Posted on May 13, 2008 by Matt-M-McElroy
Last week I talked a bit about the theme of Hunter: the Vigil. The theme of the game is Light in Shadows and I talked about how Hunters team up to fight against the things that lurk in the shadows of the world. That light driving away the darkness, even if only for a short time.
I also mentioned that most Hunters have “day jobs” since nobody really gets paid to stake or shoot supernatural creatures. This week we’re going to take a closer look at the “day job” element of Hunter: the Vigil.
In Hunter: the Vigil these “day jobs” are called Professions. They seem to be the everyday “real” careers that “normal” people have in the world. The trick for a Hunter is balancing the demands of the hunt with the realities of the job. A little bit about Professions:
Most hunters don’t get paid for killing monsters. The world doesn’t work like that. Hunters are people, just the same as anyone. Those who work for larger compacts, or groups that offer Endowments, may collect a paycheck for hunting, but most still have day jobs. A hunter has to balance her Vigil between confronting the dark underbelly of the world and doing what she has to do to make a living.
Smart hunters know how to at least balance hunt and career.
Unfortunate hunters lose that balance and spiral downward: maybe she gives up the hunt, which at first seems like the best way. She provides a normal home for her family. She pays the bills, puts food in their mouths. But that’s not easy. She can’t set aside her burning knowledge of the strange things that haunt the darkness. Ignoring them doesn’t make them go away. Images of slashers and inhuman things haunt the hunter’s dreams, a warning that monsters are out there harming the innocent, and maybe even coming for the hunter’s own family. Spiraling in the other direction means job and family fall by the wayside: sacrifices for a greater and madder cause. It’s rarely a swift loss: the hunter with bloodshot eyes and sweat-stained shirt zones out in his office or at the building site. He fails to pay attention to the family. Soon he’s divorced, fired, or both.
So, the Hunter has to find a way to maintain their regular lifestyle and yet go out and hunt down these creatures that are haunting their dreams. Makes me wonder if all Hunters have some sort of “nightmares” flaw to deal with in the game. Could certainly be an interesting way of driving the characters forward with the need to hunt monsters. That could also be what separates the regular folks of the world from the Hunters.
Let’s take a look at one of those Professions:
Journalists are always on the look-out for a story. Most spend years working for local papers, covering charity bake sales and flower shows before moving on to bigger news — if they ever get that opportunity. Journalists walk a thin line. On the one side, the truth, and on the other a fiction that’s guaranteed to get attention.
Evidence is how most journalists come to the hunt.
Whether she captures a photo of a slum-lord dissolving into a host of rats or her exposé of secret meetings in City Hall uncovers robed people conducting human sacrifice, her nose for a story brings her to the dark underbelly of the world. Once she’s there, she has to fight back — if only for her own survival. She’s got to get the story out. When she does, she’ll often find that the only people who believe her are kooks and hunters — if she’s able to tell the difference.
After spending some time on the Vigil, a journalist’s nerves often fray. She constantly looks for the supernatural angle on any story, expecting an explanation that may not be there.
Sometimes, she has to take a step back and remember that plain old humans can be plenty fucked up without monsters pulling their strings. Any hope of the prime time slips away, with more and more editors relegating her stories to the slushpile. It’s no surprise that most journalists who take on the Vigil spend at least some time looking out of the bottom of a bottle.
Concepts: columnist, conspiratorial blogger, corporate shill, freelance correspondent, lifestyle writer, local editor, muckraking journo, new media critic, political firebrand, sports anchor, TV news anchor
Journalists working for the tabloids, writing about monsters in the sewers and folks coming back from dead. Interesting idea. Some “ghost hunters” could even get their own show on cable, trying to convince the world that these things exist. What if no one believed them?
Stay tuned next week for a closer look at Endowments and how Hunters can use them to fight against the monsters of the World of Darkness…
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