Light Your Candles for Hunter the Vigil 2nd Edition

Hunter: The Vigil logo
Hunter: The Vigil logo

My name is Monica Valentinelli and I’ll be your friendly, neighborhood developer for Hunter: the Vigil 2nd Edition. Since the Slasher Chronicle was announced at GenCon 2015, there’s been a lot of questions and more than a few recommendations about what might go into the new edition. Today, I’m going to talk a little bit about my plans and how that includes you.

Diving right in! First and foremost, the purpose of the second edition is to clarify and enhance how Hunter the Vigil is played, in addition to providing the new rules in the context of the Slasher Chronicle. Hunter: the Vigil has been a fantastic game overall. Let’s face it: Chuck Wendig and his team of writers did an amazing job. Because of the success and quality of this game line and its stories, neither I nor Onyx Path is looking to drastically change what has come before. Instead, we want to focus on enhancing and clarifying the game’s core components. For example, when I wrote up my pitch I mentioned that all three tiers of play will be included in the second edition, and will address what slashers and monsters mean to the Tier One, Tier Two, and Tier Three frameworks. Each and every compact and conspiracy will also have clear motivations on what slashers and monsters mean to them as well, to help players and Storytellers cue off of those goals for inspiration in their chronicles.

mortal remainsSome of the enhancements we’ll make, will incorporate the rules provided in the newly-released Chronicles of Darkness rulebook, and take inspiration from Mortal Remains. However, we’re also thinking carefully about what else we can do within the confines of the corebook and supplements. There’s a lot we can do but, at the same time, we want to avoid a corebook that’s hundreds and hundreds of pages long. Of all the Chronicles of Darkness games, Hunter already has the biggest setting, when you add in all the existing compacts and conspiracies, and that requires space to correctly address in the context of slashers and monsters. In addition to the Slasher Chronicle, however, we do want to think about how we can give Hunter: the Vigil a global feel. We’ll be doing an open call for writers to draw in new writers with diverse voices, and I’m also going to use Open Development to see how we can make that more fun and useful for fans, too.

This is the part where you come in. I mentioned that I’m going to be using Open Development in a different way than what you’re used to. Before we launch an open call for writers, I’m going to explore and propose how I’d like to approach certain aspects of the Hunter setting in the context of the Slasher Chronicle and why. I have a lot of reasons for wanting to try this approach, but one of them is because I’m keen on ensuring Hunter remains Hunter, even with the changes I’m proposing. Keep in mind, this type of feedback loop is an experiment (and I know how much all of you LOVE change, right?), but the goal remains the same: Hunter 1E is a fantastic game, and I want to make sure that Hunter 2E is worthy of sitting on the shelf next to it.

I hope you’re as excited as I am to see a brand new edition of Hunter: the Vigil come to life. In the meantime, I’m going to get started on my first Open Dev post about a certain conspiracy that begins with “A”… In the meantime, don’t forget to submit Condition Card ideas for the 12 Days of Onyx contest! Let’s see some Hunter ideas!!!


61 responses to “Light Your Candles for Hunter the Vigil 2nd Edition”

  1. BigDamnHero Avatar

    Man, sounds like you’ve got a bunch of stuff on your plate! I didn’t get into Hunter 1E when it was new, so I’m looking forward to Hunter 2E as a good jumping-on point.

    1. Monica Avatar

      Thanks! I will keep this in mind (e.g. that there’s new-to-Hunter fans out there) when I write my posts for Open Dev.

  2. QAlchemist Avatar

    I am… so excited for this.

    I dared not hope. And yet, here it is!

    Following this with fervor. Huge, huge Hunter the Vigil fan.

    1. Monica Avatar

      Cool. Glad to have you on board!

  3. LostLight Avatar

    yey! I have been waiting for this since the word about Hunter 2E was out! Holding fingers for the AKD as the first post 😛

    also- how much “all compacts and conspiracies” means “all”?

    1. Mister Avatar

      Good question. I, for one, would really like to see the Cainites and Ahl al-Jabal return.

      1. Chris Handforth Avatar
        Chris Handforth

        I want to see the Ahl Al-Jabal return too! Actually, I want to write their return. If it doesn’t work out that way though, I’m hoping that they’ll do just to their Nazari Ismailii origins. My girlfriend is Ismalii, so their representation is really important to me.

        And yeah, I also hope the open call lets us get our teeth into writing the compacts, cause I have resources when it comes to the People of the Mountains.

    2. Monica Avatar

      Haven’t decided yet how deep the proverbial rabbit hole goes. That’s partly what I am using Open Dev for, but I’m very concerned with ensuring that they’re at least covered in some fashion.

    3. GREEM Avatar

      I imagine that, given that it’s the Slasher chronicle, we’ll have VASCU return. Or at least get mentioned.

  4. Atavist Avatar

    Really excited for this, too. A nice focus on the compacts and conspiracies will be great, and tier 1 hunters were something I think the original line really neglected, so showing their place in things will help groups that wanna do that blossom.

    Thank you for letting us know what’s going on.

    1. Monica Avatar

      You’re welcome!

  5. Caleb Cushing Avatar

    Awesome! this really *shouldn’t*? be a core game change, but can we ultimately change it so that TF:V and Cheiron are not ultimately run by inhumans? I feel like it seriously undercut hunter to have some of the most human of the factions being run by inhumans. Sure it makes sense that the Knights of St Adrian are ultimately G-M pawns, and it might make sense that Vampire’s employ human hunters to their ignorance, but that doesn’t have to be TF:V (sounds more like an additional vamp antagonist, or something for the vamp supplement).

    Also could we maybe get a Faction that is on the same side as DtD: Demon’s? (no matter how ill advised). I feel like a large agency could do this, and offer a “retirement plan”, just sign here please, yes in blood.

    obviously *I* can easily make this ruling for my own games, but it’d be nice to have it as canon.

    1. Monica Avatar

      This is partly what I will be using Open Dev for, so nothing firm yet. The changes I propose will need to make sense both in context of the overall chronicle and the passage of time.

  6. Sean Avatar

    Really excited to see this, I’ve always liked Hunter the Vigil and I have fond memories of the game. Really looking forward to this as you go forward.

  7. Malkydel Avatar

    Open call for writers, you say?

    Really looking forward to 2nd. Hunter was a game that really resonated with me; especially in terms of some of the factions and viewpoints.

    I’m certain we’re in good hands, and I look forward to the open development.

    1. Monica Avatar

      The Open Call will be pretty specific, and I’ll be sharing more details when it gets close to that time. We are not ready to do that yet, however, so for now it’s Open Dev!

      1. Malkydel Avatar

        Awesome. Didn’t intend to rush/harry. It was just nice to see that it was being floated! 😀

      2. Chris Handforth Avatar
        Chris Handforth

        So, does having expanded Doubting Souls during the Dark Era Kickstarter get me extra brownie points for the Open Call? :p

        Seriously though, I’m super excited that you’re still going to do the Open Call. If that’s going to involve some of the global locations for Hunter (and I feel like it does from your text), I know exactly where I want go write about.

        1. Monica Avatar

          Hah. Well, the hardest part of being a developer is to avoid playing favorites.

          I can safely say there’ll be a few OpenDev posts before I go the open call route. I think the best thing to do for writers is to be clear about what I’m looking for first. But yes, the global approach is definitely a personal goal of mine, on all tiers.

          1. Chris Handforth Avatar
            Chris Handforth

            Monica, I’m sure that no matter who makes it, with you at the helm it will turn out awesome!

  8. Phil Avatar

    I’m excited for this!

    I do just want to say that Chuck and his team did an absolutely amazing job. I really think that HtV is my favorite WW/OPP game of all time. So before moving forward, I just want to affirm what you said. An awesome game, great writing.

    Can’t wait to get started!

  9. Verge Avatar

    Cool, welcome aboard!

    I never really followed H:tV. I think the vast number of compacts, and their extensive Merits and arsenals, came off as dry and systematic to me. I had drifted away after Changeling, and Vigil didn’t hold a lot of appeal.

    But, I’m excited for both!

    Anyway, my personal roadblock is laid out above. I know the various powers that be deal from different decks, so I don’t think I have an actual suggestion, other than “not so fiddly”. Still looking forward to what you have planned.

    1. Monica Avatar

      Can you clarify your roadblock? Was it the presentation of the compacts, or the sheer number of them?

      1. Verge Avatar

        I want to say that it’s the volume of faction-specific conspiracy, lore, and rules. Coming in from the other games, where the analogs tended to be drawn in broad strokes, I bounced off the “wall of text” where the feel of a faction needed to be teased out, especially over ten or so factions. There’s a lot of Endowments, tactics, and special gear, each with their own list of prereqs and terms and conditions. This combined with the arching bleak grayness of Hunter’s art direction to turn me off from reading it.

        The last point is merely aesthetic, but the previous four games had spot coloring that broke up and permeated the text. I know that helped me accept and assimilate the text better, while I took Hunter as droning and monolithic. I know that’s probably out of your hands as the developer (and as the new editions retained their old page layouts), but if the structure of the rules doesn’t change, a friendlier presentation could still bridge my gap.

        Thanks for the back-and-forth!

  10. Arcane Avatar

    Oh boy, this is gonna get bloody. I’ve seen some of the fights this’ll cause.

    Still, I’m down for it. Into the night, then.

    1. Enokh Avatar

      I’ll be real, the most exciting part of this development cycle will be watching the forum-rage.

      Less so the comments-rage, because for some reason I find that more rude.

      1. Monica Avatar

        Really hoping that won’t be the case, but we shall see! I’m always worried about that new fan who has heard of the game (or is interested) but gets scared off because they’re not grokking the opinions.

        1. Arcane Avatar

          Here’s hoping we can keep people from running away in sheer terror. But some of the biggest arguments I’ve been in with have been around Vigil, so hope straineth a little.

          Still, the hope this goes well is there. And really, isn’t that Vigil in a nutshell?

          1. Eolirin Avatar

            Are you referring to the Quiescence arguments, or was there something else that got crazy? If it’s just the Quiescence stuff I think hope for a positive outcome is probably justified, as that’s more about clashes between the Mage and Hunter communities than just Hunter fans, something that probably won’t be an issue here.

            And I’m honestly not sure if Quiescence should even be addressed in any depth in the core. It’s super specific to a chronicle type that almost no one is going to actually play. Exploring the concept in more depth than just mentioning it feels like it belongs in a supplement if it’s even worth going into.

  11. WarholAethyr Avatar

    So excited for all of this, lots of good news this week! Here’s hoping for the return of the Knights of St. George!

  12. Xenorath Avatar

    Since Slashers are getting a bigger focus I think it would be cool if VASCU was included in the corebook.

    1. Monica Avatar

      The inclusion of VASCU is a strong possibility, yes. 🙂

  13. Ephraim Avatar

    Wow! Great news! Loved Hunter 1 ed.

    Just.. Just take my money already!

  14. Sam Avatar

    I want to take this opportunity to express my adoration for the H:TV line and wish you the best of luck! Hunter’s toolbox-style system (e.g. rules for building monsters, rules for building factions and endowments etc.) makes it the most expansive and engaging WoD franchise in my opinion. Even more tools in the proverbial box would be my number one request!

  15. Matt Avatar

    HtV is probably my favorite CofD game (maybe 1A to CtL). So I’m definitely looking forward to this. One thing that that I would like to see is a little more advice on how to run a multi-conspiracy level game. Its very difficult to do given the setting without making things TOO cheezy.

    1. Monica Avatar

      Can you explain your “cheese” concerns? I’m guessing you’re not talking about limburger vs. swiss…

      Hah. I kid!

  16. Yig Avatar

    I cannot wait to get more details on the 2nd edition! I know when all this paradox stuff happened I started to prepare for the worst but now one of my favorite CofD lines is getting redone for sure! Great Stuff!

  17. Jim Fisher Avatar
    Jim Fisher

    I’m very excited by this news, although I knew the line was in good hands when I heard you were developing!

    *gets to the starting line and just waits for the gun to go off for the open call* 🙂

  18. Chris Handforth Avatar
    Chris Handforth

    Man this is exciting! I’m definitely looking forward to seeing parts of the world we haven’t seen before in CofD, particularly in Africa and South America. Hopefully Open Call gives me a chance to add to it as well 🙂

    Time to light your candles, sharpen your swords, and dust off your tomes. The Hunters are here.

  19. Terence Co Avatar
    Terence Co

    haha yep love Hunter the Vigil, I feel this is one of the best COD or NWOD game it.

    As for suggestions:

    Well one suggestion, I would like to see a book of conspiraries, compacts etc. like NWOD Vamprie bloodlines books. What was hinted in the various HTV sourcebooks that there are various world gov. and military hunter conspiracies like Mi-13 etc. basically other country equivalent of Task Force Valkyrie. I think this will not only give HTV an international feel but also oneof the strengths of HTV is that you can play Delta Green type games with HTV.

    1. Monica Avatar

      Right now, I’m just focused on the core rulebook and am nowhere near thinking about supplements yet. However, our intent to give the game a global feel will be reflected in how the Slasher Chronicle is put together. Supplements can definitely help that, but we’d like to set the tone that a hunter can be found anywhere, in any city, in any country.

  20. Terence Co Avatar
    Terence Co

    btw MI-13 is the UK equivalent of Task force Valkyrie headed by Chickering…

  21. batronoban Avatar

    My hopes : Vascu and slahers in the corebook, more human scale plots and compacts, moreTier 1 focus.
    And more weird and strange monsters and more twisted classic monsters (vampires, werewoves…) with surprises

    Less inhuman powers, more other countries and continents (africa, japan, china, india…)

  22. Hunter Crawford Avatar
    Hunter Crawford

    I’m really looking forward to this! Hunter has been such a wonderful game. I hope I can contribute come Open Call.

  23. R. James Gauvreau Avatar

    Mortal Remains included a note on converting pre-GMC Dread Powers into a 2.0 game. Will Hunter 2E have the same kind of note for those who (1) don’t have Mortal Remains or (2) are wondering if subsequent feedback has led the developers to suggest a different method of conversion?

    1. Monica Avatar

      Hunter 2E is a corebook, not a patch like Mortal Remains. So, the full ruleset will be provided in the corebook.

  24. Jason Inczauskis Avatar
    Jason Inczauskis

    Is there any chance of seeing new compacts and conspiracies in second edition? I would like to see some that have changelings or Sin-Eaters as their “favored prey”. Mortal Remains gave us some for demons and mummies, and Beast will have an expansion soon as well, but I’d like to see some for those other two.

    1. Monica Avatar

      While nothing has been decided yet, new compacts and conspiracies will probably tie into the Slasher Chronicle in some fashion. VASCU, for example, is most likely going to be incorporated.

  25. wyrdhamster Avatar

    I’m really waiting to Hunter 2ED. But I have one question – With now publishing of Chronicle of Darkness corebook, with it’s rules on Professional Training and monster creation ( as Horrors with Dread Powers ) what Hunter 2ED can offer in comparison to plain CoD for the Tier 1 hunters?

    Because now difference between Tier 1 hunters and mortals investigators ( from CoD ) is just semantics. ALL the rules needed from Hunter 1ED are in CoD corebook…

    1. Enokh Avatar

      Except for risking willpower, Tactics, and the whole “replace a sin on your morality/integrity chart” bit (if they do that this edition).

    2. Monica Avatar

      In addition to Tactics and a few other tweaks, there are substantive setting differences. The Chronicles of Darkness rulebook features The God Machine Chronicle. While the rules are a fantastic foundation for Hunter, the big setting differences are the fact that your average rank-and-file hunting monsters doesn’t necessarily mean that player-character is a hunter. Hunters already know that there are monsters lurking in the darkness, and they each uphold the Vigil in their own unique way. Hunter 2E will also feature the Slasher Chronicle, and that will shape tiered play. Right now, I’m going to propose some changes to Tier Two and Tier Three styles of play, but I will also be taking a look at enhancing Tier One as well. That’s a ways off, however, because the setting is more substantive for compacts and conspiracies, and I’d like to address some possibilities before nailing down an approach.

  26. Andrew Ohning Avatar
    Andrew Ohning

    H:tV was the game that finally brought me into the nWoD years back, and my favorite character I’ve ever played (5 years and running) is a vampire hunter. Looking forward to taking a shot at the Open Call!

  27. Anthony Jennings Avatar
    Anthony Jennings

    I am really excited about the Open Call for this! I can’t wait to hear more.

  28. Phaolan Avatar

    Please, please, PLEASE know that I mean this in the best possible way, but I am not really looking forward to Hunter: the Vigil Second Edition. That’s only ‘coz I feel like the game is just fantastic the way it is.

    Okay yes, the ‘Second Edition’/ Chronicles of Darkness/ God-Machine Chronicle update in Mortal Remains helped Hunter to be great. Yes, I understand the need to keep the brand fresh – not to mention up-to-date with the new brand for the new World of Darkness. Yeah, it’s gonna be an excellent product if my experiences with Vampire, Werewolf and playtesting another-but-unnamed game’s Second Edition is any indication. However… I’m not 100% jazzed about what I’ve seen for Changeling: the Lost Second Edition, which is the only other game that I love as it is.

    What it boils down to is this: Hunter is a great game, so don’t mess it up! I mean, I’m sure you won’t, but please make it fantastic. Pretty please? 🙂

  29. Birch Avatar

    Oh my, that’s incredibly cool to hear.
    I’ve been on board with H:tV pretty much sine I got into WoD, and it is really amazing to hear it is being developed further. Hope I would be able to donate some ideas for the Open Call.
    By the way, Monica – is there a hope that we will get some more options for government-aligned Hunters like TFV or VASCU? Maybe, some special military divisions, or even foreign analogues – I’m fairly sure KGB/FSB would have some “Otdel” to handle the supernatural sort of thing. Maybe, some options for supernatural influence during real-world military conflicts like Syria/A-stan?

  30. Eolirin Avatar

    I think the only thing I’d like to see is a general tightening up of the mechanics; for instance the published alternative ways to spend willpower in 1e included the option to take 9 again, which is pretty much always inferior to taking 3 dice, even for the purposes of trying to get more successes on a roll with a large dice pool. That should be 8 again at least, if it’s going to be kept.

    Small stuff like that needed the most cleaning up.

    I think it probably makes sense to re-examine all of the powers and tactics, as the 2e lines so far have had ‘punchier’ more thematically appealing powers, so stepping back a bit on those would make sense.

    On a more personal note my biggest issue with Hunter as it stands is that it’s the most incompatible with the other settings, in that it has a much more pervasive amount of hypertech than makes sense for a most of the other lines and it’s powers make certain assumptions about humanity’s strengths and monsters’ weaknesses that aren’t really supported by the other lines; concussion grenades that can prevent Uratha shapechanging and being able to lobotimize away the Awakening don’t really work in the context of Werewolf on Mage for example. But I’m not sure that those things should get changed at all; Hunter needs to do what’s best for Hunter, not what’s best for crossover. Having that stuff there is probably better for the line. Hunters wouldn’t really stand much of a chance if humanity was as weak and the other supernaturals were as strong as the other lines think they are.

  31. Craig Avatar

    Just to weigh in on what critique of 1st ed hunter, I think the number of compacts and conspiracies were the strongest point of the book. My biggest issue was how cluttered it was; not to say there was too much, but it was poorly organized. If the profession section looked as it does in the CoD corebook than you can hack away an amazing stack of the confusion from 1st ed. Other than that it had the same weakness as every other nWoD line, fantastic mechanics and weak weak weak storyline. I think when you take away the “why” we do this, than these are just glorified mortals who will, if lucky, die painlessly. Where as in Reckoning the players had a divine purpose. I really think that “Purpose” (with a capital “P”) should have some face time in the new edition.

    1. Eolirin Avatar

      I’m completely opposite from where you are on the last point. Doing that would pretty much kill my interest in the setting; personal motivation is sufficient and should be decided by the players and mediated by the ST. Mechanical or setting enforcement of some sort of divine purpose has no place in Vigil imo. The Vigil hunters with a sense of divine purpose are creepy religious fanatics like The Long Night. They are especially unhinged. That is how it should be.

      Each compact and conspiracy already has a why too, each creating a unique core to drive story. Motivation isn’t hard to find, it’s just personal and human. So yeah, you’re just a mortal that’s likely to eventually die doing what you’re doing. You *are* fighting for something though, or you wouldn’t be doing it at all. But a Cheiron Group character that reason is just an likely to be the money, and an Ashwood Abbey character is totally doing it for the sex and the high, and that’s fine. It’s all it needs to be.

  32. Juhn Avatar

    Any chance of the Malleus Maleficarum actually hunting witches this edition? Not necessarily Mages from Awakening, but things like the Possessed from Inferno seem like they’d be a hell of a lot of a better fit for a Vatican-run Conspiracy called the Witch Hammer than Vampires, which never made any sense to me as their primary foes in the Vigil.

  33. SunlessNick Avatar

    I don’t mind hundreds and hundreds of pages. Especially if they’re yours.

  34. […] mentioned in my Hunter the Vigil 2E developer announcement that I wanted to use OpenDev as a way to introduce how I’m addressing gameplay, structure, and […]