Posted on May 20, 2008 by Matt-M-McElroy
Yet the question remains…how do they hunt the monsters of the World of Darkness?
Anyone can grab a gun and start blasting away, but is that enough to destroy a vampire or werewolf? What good are bullets against a ghost?
As it turns out, Hunters have access to “tools of the trade” called Endowments:
Around the world, the vast majority of hunters face the supernatural armed with little more than their wits, willpower, and whatever supplies they can gather from the local sporting goods store. Some hunters, though, by dint of powerful backers or stores of ancient relics or a supposed fallen angel in the family tree, have access to tools beyond those that ordinary men and women can acquire. Some would argue that these tools make them every bit as unnatural as the things they profess to hate—how much difference is there, really, between a witch who calls down lightning from the sky and a man who has implanted a swarm of insect monsters into his body to use as a weapon? Others counter that, to destroy the monsters that hide in the shadows with any chance of success, a hunter needs every edge he can get. Endowments, unlike the powers of supernatural beings, are not their own category of Trait. They are simply a new category of Merit, and are purchased with Merit dots just like any other.
Did I read that right? “implanted a swarm of insect monsters into his body”
Yep. I guess I did.
So, the Hunters get their very own type of Merit to build their arsenal. I do wonder if Hunters get any additional Merit points at Character Creation to spend though.
From the bits I’ve read, these Endowments seem to me to be available based on the Compact that the character has joined. The line about “by dint of powerful backers or stores of ancient relics or a supposed fallen angel in the family tree,” is the one that stood out for me (other than the bug thing).
Perhaps it depends on the style or method of hunting the character has chosen that determines which Endowments are available to them.
Let’s take a look at one of these Endowments:
Studies performed on captured monsters of various classifications have revealed a commonality amongst many: when a living creature changes its shape, no matter the method behind it, a surge of erratic brain activity buried deep in the sensory cortex immediately precedes the change. Scientists have speculated that this is the brain trying to process the sensory overload of radical body morphism, but the truth is countless vivisections have been unable to give any conclusive answers. Nevertheless, munitions experts were able to engineer the equalizer grenade from the test data.
Function: Operating on the same principles that cause certain patterns of brightly flashing lights to induce epileptic seizures, the equalizer grenade pulses in a pattern that causes focused microseizures in that portion of the brain that seems to govern shapeshifting. The grenade is harmless to humans, and in fact to anything not attempting to alter its form, but the microseizures flood neural channels with “white noise” that effectively blocks shapeshifting.
Throwing an equalizer grenade is a Dexterity + Athletics roll. The grenade has a “Damage” of 4, but instead of inflicting Health damage, any living creature within 5 yards of the grenade whose Size is less than the total “damage” is unable to change its shape for 5 turns and must return to its natural shape.
At least it isn’t a bunch of wasps crawling around under my skin…
This particular weapon sounds like it would be quite effective against werewolves and other shape shifters. The Equalizer Grenade could come in quite handy in a fight. I’m already getting a few ideas for World of Darkness: Skinchangers as antagonists in a Hunter game.
Interesting that we’ve got mention of obvious supernatural “powers” and powerful weapons as Endowments so far. I’ll be curious to check out more Endowments and how they work. If any become available to me, I’ll be sure to share…
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