THERE WILL COME A RECKONING.A tabletop game in White Wolf's Old World of Darkness.Shortly before the turn of the millennium, people across the world start to receive strange messages - voices in their heads, words on pages rewriting themselves, graffiti that wasn't there a moment ago.IT DOES NOT LIVE.BRING IT PEACE.BEHOLD THE TRUTH.TAKE BACK THE NIGHT.INHERIT THE EARTH.Moments later, they find themselves looking at an actual, inhuman monster, the Masquerade abruptly ripped away, the illusion of humanity suddenly dispelled.However they react - talking, shouting, attacking, defending - they find themselves gifted with supernatural abilities, just enough to extricate themselves from the situation.But even once it's over, they still get the messages. Still see the monsters. They can't just stand by; they need to act.Being relatively new to the shadows of the World of Darkness, these new 'hunters' don't have much of a shared community or vocabulary; the closest thing they have is Hunter-net, a website where they can get together and share what they know. This being the Internet, it can often be more trouble than it's worth.Terminology: PCs are known as hunters or imbued, and are divided into nine creeds - Avengers (kill the monsters), Defenders (protect people from the monsters), Judges (make decisions about the monsters), Innocents (don't assume the monsters are monstrous), Martyrs (sacrifice themselves to stop the monsters), Redeemers (save the monsters from themselves), Visionaries (ask the big questions about the monsters), Hermits (seclude themselves and provide information about the monsters) and Waywards (kill the monsters, and anybody who gets in their way, and anybody who gets caught in the crossfire...). Their powers are Edges, and the moment when they first see through the Masquerade is their imbuing. The entities who send the messages, and perform the imbuing, are known as the Messengers... although the true identity of these benefactors remains unknown, with guesses spanning from angelic messengers to God Himself to the collective will of Mankind. People who fail to act at the imbuing yet somehow survive are bystanders.Unusually for a White Wolf product, the terminology is rarely used in-game; the imbued don't have a fixed shared vocabulary for their experiences, and come up with their own words for what's going on (though some become common parlance through Hunter-net).See also Hunter: The Vigil, the game's Spiritual Successor in the new World of Darkness. For High Voltage's series of beat-'em-up video games, click here.BEHOLD THE TROPES:
Art-Style Dissonance: One of the major complaints of the old Hunter line was that the art stood at odds with the writing, which portrayed a bloody, hard-scrabble fight against the forces of darkness, all of whom are likely more powerful than you, with only a handful of supernatural tricks to your name. The art... had a photo of a man dressed like Rambo taking bites out of three werewolves (who did aggravated damage back then) and grinning. The writing said Hunter, the art said Exalted.
Though in hindsight, that man might have been a Wayward.
Actually, they explained in a later FAQ that the pictures were there to inspire players who wanted to play a game where they were on more level terms with the monsters, as opposed to a nearly hopeless struggle to survive. In other words, they wanted everyone who read all the way through the books to see a bloody, hard-scrabble fight against the forces of darkness, and they wanted everyone who just looked at the pretty pictures to see scenes from a truly awesome supernatural action movie.
Broken Masquerade: The entire point of the game. Since this is the World of Darkness, you're very likely dealing with the Trope Namer.
Divided We Fall: The imbued are a very diverse group of usually strong-willed, often crazy people. Their disagreements range from Flame Wars to, well, flame wars.
Dwindling Party: Can happen pretty easily in most games, since even with their special powers most hunters are outclassed by even the weakest of their opponents. Varies from storyteller to storyteller of course.
Fantastic Racism: Some imbued look down on Bystanders, or even consider them cannon fodder.
The attitudes of some of the less tolerant Hunters can come off like this towards the monsters, or even less Zealous Hunters. Innocents and Redeemers are noteworthy for averting this as much as humanly possible. Because this is the World of Darkness, either side can be entirely justified.
Glamour Failure: The Imbued's 'second sight' enables them to see through the various supernaturals' Masquerades, which is generally how said supernaturals notice the imbued at all.
Kill 'em All: In the canon story hunters are assumed to have brief careers, since they're fighting forces they usually don't understand using powers they also don't understand. As such, entire groups eat it fairly regularly.
La Résistance: A Hunter game can easily be run this way, since monsters are usually assumed to secretly control most aspects of government, law enforcement, and society.
Mad Oracle: Members of the Hermit creed all have a direct line to the Messengers, which gives them supernatural insight at the cost of overloading their psyches and resulting in their withdrawing from society.
Mana: Conviction, which can be gained when a hunter furthers his creed or when he risks it to help boost an action.
Power at a Price - The Martyr creed in particular gets hit with this. Many of their Edges come at some (though in most cases, temporary) physical cost to the Martyr themselves when used.
Power Born of Madness: Extremist imbued. Some hunters are obsessed with the hunt, and if you get obsessive enough you can access the highest levels of imbued power. Of course, this usually means becoming a puppet of the Messengers, a servant of dark forces, or just going full-bore crazy.
Power Incontinence: The Waywards can't shut off their 'second sight', so they get to see monsters 24/7. The Hermits can't moderate their connection to the Messengers, which doesn't do good things for their psyche.
Refusal of the Call: Those who act at their imbuing become fully-fledged imbued; those who failed to act become bystanders, people who know the supernatural is out there but lack the imbued's supernatural abilities. They either go crazy with guilt (and from knowing the supernatural is out there but not being able to do anything) or throw themselves into fighting 'evil' (usually at the side of imbued) and usually get killed.
Van Helsing Hate Crimes: After five books revealing just how much it can suck to be a supernatural in the World of Darkness, the hunters come around. At least a good number are willing to deal with non-hostile supernaturals... except the Waywards, of course.
Villainous BSOD - A Redeemer is capable of causing this in a monster, with one of their Edges turning a question they ask into an Armor-Piercing Question that the supernatural in question cannot ignore.
Well-Intentioned Extremist: 'Extremist' imbued, hunters who advance far enough in their creed that they start to become... somewhat unbalanced, seeing the world through the lens of their creed. Also the Waywards.