and an Honorable Nod to, Precinct 13. Which I adapted into a compact out of the tales from Precinct 13 resource book.

    • What are your thoughts on globalization and locations for the compacts you selected?

    I think it only makes sense that they have globalization. To be fair though, that’s how I’ve always ran my HtV games. I usually use the 2nd tier compacts that are in all of my major cities as a platform to learn about the various Splats that are specific to a region. Otherwise you just get the same old “Slay the Dragon”/ “Save the Princess” plot lines over and over again with really flat and boring antagonist that no one can really sympathize.

    Though I would like to offer you an alternative that may have already occurred to you:
    What if a “Compact” was more of an archetypical philosophy than an organization per say. Meaning that “The Union” is simply a term for any Worker’s Union or Parent Teacher Association or etc. that wants to keep their kids safe from the thing that has plagued their community for a time. That way it’s more like an auspice or a path than a literal organization, though they could have one. It’d make a lot of sense in the communication age for these like-minded hunters to band together.

    • How married are you to the history of the compacts? Have those details come up in actual play for your group?

    I’m not, there’s always a better way to spin an idea and holding ideologies on a pedestal is what has caused most of the problems in our world when it comes to organized society so, I trust you, and if you fail there’s always 3rd Ed. Also the histories have come up in game but, to be fair, when you guys write 80,000 – 200,000 or more words about a gameline that I enjoy, I’m gonna use reference material at any given opportunity, as a writer I feel like adding depth to a gameline can never be a bad thing, perhaps not corebook material but never a bad thing. Personally I’d do small PDF’s between releases at drive thru and sell them individually as their released “digital only” and then offer print on demand for the compendium once there’s 12 or so.

    • We have compacts formed around playing styles such as belief, hedonism, research, atonement, communication, defense, vengeance, hunting specific monster types such as vampires, etc. If you had your pick of “a” new style of play that’d be fun to play, what would be the theme and why? Where would it be based? Please try to avoid creating/naming new compacts, as I do want to reserve that honor for my future team.

    Well, I’d say “Refinement” of the compact in the adversity of the World of Darkness.
    Westering (if you get the reference) from Steinbach’s, Leader of the People. Steinbach used the term Westering to refer to the communal nature of immigrants who were moving west during the gold rush and how the harsh life of travel in a caravan brought the best out of them as whole.

    Not to give a specific style but rather finding strength through a refinement of different ideals in a close knit community.

    A creed of “strength in diversity” which is to say that each Hunter would have their own unique code and skill set to bring to the table.

    Example community: Carnival Workers, Southern Aristocrats, Late-Night Clerks, Janitorial Service, a Close knit community is the easy choice such as a Chinatown or Spiritual Congregation, and really just any exceptional hunter cell that empathizes (not to say sympathizes) with the Splats that they come across in the Vigil without inherently burning them at the stake.

  47. question 1#
    My three favorite compacts are null mysteriis, loyalists of thule, and Bear Lodge. I like null mysteriis, because they are trying to better understand the supernatural using science, which I feel is the most logical conclusion the real world would come to when encountering the supernatural. The loyalists of thule, have an interesting back story and are occults experts are the main reasons I like them. The bear lodge, have an interesting theme, hunters who are well hunters.

    question 2#
    null mysteriis, could tap into the global science community , maybe even have a hidden wiki dedicated to the supernatural. Would be very easy for them to go global.

    the loyalists of thule, could go global with places affected by ww2. Like south america, usa, russia, israel, south africa, etc. For asia it gets tricking, but maybe a faction of the loyalist was based in japan or the nazi gave the japanese knowledge that got used in china to experiment with or use in war or both.

    the bear lodge, super easy to for them go global, theirs actual hunters in a lot of countries and people who travel to hunt exotic animals.

    question 3#
    only a little attached the loyalists of thule history, the other can change as long as the theme stays the same. In my groups really little but fluff is always nice for hooks, at a later point.

    question 4#
    What about a compact that specialize in tinkering and making weapons and armor to fight the supernatural.A group made of up tim allens, macgyvers, and van helsings, maybe specifically to fight monsters in close quarters. Weapons like homemade silver grenades, turbo chainsaws, ballistic fists, jaws of life that firefighters use to open cars, and swords that can inject the target, automatic crossbows, etc. For armor like homemade bulletproof armor, farafay cage and jury rigged multi lensed goggles thats can see in multiple specturms. In theory any group could have the same equipment but these guys will have the skills, knowledge and blueprints to make these with easy, and people willing to use them.

  48. I’m loving the fact that Hunter (and the WoD in general) is moving more towards globalization and multiculturalism. There’s a lot of interesting mythology, folklore and history in the world beyond Western Europe, the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, and I’ve always loved exploring that in games. As to your questions:

    1. My favorite Compacts so far have been the Ahl-al-Jabal, Network 0, and the Keepers of the Source, though the Habibti Ma have grown on me since Mortal Remains came out.

    The Ahl-al-Jabal top my list because, as a Muslim (and specifically a Shi’a Muslim), its cool to see us portrayed as heroes, and to see our culture and history used like that. Network 0 works for me because I love the idea of paranoid conspiracy nuts and cryptozoologists; think late night talk radio shows like Coast to Coast, or bloggers who write about ‘unsolved mysteries,’ weird public access shows or even YouTubers who narrate Creepypastas. I like my Network 0 as ‘gonzo journalists,’ if you will. Groups like the New Agey Keepers of the Source and the Timothy Leary/Core Shamanism Illuminated Brotherhood similarly appeal to my love of the weird, while Habibti Ma get me not only because I LOVE Mummy but also because they get into some dark (but interesting) territory with cults.

    2. Well… I think most Compacts can be more global than people think. For example, Isma’ilis are pretty much a minority everywhere (save for very small pockets like Badakshan in the Pamirs along the Afghanistan-Tajikistan frontier) and are fairly secretive and selective about converts (some sects not accepting converts at all), so presumably the Ahl-al-Jabal’s membership would be kept small. But while the Isma’ilis (and, thus the Ahl-al-Jabal) are mostly thought of as South Asian, there are Isma’ili communities in East Africa, Yemen, the former Soviet Central Asia, China, the UAE, Israel and Lebanon (if you count the Druze as Isma’ili) and historically in Egypt and North Africa (the Fatimid dynasty), Bahrain (the Qarmatians) and even Hungary (the Böszörmény) not to mention a more recent diaspora in Europe and North America. In fact I believe H.H. the Aga Khan IV – the head of the Nizari Isma’ilis – lives in Switzerland.

    On the other hand, you have Compacts like Network 0, which realistically could work in quite a few places. Sure, the United States or Western Europe seem like the obviously choices, but as the Arab Spring, Gezi Park Protests and the Color Revolutions in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union have shown, young people around the world have been taking advantage of the internet, digital cameras, telecommunications and mass media. Sure, while I do tend to picture Network 0 as being more the lunatic fringe – Art Bell style conspiracy theorists and wanna-be Cryptozoologists trampsing through the woods at night – I’d say an angry young Egyptian blogger, Russian hacker or aggressively independent Lebanese journalist are all equally valid concepts.

    3. Depends on the Compact. Honestly, the Ahl-al-Jabal’s entire identity is wrapped up in being Isma’ili and all the history that entails. I wouldn’t mind seeing them linked with interesting things like the Fatimids, Hashashin, Qarmatians or British India and Soviet Central Asia, but I would hate to see them subsumed into being a generic ‘Muslim’ Compact, or even a specifically Shi’a Compact as we Shi’a are a pretty diverse community anyway, since that Ithna’Ashari Shi’a (the largest denomination, which believes in 12 Imams and is the state religion in Iran), the Isma’ilis, and even the Zaydis (a mostly Yemeni community), plus smaller distinct groups like the Druze and Alawis, all of whom have our own mysticism, history and beliefs. While not hostile towards each other, and sometimes aligned out of shared politics, especially in the modern era, lumping all of us together in one Compact would be like lumping Copts, Mormons, Roman Catholics, Kimanguists and Seventh Day Adventists on the basis they are all Christians.

    As for others, its less of an issue. Network 0, the Keepers of the Source and the Illuminated Brotherhood all seem like much more informal groups of like minded individuals, and oral histories being what they are, there could easily be dozens of anecdotes and rumors about who founded them. Indeed, they could have originally been several different groups that slowly merged over the years. Habibti Ma, on the other hand, has only appeared in one book so changing their history shouldn’t make much difference (not that I think it needs changing mind you).

    4. For one thing, a decidedly non-Western religious approach would be interesting. Sort of like the Keepers of the Source or Illuminated Brotherhood, but focusing on Afro-Caribbean religions like Candomblé or Santería, Australian Aboriginal Dreamtime traditions, Siberian Shamanism, Malay folk religion, South African Sangoma, Vietnamese Cao ?ài or Tibetan Buddhism/Bön (albeit without the spiritual powers of Les Mystères).

    A Compact dedicated more to protecting its own specific community could be fun too. Like maybe a network of insular Jewish Hunters who protect Jewish neighbourhoods, communities and places of worship from supernatural (and occasionally mundane) depredations. Alternatively, it could work for just about any community; Dalits in India, Native American Reservations, Chinatowns and Little Italies in the US, Desis or Afro-Caribbean communities in the UK, Turks in Germany, Iraqi Christians, flavelas in Brazil, the Ainu and Koreans in Japan, Boers in South Africa, Muslims in Sri Lanka and Thailand … just about any tight knit communities, especially when threatened by outsiders, works.

    A Communist Compact could be interesting, perhaps arising out of the Soviet Union, or perhaps from partisans from Latin America or Southeast Asia. Alternatively, something more environmentally driven. Sort of like the Keepers of the Source but without the New Age elements. Part of the problem is there are quite a few Compacts already so its hard to think of one’s that don’t step on another’s toes.


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