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Hunter Creeds

     In General 

  • An Adventurer Is You: The Creeds and their Edges (powers) map vaguely onto "character classes", although since Edges come into play much less often than a Vampire's Disciplines or a Mage's Spheres this is much less important than in other gamelines. Still, it's fairly natural to have an Avenger be the "party fighter" because of the Cleave Edge, a Redeemer be the "cleric" because of their access to Respire, etc.
  • Character Alignment: Unlike the "splats" of other World of Darkness games, a Hunter Creed is a direct reflection of your character's attitude and moral code toward the supernatural, no more and no less. There are three Hunter Virtues — Zeal, Mercy and Vision — and the nine Hunter Creeds are derived from picking a "primary" Virtue and then seeing whether that Virtue expresses itself in "pure" form or is influenced by one of the others:
    • The Virtue of Zeal is driven by negative emotion — hatred of the harm done by supernatural beings and willingness to oppose and defy them by force. Zeal in its pure form is the Avenger Creed, Hunters who became Imbued because they were directly harmed in some way by monsters and seek to hurt them in return. The Judgment Creed is Zeal tempered by Vision, Hunters who seek in some measure to dispassionately understand the danger monsters pose to humans and counteract it. The Defender Creed is Zeal tempered by Mercy, Hunters whose reason for fighting is having someone or something they love they want to protect.
    • The Virtue of Mercy is driven by positive emotion — love and empathy for the other inhabitants of the World of Darkness and an earnest desire to resolve conflict and see everyone thrive. Mercy in its pure form is the Redeemer Creed, which focuses on the idea of being a monster as a curse that can somehow be healed. Mercy tempered by Vision is the Innocent Creed, which believes the need for monsters to prey on humans is born of misunderstanding and with enough information and communication peace is possible (and are thus the Creed most likely to reject the name "Hunters"). Mercy tempered by Zeal is the Martyr Creed, which pessimistically accepts that the monster/human war is an inevitability but seeks to take as much of the suffering of that war on themselves as possible rather than letting it affect others.
    • The Virtue of Vision is driven by a lack of emotion, or, conversely, by a stable balance of emotions — the capacity to see the "big picture" of the World of Darkness and determine what needs to be done without passion or bias. This is, notably, the rarest and most difficult Virtue to cultivate, and two out of three of the Vision Creeds are "failed experiments" of the Messengers. Vision in its pure form is simply called the Visionary Creed, and is the only extant "normal" Creed bearing the Vision Virtue — Hunters who have a supernatural ability to draw connections and see patterns in the World of Darkness, but whose Vision is tragically always obscured and distorted, leading to them becoming Conspiracy Theorists. Vision tempered by Zeal was a Creed intended to be the "generals" or "leaders" of the Imbued, but unfortunately everyone inducted into it has gone quite insane and become an Omnicidal Maniac, thus being known as the Wayward Creed. Similarly, Vision tempered by Mercy — gaining the gift of direct communication with the Messengers and an understanding of how they see the world and the value and worth of every living thing in it — also drove everyone who got it mad and made them unable to interact with other people at all, hence the name the Hermit Creed.
  • Death Is the Only Option: The only way given in the text of Fall From Grace for a Corrupt Extremist to achieve their Dying Moment of Awesome and deny the Demon its final victory, via Heroic Suicide. The only known way to "undo" the bond between an Extremist and their patron is a Story-Breaker Power like the level-5 Martyr Edge Expiate; Imbued are too precious to Demons and their connection through the Pact too intense for their enthrallment to be broken by mundane means the way a mortal's can, and while it's theoretically possible to end the pact by physically defeating the Demon's current host and sending it back to the Abyss, this is way Beyond the Impossible for the intended power level of a Hunter campaign, especially when you're in thrall to the Demon and it can ravage you at will.
  • Dying as Yourself: The only realistic good option for a Corrupt Extremist — kill yourself or let your enemies kill you before the Demon completely takes you over. The lore reveals that Leaf Pankowski was able to Take a Third Option, and die as herself by letting Vassago possess her — since self-sacrifice was such an intrinsic part of who she was, this choice meant that part of Leaf's soul remained permanently bonded to Vassago's, reducing his Torment rating and turning him into a normal Demon character with the possibility for redemption.
  • Fantastic Racism: The Creeds only recently came into existence and are only slowly developing a sense of their identity. However, the fact that Edges exist as an obvious and clearly defined Signature Move for each Creed means that it doesn't take the Imbued that long to figure out the Creeds exist and to sort themselves into them as a cultural identity. By the end of the gameline in Time of Judgment, the different subforums on hunter-net.org for the different Creeds were just as territorial and had just as many stereotypes and slurs for each other as cliques in any real-life online community.
  • Humanity Is Infectious: One of the chief risks to the Demon of this arrangement, with Hunters having significantly stronger personalities and higher Virtues than normal mortals — being in constant contact with an Imbued has an effect on the Demon as much as the Demon has a corruptive effect on the Hunter. Fall From Grace tells us that the experience of finally possessing the Imbued may fill the Demon with enough remorse that they find themselves reborn as a significantly more human character (with lower Torment), becoming a playable Demon character rather than a high-Torment antagonist.
  • Impeded Communication: The Second Sight lets you act against your patron's will and without their knowledge, allowing you to keep secrets from them temporarily — something Beyond the Impossible for any other demonic thrall. This also turns out to be one of the Story-Breaker Power uses of the Redeemer's level-5 Edge Suspend, which completely blocks the Demon's influence on a Corrupt Extremist for the length of the scene, without them having to choose to invoke it — which may be the only way for a Redeemer to reach a particularly Brainwashed and Crazy Extremist.
  • Personality Powers: Sort of. Hunter Creeds don't necessarily reflect the stereotype of who you were in everyday life before the Imbuing — indeed, they're often an ironic contrast — but they directly reflect the decision you made when the supernatural was first revealed to you, and whatever previously unknown facet of your personality drove that decision.
  • Principles Zealot: A Hunter, by nature, becomes more and more of one of these the further they advance as a character — your Mana Meter and Experience Meter is called "Conviction" and is charged up by you putting the principle driving your Creed, whatever it is, above all other concerns. This can mean becoming a murderous Knight Templar or going off the deep end in the other direction and becoming The Spock or an Actual Pacifist — but no matter what, you rapidly lose any sense of perspective. (Waywards get the dubious blessing of skipping the slow and painful descent into madness and having this happen to them immediately.)
  • Traumatic Superpower Awakening: All Hunters come into existence this way, by being faced with a crisis involving the supernatural of some kind, deciding immediately to take responsibility for dealing with it, and being given the tools they need to do so by the Messengers in response.
  • We ARE Struggling Together: The Zeal and Mercy Virtues are naturally opposed to each other, by design, and Hunters of different Creeds can easily become bitter enemies as a result of this — sometimes ending up hating each other even more than the supernatural predators they're supposed to be opposing. The Visionary Creed is supposed to be the one to balance them out (with Witness1 as the creator and admin of hunter-net as the signature example of this) but aren't that well-equipped to do so; it's strongly implied that the "failed" Creeds, the Waywards and Hermits, had a vital role to play here and their failure was a major setback for the Messengers' agenda. (Notably, both of those Creeds have Edges designed to help other Imbued communicate and organize that would be extremely useful for a balanced party of Hunters to have, if their owners weren't uniformly Ax-Crazy.)
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: The one thing all Hunter Creeds have in common is an overwhelming sense that the supernatural beings from the other World of Darkness gamelines are not human and not normal. How they react to this differs wildly among the Creeds, ranging from the Innocents finding inhuman creatures "curious" and "fascinating" to the Waywards' immediate and instinctive Kill 'Em All. (Obviously, this is not an opinion shared by many other members of those gamelines — Mages, for instance, are strongly convinced the Hunters' bizarrely hypocritical conviction that Awakened Mages are "inhuman" but Hunters themselves are not is the result of Hunters being Brainwashed and Crazy.)
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Character advancement in Hunter is always a tradeoff — all Hunters have access to all three Virtues, and there are many obvious benefits to staying "balanced" among them and dipping into many different Creeds, but the only way to reach your full potential and gain the highest-level Edges is to specialize in your primary Creed (which is chosen at character creation). The problem is that the more points you put into a single Virtue, the more obsessive and detached from reality your devotion to that Virtue becomes, to the point of actual mental illness (game-mechanically, the Storyteller penalizes you with a Derangement for every point you have in a Virtue rating above 7). In order to completely fulfill your potential and gain access to level-5 Edges, you have to become an "Extremist" — which requires reaching level 10 in a Virtue and then pledging your soul to the Messengers, a Demon or your own moral code, any one of which leads to full-on Death of Personality and becoming a fanatical, burnt-out shell of a human being.
  • You Shouldn't Know This Already: Although picking a Creed for your character is an important choice — possibly the most important choice — you can make in a Hunter game, at the moment of Imbuing your character themselves does not know what their Creed is, or even that there is any such thing as a Creed. They can and will eventually find out, if they spend enough time interacting with other Hunters and investigating the nature of their own powers through trial and error, and especially if they join hunter-net, which is where the idea of Creeds as subcultures and communities really took hold — but it's a gradual process, and it's entirely up to you whether your Hunter feels any loyalty to their Creed at all or makes it part of their identity. The Creeds are much, much less of an established institution in the game setting than something like the Clans in Vampire, the Tribes in Werewolf, the Traditions in Mage, or pretty much any other World of Darkness splat.

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Zeal Creeds

     Avengers 

  • Angry Dance: A variant level-2 Edge for Avengers is the "War Dance", manifesting in cultures where a dance to prepare for battle is normalized (like the Muslim kiswah from the Middle East). It's one of the easier and cheaper ways for a party of Hunters to regenerate Conviction and Willpower.
  • Archaic Weapon for an Advanced Age: The Cleave Edge enforces this, since it only works on melee weapons (and its variant Edge, Impact, only works on weapons thrown by hand — even a bow and arrow is too sophisticated and indirect a projectile, never mind firearms). Most Avengers are also Gun Nuts and for all practical purposes firearms remain a Hunter's bread-and-butter in fights, but thanks to the Cleave Edge's commonness and the creation of the Terrible Swift Sword as a means to channel it, you're starting to see a lot of Heroes Prefer Swords ARMA types in the Hunter community.
  • Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: All Hunters are Conspiracy Theorists, but Avengers tend to be the ones most receptive to theories that literally all of the evil and suffering in human history is the fault of the hidden supernatural elite, and that if they simply Kill 'Em All the world can be redeemed.
  • Black-and-White Morality: The mindset of a typical Avenger, which in its extremes becomes Black and White Insanity.
  • Blood Knight: An Avenger who goes off the deep end and starts collecting Derangements by pumping up their Zeal Virtue to the exclusion of all else is very likely to end up one of these. We get some disturbing descriptions of how, over time, the use of Vengeance Edges and the killing of monsters becomes viscerally pleasurable for Avengers the way it doesn't for any other Creed.
  • Bomb Throwing Anarchist: Avengers, like any other Creed, can come from all walks of life — and two of the signature Avenger characters, Cop90 and Soldier91, came into the Hunt as agents of the state — but it's a common character trait of Avengers to dislike existing authority figures and to have a tendency to take law into their own hands. This gets more codified as Avengers go around the bend under the pressures of the Hunt and begin to see the world as a puppet show run by supernatural entities that need to be overthrown.
  • Boring, but Practical: Other level-1 Edges might be more useful for clever players making more complex plans, but the Cleave Edge is by far the one that's the easiest and simplest to use and the one that's most likely to come up in the heat of the moment in an initial Imbuing. The whole archetype that became the public image of Hunter (possibly to its detriment) is an ordinary teenage girl picking up a kitchen knife and suddenly being able to do aggravated damage dice to a vampire with it. And as dicey as going toe-to-toe in melee combat with supernatural beings is as an everyday strategy — don't try this against a Garou in Crinos form — it remains the case that if you can suddenly catch a monster off-guard when they thought they were dealing with a helpless human, Cleave is very effective at putting your typical arrogant walking corpse back into the grave.
  • Breakable Weapons: One of the main weaknesses of the Cleave edge is that it has to be channeled through a physical weapon and no physical weapon can withstand the stress of this for long, inevitably breaking after being used to deliver a few blows. The Terrible Swift Sword artifact some Avengers can craft is one way around this.
  • Crusading Widower or Vengeful Widow: A very common archetype for Avengers — the only people more likely to become Avengers are people who've lost a parent or a child.
  • Cult of Personality: The sheer force of Avengers' rage tends to make them particularly likely to become demagogues and even to form religious cults around themselves. One of their signature characters is Crusader17, a really hardcore Christian fundamentalist and dominionist, who openly sees the Imbued as harbingers of the apocalypse in Revelation.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Sometimes an Avenger isn't avenging another person but themselves; it's common for an Avenger to be someone who was being unwittingly used by a Vampire as a blood doll or victimized in some other way (supernaturally raped by a Satyr, etc.) only to suddenly be jolted out of the Mind Control by the Imbuing.
  • Fantastic Racism: Avengers generally hold the opinion that "monsters" are evil by definition, no exceptions, and to hold a specific personal animus for the type of monster that triggered their Imbuing. They're also the most likely to let their disagreements with other Hunters curdle into outright hatred, with some of them — like the notorious Rigger111 — despising the "bleeding-hearts" of the Mercy Creeds even more than they hate the monsters themselves.
  • Flaming Sword: What the Cleave Edge often looks like to supernatural creatures who are capable of seeing manifested Edges.
  • Friendly Fireproof: A variant level-4 Edge, Firewalk, that makes Avengers especially dangerous to Vampires, and to any other monster who specifically fears taking aggravated damage from fire. It doesn't create the fire itself (that kind of thing is relegated to level-5 Edges), but it makes the Hunter themselves immune to any harm from fire as long as it's active, meaning the Hunter has nothing to fear from seemingly suicidal attacks with Molotov cocktails and other incendiaries that leave them Wreathed in Flames.
  • The Fundamentalist: Signature Avenger character Crusader17 is a classic one of these, and in general any Avenger who's part of an organized religion (including the Muslim kiswah) is likely to view their religion through this lens.
  • A God Am I: In the great debate over whether Hunters, themselves, still count as "normal humans" or are just a different species of monster, Avengers are the Zeal Creed most likely to accept the latter conclusion (in contrast to Defenders, who instinctively reject it) but, unlike the Mercy Creeds, to not care. The Black and White Insanity Fantastic Racism leads some of the most deranged Avengers to decide they're superior creations of God and possessed by angelic forces in the same way that other supernaturals are unnatural abominations made by Satan. (The Avenger Creedbook calls this Derangement the "Archangel Complex".) For most Avengers this is mostly just posturing delusion... but for an Extremist they can end up becoming correct, as was the final fate of Crusader17.
  • Improvised Weapon: Thanks to the fact that Cleave destroys weapons it imbues, most uses of the Cleave edge involve this. Applies even more to the variant 1st-level Edge Impact, which involves throwing something.
  • It's Personal: It's common for Imbuings to involve this, but Avengers are one of the Creeds most defined by it — an Avenger almost by definition has to have been personally harmed by the supernatural in some way, which goes on to shape their reaction to it. This is, notably, the major difference between Avengers — even Extremist Avengers — and Waywards; it is very rare for an Avenger to see the "big picture" the way all Waywards are programmed to do, and Avengers very rarely declare war on "the supernatural" as a whole as opposed to one particular faction or species of "monsters" that have wronged them.
  • Knight Templar: All Hunters can be like this, especially Hunters from the Zeal Creeds, but Avengers are basically the poster child for this kind of Hunter — driven by uncompromising hatred of "monsters" and, among the Zeal Creeds, the most likely to accept Collateral Damage in order to get to them.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: Avengers are often prone to mocking the Mercy Creeds for their reckless naiveté, but fail to see how their own Kill 'Em All attitude can be just as dangerous in the other direction — the main issue that caused the Defender and Judge Creeds to culturally split from them on hunter-net.
  • MacGyvering: Since most Hunters aren't trained weaponsmiths of any kind, and since all that's necessary for a Terrible Swift Sword to work is that an Avenger created it personally (with the Imbuing providing most of the damage it does), Terrible Swift Swords tend to be fairly obviously MacGyvered weapons, whatever form they take.
  • Manifesto-Making Malcontent: The Avengers are the first Creed on hunter-net.org to stake out a separate identity from the Imbued in general, as a result of several of them splitting off into their own subforum ("/firelight/") and collaborating on a militant manifesto stating their reasons for doing so. They are very clear that the only reason they're on hunter-net.org is to devise strategies and tactics for more effectively killing monsters, and that the philosophical and moral debates they keep getting dragged into from other Hunters are a dangerous and unwanted distraction from this goal.
  • Never Bring a Knife to a Fist Fight: The Cleave Edge is designed to subvert this trope. Under normal circumstances it's insane for a mere human to get involved in hand-to-hand combat with a monster, and even a neonate Vampire with one dot in Potence (and the ability to soak lethal damage) can take you apart no matter how sharp your katana is and how badass and heroic you look wielding it. Until one of them tries this against an Avenger wielding a Terrible Swift Sword and starts taking aggravated damage as though the sword were made of solid sunlight.
  • Never Live It Down: Many fans of other gamelines who criticize Hunter: the Reckoning act like all Imbued are basically Avengers — understandably so, since many of its most memorable characters were, the first splatbook to come out was the Avenger book, and the illustrations and the video game seemed to operate on that assumption. Still very frustrating for fans of the game, especially fans who preferred the Mercy Creeds. It's notable that the Avengers' aggressiveness also makes them the most attention-getting Creed in-universe, and most other Creeds at least to some degree define themselves in contrast to them.
  • Not Afraid to Die: Avengers generally live by Patton's motto that it's obviously better to make the other bastard die for his cause than to be the one who dies for your own — but they're also pretty realistic about accepting that it's very likely the Hunt will kill them in the end, and they're generally okay with this if they take as many monsters with them as they can when they go. The biggest difference between them and the Martyr Creed is not dwelling on this fact or thinking of it as somehow being a positive thing to actively seek out.
  • Playing with Fire: Fire is a symbol of all the Zeal Creeds, but most of all of the Vengeance Creed (which is the purest expression of Zeal).
  • Rape and Revenge: The Avenger Creedbook's opening fiction reminds us that, to a disturbing degree, sexual violation is something a lot of protagonists of the other gamelines get their jollies from, and offers a chance to give them some well-deserved payback for it.
  • Revenge: It's in the name. It's one of the most classic and potent reasons for someone to become a monster hunter, and it's the reason the Avengers are so often the "face" of the Imbued as a whole.
  • The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: The attitude of Avengers who identify with the political left, mirroring the disturbing attitudes of religious and nationalist right-wing Avengers.
  • Smoke Out: The 3rd-level Edge, Smolder, which blocks all senses, both mundane and supernatural, except for a Hunter's Second Sight.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Avengers are disturbingly enthusiastic about playing around with explosives and incendiaries as a way of Cutting the Knot and killing off monsters whose powers make them annoyingly hard to kill in a fair fight. The effectiveness of blowing up and burning down buildings is the important thing for an Avenger, with the inevitable Collateral Damage to ordinary humans something they readily shrug off. (The default level-5 Edge for Avengers, Smite, even lets them instantly blow shit up supernaturally without needing to plant any charges.)
  • Tracking Spell: The default level-2 Edge for an Avenger, in keeping with the idea that Avengers are the most literal "Hunters" out of the Imbued. It's especially effective because the Track Edge, unlike other "tracking spells", is completely invisible to other supernatural beings and unblockable by any supernatural means. The variant level-5 Edge Harpoon is an Up to Eleven version of this, tagging a given monster with a supernatural flaming spear that does aggravated damage on them if they try to pull it out and allows the Hunter to be constantly aware of the monster's location as long as they leave it in.
  • Unstoppable Rage: An Avenger doesn't have to be in this state to invoke their Conviction but it usually looks a lot like it.
  • Van Helsing Hate Crimes: The poster child for this trope, though not to quite the genocidal extreme of the Waywards.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: All Hunters have the capacity to become "Extremists" in the long run, but Avengers tend to start out this way. (It's the "well-intentioned" part that distinguishes them from Waywards.)

     Judges 

  • Awesomeness by Analysis: Judges are the Creed most prone to this, with their powers focused on gathering intel and discerning monster weaknesses for immediate utility in the Hunt, as opposed to the more "big picture" perception given to Visionaries. Edges like the Discern or View Edge supercharge the Second Sight, giving them a full tactical picture of a situation before engaging.
  • Code of Honour: The Judgment Creed develops their own identity on hunter-net largely because most of them started off sympathetic to the ethos of the /firelight/ subforum and then slowly became horrified at the Knight Templar extremes the Avengers were willing to go to and the amount of Collateral Damage they were willing to accept. The /judgmentday/ list was therefore created to host the moral/ethical debates for likeminded Hunters that the Avengers openly rejected as a dangerous waste of time. Of all the Creeds, Judges are the ones most likely to be a self-identified Principles Zealot, someone who specifically sees their moral code as a moral code rather than being driven by emotion like other Creeds or having the dangerously detached perspective of an Innocent or a Visionary.
  • Covert Group with Mundane Front: The /judgmentday/ mailing list hides behind the website for, of all things, a tattoo parlor (possibly because the "Judgment symbol", in tattoo form or other forms, is so important to the Creed).
  • Geas: The Vow Edge gives Judges the ability to do this to a monster to prevent them from causing further harm to humans after letting them go, allowing them to avoid killing (which they consider a last resort).
  • Good Is Not Nice: The primary principle that firmly places Judges still in the Zeal camp and divides them from the Mercy Creed — their moral code requires that the guilty must be punished, and holds them accountable for any harm caused by their failure to act when they knew wrongdoing was afoot.
  • Hardboiled Detective: We don't get any signature Judge characters who are actually cops or PIs, but a player who want a Hunter character who fits this archetype will find a Judge suits them best — a character who spends most of their time "solving mysteries" and making difficult moral choices in the process. (By contrast, Cop90, an actual police detective and signature Avenger character, is more the Dirty Harry Cowboy Cop archetype.)
    • Because of this, the Equipment section of the Judge Creedbook says that Judges tend to gear up with tech favored by civilian snoops and busybodies — the Hidden Wire, the Surveillance Drone, all the paraphernelia of Spies in a Van — the same way their Avenger counterparts tend to become Gun Nuts.
  • Judge, Jury, and Executioner: Judges generally don't kid themselves that what they do has any resemblance to the actual concept of due process, but they do frequently lean on the metaphor of the law enforcement and judicial system for how they view the Hunt. In the end, when facing a monster on the streets with nothing backing you up but your Edges and a shotgun, you may not be accountable for your actions to anyone but yourself — but Judges try their best to hold themselves accountable to a consistent set of principles regardless.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: Judges are particularly likely to be Imbued during incidents where two or more different supernatural beings are in conflict with each other, and they have to make a decision which one to side with in order to save the most human lives. They're characterized by being the only Zeal Creed to take much interest in the many factional disputes within the World of Darkness and to strategically play the different conspiracies against each other.
  • Mark of Shame: The optional non-Edge power in the Judge Creedbook is the ability of Judges to cast a "verdict" on a monster — by touching the monster using a crafted "holy symbol" with personal significance to them, they can give the monster an invisible "mark" that telepathically signals other Hunters whether the monster is "guilty" or "innocent". (This is similar to the Defender's Brand Edge, but does no physical damage and can be used to protect monsters as well as make them into targets.)
  • Martial Pacifist: Judges aren't absolute pacifists, but a lot of their powers are themed around this concept — their Edges are designed to weaken, control or imprison monsters rather than simply destroy them, in accordance with the principles of maintaining the appropriate and proportionate use of force and of a punishment that fits the crime. The typical Judge Imbuing involves the Imbued intervening in a monster attack from the perspective of a detached third party trying to end the fight as soon as possible and prevent harm to innocents, as opposed to the impassioned anger driving the Avenger or Defender Creeds.
  • Moral Dilemma: Judges' whole hat is confronting these and resolving them — the fact that they keep on driving themselves to facing more and more complex and impactful decisions of this kind is why analysis-by-paralysis ends up becoming one of the Derangements common to their Creed.
  • The Needs of the Many: Of all the Creeds, Judges are the ones most likely to profess and believe in utilitarian ethics, and to be attracted to situations where hard choices must be made to secure the greatest good for the greatest number even when it involves allowing short-term suffering.
  • Never Hurt an Innocent: In contrast with Good Is Not Nice above, this is the primary principle that divides Judges from their fellow Zealots (especially Avengers, but also Defenders, who tend to care very little about the guilt or innocence of someone who threatens their loved ones). Monsters cannot simply be assumed to be evil because they are monsters, and even for the ones who are, the punishment should match the crime, not be an automatic death sentence.
  • Rear Window Investigation: A lot of Judge Imbuings start from one of these — with the Judge much more likely to be a Nosy Neighbor or other detached bystander than directly connected to any of the people involved — and being a personality type prone to these is likely to make you into a Judge. See Hardboiled Detective above.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: It's hard for any one Creed to claim a "leadership" role in the Hunter community, but Judges tend to be people who were already Reasonable Authority Figures of some kind in their everyday life, people who were used to having to make tough moral decisions and put principle before personal interest. (This isn't a rule, of course — one of the Judge signature characters is Justme22, a teenage girl who was Imbued as a Judge while her mother was Imbued as an Avenger.)
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: The 5th-level Imprison Edge allows Judges to create these, as an ultimate expression of their Thou Shalt Not Kill philosophy.
  • The Sleepless: One of the most Boring, but Practical Edges in the game is the variant 1st-level Judgment Edge Vigilance, which simply reduces the Judge's need to sleep (and at level 10 Zeal removes it completely) while also increasing their odds of successfully reacting with Conviction, i.e. making it increasingly difficult for a monster to take them off guard. This is especially important for a Hunter who's made an enemy of a Vampire or other nocturnal menace, and therefore needs to be on guard during the nighttime while also presumably needing to hold down a day job.
  • Sorting Algorithm of Evil: The defining attitude of the Judgment Creed — they're very certain that monsters are evil and that evil must be stopped, but they consider the weighing of greater and lesser evils against each other of prime importance. Most of them would describe their moral code as Black-and-Gray Morality, in contrast to the Black-and-White Morality of an Avenger.
  • Super Senses: The Judge's default starting level-1 Edge, Discern, gives the Judge perfect vision, regardless of how well their eyes worked beforehand (it's implied it can even restore vision to the blind), gives the judge Innate Night Vision even in conditions of total darkness, and gives the ability to supernaturally interpret the meaning of what the Judge sees to the point of functionally being a form of Psychometry.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: Most Judges don't actually live by this code — it's impossible for them to do so, given that they're not powerful enough to have any way to restrain a monster without destroying it — but they hold it as an ideal. They generally see murder as a grave evil (a value most White Wolf games take for granted as a default, as with the Humanity meter in Vampire: The Masquerade) and would like if possible to simply prevent monsters from preying on humans in any way while otherwise leaving them alone. High-level Edges like Vow and Imprison are designed to do exactly this.
  • Zorro Mark: The Judges are much more associated with their symbol in hunter-sign than any of the other Creeds, and their symbol is the one most easily interpreted by outsiders (it's an abstract sketch of the Libra symbol, a pair of scales). The Anathema Edge uses the symbol as a ward to protect a person or location from monsters; the Vow Edge uses it as a Mark of Shame to control a monster's behavior.

     Defenders 

  • Bully Hunter: A common archetype for Defenders. Cabbie22, the signature character for the Creed, provides an impromptu manifesto for the Defender philosophy when ranting about her frustrated rage that "hardworking, ordinary people" like her dad never had a chance in life because the world turned out to be run by monsters.
  • Damage Reduction: The Protect Edge functions as this, and is a sort of inverse of the Cleave Edge (allowing a human to soak aggravated damage from a supernatural being, which is supposed to be impossible in the same way a human doing aggravated damage to a supernatural is supposed to be).
  • Draw Aggro: The level-4 Edge Champion essentially functions like a "taunt" ability in an MMORPG.
  • Forum Pecking Order: Dole7, one of the first users of hunter-net, claims he received a direct revelation from the Messengers telling him to create /vigil/ the same way Witness1 was inspired to create hunter-net as a whole, and treats his despotic control over the mailing list as Serious Business. It soon becomes clear that the online forum itself counts as his "charge".
  • A Friend in Need: People who first encounter the supernatural in this context are the ones most likely to become Defenders — having no prior stake in the world of vampires or mages or whatever it is but getting involved because someone they care about is in it.
  • Greed: Not all Defenders' obsession with their charges are noble, and a lot of them are selfish or possessive in their relationship with them, falling victim to this vice in the same way that Avengers are prone to Wrath or Visionaries are prone to Pride.
  • Healing Factor: They can't regenerate like Wolverine, but the Defender level-2 Edge Rejuvenate lets them recover from injuries far faster than should be naturally possible.
  • Healing Hands: Defenders' ability to impart a small amount of their Healing Factor from Rejuvenate to others makes them the "healing class" for the Zeal Creeds. It's only good enough to remove the most serious injuries (to bump you up one health level in damage, in game-mechanical terms) but it's definitely better than nothing.
  • Hesitant Sacrifice: Defenders are willing to lay down their life for the cause but very reluctant to do so, always treating it as a last resort. Unlike the Martyr Creed, they're always thinking about the fact that should they die, there's a good chance no one else will step up to defend their particular charge with the same zeal they would.
  • Humans Are Special: Defenders are defined more by a positive view of humanity than the Avengers' negative view of monsters, and are the Hunters most likely to take exception to the theory that the Imbued themselves have become something other than human. Most Defenders have one or more human charges and the motivation behind their participation in the Hunt is their continuing relationship to them, meaning that continuing to identify as humans is important to them to a far greater degree than other Creeds. (For this reason, Defenders are the Creed most likely to have a positive view of Bystanders and to include them in their Hunter cells.)
  • Living a Double Life: Defenders are likely to try to maintain this longer than any other Creed; indeed, for many Defenders it's the overall "way of life" encompassing their job, their home and their family relationships that constitutes their "treasure" more than actually protecting the safety of their home or their family itself.
  • Mama Bear and Papa Wolf: Obviously one of the most common archetypes for truly passionate Defenders.
  • Made of Iron: The Stand Edge lets Defenders temporarily shrug off what should be incapacitating injuries, like an unbreakable action hero.
  • Mark of Shame: Unlike the brand inflicted by the Judge's Vow Edge, the Defender's Brand Edge doesn't actually control a monster's actions in any way, but it does hurt and it is conspicuously visible, both to their own kind and mortals, and is designed to have highly deleterious effects on their social life and their ability to blend with normal humans.
  • Memento MacGuffin: Defenders generally aren't aware of this ability or making conscious use of it, but their Imbuing means that when they give a "good-luck charm" or "keepsake" to a loved one they consider their "charge" — something that they've personally spent their time, energy and talent on making or customizing — it becomes a "token" that provides the charge with a certain degree of magical protection, depending on the level of the Defender's Zeal Virtue. This also applies to "tokens" associated with "charges" that are locations or objects, like if the Defender constructs a personal shrine to the town they love or hangs up a piece of their own artwork to claim their beloved home.
  • Mysterious Backer: The Rose Foundation, which seems to go around helping random Hunters pay the bills and tipping them off with information, appears to have a general affinity with the Defender Creed (Word of God indicates "Rose" himself is an Honest Corporate Executive who was Imbued as a Defender), in particular becoming the Anonymous Benefactor of Defender signature character Cabbie22.
  • Not So Different: In a specific, ironic way, Defenders may be more prone to this than any other Creed when dealing with monsters — they're likely to see their conflict with any given group of monsters as Nothing Personal, defending their tribe or their turf exactly the way the monster is defending theirs, seeing them as a Worthy Opponent rather than judging them in any moral sense. Of course, this doesn't actually mean they'll pull any punches when fighting them, but in some ways it makes them more capable of talking to the monsters as equals than even members of the Mercy Creeds.
  • Properly Paranoid: The general attitude of this Creed, constantly thinking about ways monsters might get to you and your loved ones and taking precautions to prevent it — in stark contrast to the Avenger Creed, which is perfectly fine with absorbing Collateral Damage if it means more monsters get killed. It's notable that, despite all of hunter-net being supernaturally protected by Witness1's mysterious powers, /vigil/ is the subforum most obsessed with observing careful infosec and opsec regardless, with strictly enforced rules about protecting your identity and location when communicating.
  • Protect This House: The /vigil/ subforum was originally created for a practical purpose, and was the second dedicated subforum created after /firelight/ — just as the /firelight/ subforum was designed for discussion of military tactics intended to seek and destroy monsters on their own turf, /vigil/ was designed for discussion of home defense tactics and security protocols to make sure monsters can't find you and that you'll be able to fight them off if they do. It turns out that most of the Hunters who have a particular interest in this topic are the ones who were Imbued with the Defense Creed.
  • "Scooby-Doo" Hoax: In one of the odder entries for a custom Derangement in an official rulebook, some Defenders' obsessive attempts at outthinking the supernatural conspiracies lead to them deliberately faking being a monster themselves, either to scare away other monsters or to try to alert mortals to the Cassandra Truth of The Masquerade — a scheme that generally doesn't end well for them.
  • Shock and Awe: In a variant on Avengers' association with fire, Defenders tend to be associated with electricity, invoking the defensive, reactive nature of an electric fence that only shocks someone who takes the initiative to touch it.
  • Thicker Than Water: There can be all kinds of charges that Defenders are devoted to, but the traditional duty to protect one's blood relatives is one of the most classic and common ones.
  • Too Awesome to Use: In game-mechanical terms Defenders tend to advance more slowly in their powers than other Hunters because their Properly Paranoid attitude pushes them to sit on their accumulated Conviction points rather than spending them on Virtue advancement — i.e. they'd rather hoard possible uses of powers they already have just in case rather than take the risk of expending those uses to gain more powerful abilities. This is both directly suggested as a way to differentiate your character in the Defender Creedbook and something pushed on you by how the game works — it's the party healer who has the toughest cost/benefit analysis trading in mana for XP.
  • Trap Master: Defenders' personality traits tend to drive them to mimic Kevin McAllister from Home Alone in their obsessive and comprehensive need to make sure their territory is cleverly defended from possible intruders.
  • Undying Loyalty: Defenders all have Undying Loyalty to something, and regard Avengers as dangerous loose cannons because they lack this trait, being defined by what they hate more than what they love. The thing a Defender loves is central to their ideology — they have a whole vocabulary in hunter-sign that only they use for it, revolving around a specific symbol they use to mark the thing they defend that they translate into English as "charge", "ward" or "treasure". It's usually a specific physical thing — a place, a person or group of people, an object — although it can also be an abstract cause or idea. (The latter is something bereft Defenders often turn to after they fail and their original charge is lost or destroyed.)
  • Utility Magic: Defense Edges tend to be abilities like this, doing things like setting up an alarm or surveillance system around a house rather than splashy abilities that directly attack monsters.
  • We ARE Struggling Together: Defenders are more likely to run into this trope with each other than any other Creed, with much of the story in their Creedbook being taken up by one Defender being put on "trial" for being responsible for the deaths of innocents another Defender was trying to save. It turns out that while Defenders may be kindred spirits because they all have a "charge" they would do anything to protect, the fact that they all have different charges means they're quite likely to be put in a position to sacrifice each other's charges to protect their own.
    • The Avengers on /firelight/ openly mock the /vigil/ community over this issue — say what you will about simple rage and hatred toward the supernatural, it gives the Avengers much greater automatic unity of purpose than the Defenders seem able to muster.
  • White Mage: Their use of Utility Magic and healing more or less makes Defenders this, although they're much more of a Magic Knight version of the archetype than the Redeemer's more classic version.
  • You Shall Not Pass!: This is the trope Defenders define themselves by, often calling themselves the "thin line" between supernatural predators and whatever it is they hold dear.

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Mercy Creeds

     Martyrs 

  • All-Loving Hero: The ideal that Martyrs hold themselves to. Their reasons for entering the Hunt are almost always highly personal, but as a Mercy Creed, they do not "take sides" and "pick and choose" the way the Zeal Creeds do as a matter of course — they fundamentally believe they're obligated to act in the interest of all living things, including the monsters themselves (although unlike the other Mercy Creeds they are generally firmly convinced that The Needs of the Many require killing monsters in defense of humans; it's just that unlike the Zeal Creeds they aren't happy about it).
  • The Atoner: Someone who fits this archetype and has some grave sin in their past they feel the need to make up for is at very high risk of getting Imbued as a Martyr, especially if their Old Shame is something that was connected to the World of Darkness but they didn't know it (like a human mercenary who was unknowingly employed by the Camarilla).
  • The Berserker: Martyrs often end up stereotyped as mopey losers, but a Martyr with high Conviction can be truly terrifying in combat, often even moreso than Avengers, because of their total lack of self-preservation. Their default level-1 Edge, Demand, can give them Super Strength in combat at the cost of harming themselves, a la the classic berserker archetype.
  • Biblical Motifs: All Hunters obviously have these, but Martyrs in particular carry a strong association with Christianity (the religion that popularized the word "martyr"), with Martyrs frequently describing their Imbuing as their "cross to bear" and one of the Martyr signature characters naming herself for Joan of Arc.
    • The relationship of the Muslim kiswah to the Martyrdom Creed may reflect Islam's differing view of martyrdom from Christianity — all kiswah have access to Martyrdom Edges but none of them are members of the Martyrdom Creed (and therefore none of them can become Extremist Martyrs), reflecting how, at least in the view of the authors of Hunter: Holy War, self-sacrifice is seen as a daily fact of life in Islam but not as something special to base your identity on. Also see Messianic Archetype.
  • Blessed with Suck: More than other Imbued, by far, with the exception of the "failed" Wayward and Hermit Creeds. There are Hunters who find the Imbuing something exciting or validating, a Call to Adventure that makes them special and gives their lives meaning. Martyrs do not feel this way — they have no desire to live in the World of Darkness, they find the knowledge of the true nature of the world horrifying and maddening, and the use of their powers consistently causes them pain and puts them in danger. And yet more than any other Creed, a Martyr chooses this life — it is impossible to become a Martyr without a conscious Big First Choice, knowing that you could have ignored the Imbuing and become a Bystander but you deliberately took the path that put you in harm's way for others' sake.
  • Broken Bird: Though Martyrs obviously rapidly become this after their Imbuing, many people get Imbued as Martyrs because they were already this in their previous life, having been victimized by purely human "monsters" before they ever saw any real ones. The signature character for the Creed, Dictatrix11, is very much one of these, having survived the Siege of Sarajevo in 1992 long before her Imbuing in New York in 1999.
  • Brought Down to Normal: The two possible level-5 Edges for a Martyr, Payback and Expiate, do this to monsters — the former temporarily, the latter permanently. Note that turning a Shapechanger or an Awakened Mage into a normal human is considered Beyond the Impossible by the rules of their own gamelines, and that this immediately causes a Heroic RRoD with a high chance of death.
  • Cast From Hit Points: Several of Martyrs' Edges are famous for doing damage to the user (and for this fact being the main thing "balancing" them game-mechanically). The ones that don't tend to have some other obvious disadvantage "turning back" the Edge against the person using it.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: All Hunters have some of this or they wouldn't be Hunters, but Martyrs are the ones most defined by it. The higher your Mercy Virtue is as a Martyr, the harder it is to ever turn your back on other people's needs or to ever perform healthy self-care. One common "endgame" for Martyrs is to end up completely destitute and Walking the Earth as a crazy homeless person because they threw away their normal life completely and spent all their money and resources on the Hunt.
  • Combat Sadomasochist: Martyrs who stay in the game long enough and are inching toward becoming Extremists have a pretty high chance of becoming this — the willingness to endure bloodshed becomes an eagerness to do so.
  • Covered with Scars: A signature physical trait that many Martyrs take a disturbing amount of pride in.
  • Deadly Gas: The level-3 Ravage Edge looks something like this. What it actually is is unknown, although some Martyrs claim they can feel that it's somehow "doing damage to the fabric of reality itself". Whatever it is, it makes the Martyr a Walking Wasteland and immediately starts doing serious damage to any supernatural being nearby, no matter how powerful they are. If it didn't kill off the user so quickly, it'd be one of the Imbued's most versatile weapons — as it is, it's very much a Dangerous Forbidden Technique.
    • Note that while typically Hunter Edges don't affect normal humans at all, and normal humans aren't directly damaged by Ravage, Ravage does cause a Brown Note effect where humans feel overwhelming depression and malaise. It's one of many hints that the Imbuing is something more sinister than it initially seems, and that attacking "the supernatural" is also attacking something intrinsic to the human spirit.
  • Death Seeker: This is the Flanderized view of what Martyrs are, but it's true enough for many of them. People often end up in the Martyr Creed because they deal particularly poorly with the psychological strains of the Hunt and their knowledge of the true nature of the world, and end up seeing dying for the cause as something to welcome. That said, any Martyr who hasn't completely emptied out their Conviction meter still cares very much about dying for the cause and not dying uselessly, and look down on actual suicide as just another selfish way to abandon one's duty.
  • Dissonant Serenity: In a very Truth in Television paradoxical result of experiencing more trauma and feeling that trauma far more intensely than other Imbued, Martyrs tend to develop a Thousand-Yard Stare reaction to danger or pain that makes them seem apathetic and robotic to those who don't know better — something that can be a blessing or a curse depending on the social situation.
  • Doomed Moral Victor: Martyrs see the Hunt in general this way, and the circumstances most likely to Imbue someone as a Martyr are ones that match this situation — a Martyr witnessing an event where there was no possible way to actually stop the bad thing from happening but they felt the need to get involved and take harm upon themselves anyway.
  • Draw Aggro: Most Martyrs see this as one of their major goals in pursuing the Hunt — making themselves targets for the monsters to occupy their energies and distract them from hurting others. Some of the more ideological and pessimistic Martyrs outright say this is the purpose of the Imbued as a whole — not to actually win the war, which is impossible, but only to serve as a distraction to the monsters and therefore ease the burden they exert on normal people. This is a perspective most other Creeds really don't appreciate.
  • The Eeyore: Martyrs actively strive not to become this — to do so is to give up your Conviction and give up the Hunt — but it happens pretty often anyway. The Imbued who are most pessimistic about humanity's chances of long-term victory against the monsters and most convinced any given Hunter operation will end in bloody defeat are the Martyrs. (Martyrs would say this is simply an obvious truth that only they have the emotional strength to speak aloud.)
  • Empathic Healer: Predictably, the level-4 Donate and Ordeal Edges do this, letting the Martyr take other people's wounds upon themselves — sometimes to the point of death — or boosting their abilities at the cost of their own.
  • Game-Breaking Injury: Happens to all the Creeds, but is taken Up to Eleven with Martyrs, who are noted to specifically almost always suffer grievous physical injury in the course of their Imbuing and have being seriously injured as one of their primary ways of regenerating Conviction. Poses an obvious dilemma for them in terms of character advancement; as they progress along the Mercy Creed and get better Edges they also find themselves in worse physical shape, often ironically having to choose between getting much-needed Conviction or avoiding the risk of a true Career-Ending Injury.
  • Go Through Me: The most stereotypical way to become a Martyr is literally this, throwing yourself on top of someone a vampire is about to drain or a werewolf is about to maul, although there are plenty of subtler examples.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: What the ethos of this Creed revolves around — in order to be Imbued as a Martyr, you have to intentionally make a choice to put yourself in harm's way for another person's sake, and advancing in the Martyrdom Creed means continuing to find opportunities to do so. All Martyrs expect to eventually die this way, and have a number of slang terms for it ("running out of time", "hitting the endgame").
  • Hufflepuff House: Both in- and out-of-universe, Martyrs aren't very popular. Thematically they're kind of an odd fit with the other two Mercy Creeds, with the idea of what exactly their philosophy is about other than just being The Woobie being hard to define. In terms of what they actually do on the Hunt they can be disparagingly described as "Avengers who feel bad about it", and can be seen by brazen Min-Maxing players as a way to make a "disposable" character to "go nova" with. The inherently self-destructive nature of their powers means they don't last long and mesh poorly with a party of player characters in a campaign for the long haul, and the personality of the Creed is the whole "self-pitying goth" stereotype that made a lot of Hunter players want to kill Vampires and Wraiths in the first place. Even in their own in-universe Creedbook, much of the content isn't Martyrs speaking on their own behalf but Hunters of other Creeds mocking and criticizing them.
    • This effect is so pronounced that Hunter: Holy War went ahead and said that the Martyr Creed straight-up doesn't exist among the Middle Eastern Hunter community, and all Muslim kiswah can get Hunter Edges for free (because anyone who follows the principles of Islam is already a "martyr" in spirit... a statement with slightly Unfortunate Implications).
    • Martyrs are, notably, one of the few Creeds to never have had their own subforum on hunter-net.org, the other two being the obvious "failed Creeds", the Waywards and Hermits.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: Martyrs, interestingly, are one of the most ideological Creeds alongside Avengers. While Avengers tend to believe monsters are evil simply because they are monsters and the problems with the world can be ended simply by killing them all, Martyrs go the other way — they're so obsessed with their calling of empathy and selflessness they believe that all supernatural evil stems from simple human selfishness, that vampires, for instance, only exist because one human at one point (possibly the Biblical Cain) decided it was worth becoming a monster to live forever at others' expense. A common Fantastic Slur used by Martyrs is "hole", derived from "asshole", based on the idea that all selfish humans are "holes" in the world that let the life and positive energy slowly drain out of it. (This idea is eerily similar to the canonically true concept of Oblivion in Wraith: The Oblivion and Orpheus.)
  • Hurting Hero: The biggest difference between Martyrs and other Hunters is they feel emotions very strongly, especially negative ones. All of the wounds and traumas of the hunt leave scars — both physical and psychological — that only accumulate and never stop hurting or heal.
  • Inspirational Martyr: As the name of this trope implies, this is the ideal for most member of the Martyr Creed. Martyrs rarely believe that any of their personal victories can possibly make a true material difference to the corruption and decay inherent to the World of Darkness — but they think their example, of staying true to a Creed of selflessness and sacrifice and being an example of the best that humanity can be, might slowly change the nature of the world.
  • Iron Woobie: Martyrs may experience the Hunt as a constant and painful burden, but the one thing that defines a Martyr is they do not give up. Abandoning the "cross to bear" — in death, via selfish suicide, or in life, by pretending the Hunt doesn't exist and pretending the world is normal — is viewed by Martyrs as unforgivable, and Hunters who do so as hardly better than their monstrous enemies.
  • It's Personal: This is fairly common for Martyrs, although in a different way than Avengers or Defenders. Martyrs are most commonly Imbued when they're personally harmed by the supernatural in a way that doesn't give them a clear enemy to strike back against, and doesn't have any clear solution at all, forcing them to just silently bear the pain. The Creedbook gives the example of being betrayed by a loved one who, rather than being forcibly Embraced as a vampire, chose to abandon their family in return for eternal life.
  • Loners Are Freaks: Martyrs, despite their All-Loving Hero ideals, are the least likely Hunters to be part of a cell (especially a balanced party with members of other Creeds) or to be part of the general Hunter community. There is no Martyr subforum on hunter-net, and the closest thing to a Martyr manifesto or statement of purpose on hunter-net was an semi-coherent rant from a Talkative Loon Martyr that was spammed all over the site (and the rest of the Internet, and sent to various fax lines) as a sort of Deathbed Confession. Martyrs think of the Hunt as mostly a way to Draw Aggro from monsters and think their days are numbered anyway, meaning they have a very It's Not You, It's My Enemies attitude about getting close to anyone else.
  • Messianic Archetype: Avengers and Redeemers are the two Creeds with enough clarity of purpose for a Hunter to intentionally create a Cult of Personality among themselves, but the Hunters who are most likely to create legends of being The Chosen One around themselves are the Martyr Creed. Usually, unfortunately, posthumously (the way all the best Messiah narratives end).
  • Psychic Link: The variant Level-2 Edge Revelation creates a telepathic link between the Martyr and a monster allowing them to read its surface thoughts. Note that this is a highly risky move because the link is two-way and the monster can also read your thoughts — and because many monsters are prone to extreme mental states (like a Vampire's Frenzy or a Werewolf's Rage) that can have deleterious effects on a mind-reader.
    • Their optional non-Edge power in their Creedbook, "communion", allows Martyrs to form a permanent psychic link with other Hunters or normal humans, at the cost of a ritual involving mutual Self-Harm. This allows them to share basic information, emotional states, and mental/spiritual resources like Conviction and Willpower. (The fact that Muslim kiswah automatically have a very diluted version of this with all other kiswah through "The Word" is another piece of evidence that kiswah cannot become Martyrs because they're all "already a little bit Martyr".)
  • Psychometry: The level-2 Edge Witness gives the Martyr a vision of a creature's "true nature", including its recent past and its history with humans that it's helped or harmed.
  • Self-Harm: A predictable and controversial Derangement that Martyrs in particular are associated with, to the point of being able to identify one by the patchwork of scars both combat- and self-inflicted.
  • Staking the Loved One: See It's Personal and The Atoner — in the rare cases where an Imbuing occurs not because a monster is attacking your loved ones but because the monster is your loved one and is attacking someone else, making the hard choice to put your feelings aside and Shoot the Dog will almost certainly turn you into a Martyr (with the other two Mercy Creeds being the result of Hunters who refused to make this choice and sought to Take a Third Option).
  • Staring Down Cthulhu: Martyrs feel the intrinsic rightness of their cause so intensely they can force others to feel it too, giving them a terrifying emotional presence that paralyzes their enemies from doing anything to interfere with them unless they can make a Willpower roll. (This is the variant level-1 Martyr Edge, Project.)
  • Take Me Instead: A less common Imbuing scenario involving a more complex setup than the classic Go Through Me, but still very much an archetypal way to become a Martyr. This trope gets extra interesting as the metaplot advances and you get supernaturals who come to specifically hate the Imbued and hunt them down, or become fascinated with them and seek them out for corruption.
  • The Woobie: Oh, yes, and how. You don't become a Martyr if you don't at least see yourself this way, although how much other people sympathize obviously varies. But see Iron Woobie.
  • Your Days Are Numbered: All Martyrs seem to instinctively know this as soon as they become Imbued into the Creed, and speak openly to each other about waiting for "their time".

     Redeemers 

  • Armor-Piercing Question: The level-2 Edge Insinuate is a weaponized version of this trope — without even really knowing what they mean by it, a Redeemer is guaranteed to pierce through a monster's psychological defenses and hit them with a blast of guilt and regret if they ask a simple question about their relationship to humanity (and they make a successful dice roll).
  • Break Them by Talking: More than any other Creed, Redeemers rely on "using their words", and the majority of successful or semi-successful Redemption quests revolve around a long period of "talk therapy" with a monster rather than a single dramatic confrontation. Redeemers get several Edges that depend on language to work — a Battle-Interrupting Shout (lvl-1 Edge Bluster), an Armor-Piercing Question (lvl-2 Edge Insinuate), etc. — but most of their work has no magic shortcuts and can only be accomplished through old-fashioned relationship-building.
  • Boring, but Practical: Even Zeal Creed Hunters who despise everything the Redeemers stand for admit that if you get pounded to hamburger by a Werewolf mauling you really, really want someone with the Respire Edge on your team.
  • Cell Phones Are Useless: Averted. Hunter was written when cell phones were just getting trendy in the 2000s, and Redeeemers, who really like to to talk a lot in tense situations and keep dialogue open, love to have cell phones on them and give their number out to people so they can always bring someone into a conversation when necessary. Members of the Defender Creed find this an absurdly unacceptable security risk, which is why they're so reluctant to be on teams with Redeemers (along with their healing powers overlapping).
  • Cult of Personality: Ironically, Redeemers and Avengers, the two major Creeds that are probably most opposed to each other, are the ones with the powers most conducive to forming a cult around themselves. It's not uncommon for there to be two competing Imbued religions in a given area with an Avenger and a Redeemer leader.
  • Descent into Addiction: Addiction is, obviously, incredibly common as a Derangement among Hunters — and among mortals with rough lives generally — but it's a particular monkey on the back of the Redemption Creed, who, as a Mercy Creed, are in constant pain from the negative emotions brought on by the Hunt, and who neither embrace that pain like the Martyrs nor seem to be able to shrug it off like the Innocents. Redeemers are generally much more okay with the idea of using drugs/medicine to cope with "illness" (including supernatural illness) than the more judgmental Creeds, hence their openness to a Find the Cure! quest for vampirism — and this means it's very common for Redeemers to indulge in self-medication. This is especially true for Redeemers who are The Shrink and have access to psychiatric meds that they can start experimenting with for "off-label" uses involving the more supernatural Derangements.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Redeemers get accused of indulging in this a lot by Hunters from the Zeal Creeds, and perhaps unfairly stereotyped as being likely to go Turncoat because of it. There's a few Redeemers who were Imbued specifically because their Love Interest became a monster or turned out to have been one all along, with somehow rescuing them being their driving obsession — others develop such an obsession post-Imbuing upon meeting some powerful monster who seems on the cusp of a Heel–Face Turn.
  • Find the Cure!: The Redeemer Creedbook reveals that a lot of the Redeemer community has gotten drawn into a longrunning search among vampires for an Ancient Artifact Shrouded in Myth, the "Lamp of Constantine", whose light is rumored to act as a cure for the Curse of Caine. Time of Judgment goes into some detail about what might happen should they find the Lamp or something else like it.
    • Signature Redeemer character Leaf Pankowski (Potter116) also has a long saga running through the Hunter metaplot of her doomed search for a scientific/medical cure alongside Mad Doctor (from the Judge Creed) Carlton van Wyk (Doctor119), and how the unsavory methods involved drive her ideals almost to the breaking point.
  • Friendly Neighborhood Vampire: The more optimistic Redeemers who don't believe in a "cure" for vampirism still believe that it's possible for a vampire to become one of these, and that the whole race might end up this way with enough effort and communication. All the other Creeds — except the Innocents, who are even more enthusiastic about the idea — are skeptical, even the Judges (whose idea of separating "guilty from innocent" mostly hopes at best that monsters will leave humans alone, rather than actively trying to befriend them).
  • Ghostly Goals: As Hunter: The Walking Dead points out, the one species of monster that already has a proven, reliable way to apply the Redeemer Creed to it is Wraiths (including other "monster types" that turn out to just be Wraiths Puppeteering humans or their own animated corpses). The Edges aimed at preventing vampires from feeding physically on humans work just as well on a hungry ghost's need to "drain" Pathos from the living by scaring or traumatizing them, and the process of "healing" a monster maps directly onto the established ruleset from Wraith for achieving Transcendence by resolving one's Fetter and Passions. Becoming some version of a Ghost Whisperer is an ideal job for a Redeemer who wants to actually accomplish their Creed's goal on a regular basis, although a Redeemer truly devoted to Mercy might have to face the problem that plenty of Wraiths weren't very good people in life and resolving their Unfinished Business might involve causing harm to others.
  • Hate Sink: Avengers tend to have a lot of anger (as, to a lesser extent, do the other Zeal Creeds) and when they turn on the Mercy Creeds it's the Redeemers who get it the worst. The saga of Rigger111 (John Coaler)'s murderous obsession with Potter116 (Leaf Pankowski) is the classic example.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: Just as Avengers are the Creed most likely to turn against Redeemers for being turncoats and monster-sympathizers despite being fellow Imbued, Avengers are the Creed Redeemers are most likely to judge as "just as bad" as monsters, thanks to Redeemers' infuriating conviction that "monsters" are just people who cause harm to other people. Of course, Redeemers don't tend to react as violently against Avengers as vice versa, although Avengers frequently accuse Redeemers of perversely holding their fellow Imbued to a higher standard for their behavior than actual monsters.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: There's some overlap with the Innocent Creed here, but Redeemers are the Creed most likely to desperately long for the normal life and normal idea of the way life worked they had before the Imbuing, which is a desire the Zeal Creeds tend to hold in contempt (and clashes with the Innocent and Visionary ideal of curiosity and openness). A world where everyone is "normal" and nobody is a threat to anyone else is what Redeemers call "the Dream", and Redeemers tend to fall into Extremism out of the desire for the world to be forcibly made normal.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: The typical way a Redeemer engages with a monster. Redeemers rely a lot on the hope that most monsters have a connection of some kind to humanity that can be reawakened if they just find the right words. Several Redeemer Edges are designed to enable this kind of "combat".
  • Kirk Summation: "Fight scenes" between monsters and Redeemers almost always have the Redeemer delivering one of these. They have a lot of Edges designed to give the speech a supernatural boost; it's ironically their fellow Hunters, who are immune to them, who are most likely to respond with a Shut Up, Kirk!.
  • Kiss of Life: What the Respire Edge looks like in action. The offensive application of it to "suck the life" out of monsters doesn't require actually locking lips and can be done from a distance, thankfully.
  • Light 'em Up: Light is associated with the Mercy Virtue the way fire is with Zeal, and as the Redemption Creed is the purest expression of Mercy, they're most associated with the light motif. The level-4 Abjure and Becalm Edges both create a Battle Aura around the Redeemer, designed either to give hope and peace to the innocent or disquiet and terror to the guilty.
  • Love Redeems: Draco in Leather Pants may be the sneering mockery of this trope you hear from other hunters — but it isn't uncommon for Redeemers to go all the way to this extreme to save one particular monster, and as screwed up and tragic as it is, it's also one of the only times "reaching out" to a monster seems to work, long-term.
  • Mercy Kill: One big problem for the Redeemers' Thou Shalt Not Kill ethos is that there currently is no way to "heal" many monsters from their monstrous state other than Final Death. Most Redeemers reluctantly accept this, and only demand that if you are in fact forced to kill a monster you do so as a last resort and as painlessly as possible.
  • Morality Chain: The level-3 Edge, Punish, in which a monster is racked by mental anguish when it's about to harm a human.
  • Morality-Guided Attack: The level-5 Edge, Shame, an Upto Eleven version of Punish, in which the monster is hit by a Heel Realization so powerful it's compelled to Self-Harm or even Driven to Suicide.
  • Mundane Utility: Respire is one of the very few Hunter Edges that legitimately serves as a generally useful "supernatural power" in contexts that have nothing to do with fighting monsters, including healing people from purely mundane illnesses and afflictions that weren't inflicted violently (unlike the Defender's Rejuvenate Edge).
  • The Roleplayer: The Redeemer Creedbook openly states that Redeemer characters should only be played by players inclined to "roleplaying" more than "rollplaying" — the Redeemer Creed can only really be lived out through the long process of having complex, real conversations with other characters, with the supernatural Edges serving only to protect Redeemers (and make themselves useful enough to other Hunters) that they get the chance to do so.
  • Sherlock Scan: The variant level-2 Insight Edge lets Redeemers do this to a monster to get intuitive hints to the monster's personality and history that might be helpful when making an appeal to their humanity.
  • The Shrink: Most Hunters who have a history as a mental health professional of some kind end up Imbued as Redeemers, and tend to see the monstrous condition of a Vampire's blood-thirst, etc. as analogous to mundane mental illness. A much larger number who had no formal credentials to work in mental health before their Imbuing end up becoming unofficial "therapists" and reading up on the subject as part of their devotion to the Creed. They're much more comfortable with treating any kind of negative behavior as an "illness" to be treated without moral judgment than any other Creed, and therefore to be open to the idea that the Curse of Caine, the madness of a Marauder, etc. can be dealt with by some kind of external "cure".
    • Redeemers are also, for this reason, much less judgmental about their own Derangements and the Derangements that naturally crop up among the Imbued, and more open to treating these problems via conventional therapy and medications. Indeed, it's because they're so open to the use of medication as a way to manage problems that one of their signature Derangements is self-medication leading to an addiction.
  • Soldiers at the Rear: Zeal Creed Hunters with a military background tend to openly refer to Redeemers as REMFs who got lucky enough to be assigned a job by the Messengers that doesn't put them directly in harm's way. Military Hunters more sympathetic to the Creed — including military Redeemers themselves, who often do put themselves in harm's way — see themselves more as Combat Medics.
  • Sympathy for the Devil: This trope is dropped by name repeatedly when describing the Redeemer Creed — they exist because they're fully aware of the harm monsters do and yet still empathize with them anyway.
  • Talking the Monster to Death: The most cynical view of what Redeemers do, and one that's sadly accurate for the many types of monsters for whom Redemption Equals Death — the best one can often do with a vampire is talk them into sitting with you and watching the sun rise, which strikes some Zeal Hunters as hypocritical and in some ways crueler than just killing them in hot blood.
  • Teleport Interdiction: The level-5 Redeemer Edge Suspend "blocks off" a specific region of space from being accessed via the supernatural in any way, preventing any use of magic to flee into Another Dimension. It's not clear exactly why this ability — which is Beyond the Impossible for most WoD factions but weirdly situational — is on-theme for the Redemption Creed, although we do get some vague hints that since only an Extremist Redeemer can take this Edge, someone who is absolutely determined to Take a Third Option in the war between humans and monsters, the more relevant use of this power may be its ability to keep people out. (As long as an area is covered by the effect of the Suspend Edge, it's also impossible for any being outside this reality to witness or affect what goes on within in any way... including the Messengers themselves.)
  • There Are No Therapists: An in-universe invocation of this trope. Redeemers tend to look at the history of legendary conflicts between humans and monsters and see that the very modern concepts of conflict resolution, anger management, therapy, etc. aren't there, and most people mock the idea of St. George talking it out with the dragon rather than kicking its ass. From their perspective, this is why the history of the World of Darkness is such a Crapsack World, and they were put into the world to finally bring rationality and empathy to a world sorely lacking in it and maybe solve some of these problems permanently for the first time.
    • Redeemers also subvert this trope for themselves and their allies — Redeemers are far more likely than any other Creed to willingly seek help for the Derangements they accumulate in the course of the Hunt, and to act as therapists for their fellow Hunters — see The Shrink.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: Very few Redeemers have this as an absolute prohibition — it's very hard to get involved with the politics of the World of Darkness and survive otherwise — but they are the Creed most deeply uncomfortable with violence, and created their hunter-net subforum, /triage/, as a mirror-image of /firelight/, focused only on discussion of providing help and support to victims of the supernatural (including the supernatural beings themselves) and banning all discussion of combat tactics.
  • Tragic Monster: The Redemption Creed is based on the belief that this is true of all monsters, even the ones in denial about it.
  • Vampire Hunter: Vampires make the most natural enemies for Imbued out of all the WoD gamelines to begin with, but Redeemers especially seem to take it as a core assumption of the game that they'll be mostly facing off against undead foes, especially Kindred but to a lesser extent Kuei-jin and ghosts and zombies — a lot of Redeemer powers directly reference concepts that can only be found in Vampire: The Masquerade, like the Vampire's struggle between their "Humanity" and "The Beast", or the idea that Vampires are "cursed" by their need to feed on human blood (as Wraiths feed on Pathos and Kuei-Jin feed on Chi). Among the other major gamelines, it's a much bigger challenge to make a typical Garou think of themselves before their First Change or a Mage before their Awakening as "losing their true self" to a "curse" (and for, say, a Lupus Garou who was born as an ordinary wolf and only gained the ability to pass as human after gaining their powers the idea is laughable), and trying to damn them with guilt for being "parasites" on the human world is going to require a much more complicated argument. From a Watsonian standpoint it seems like the Imbued were meant primarily to deal with the undead in the first place and the Redeemer Creed is just the one sticking closest to the Messengers' original intentions rather than branching out.
  • Vegetarian Vampire: The Redeemer's non-Edge special power in their Creedbook is to create an alternative Power Source for a supernatural creature that allows them to continue surviving without their normal means of "feeding" (blood for vampires, Pathos for ghosts, Chi for Kuei-Jin, Glamour for changelings, etc.) The "source" must be a Tragic Keepsake from the monster's previous life as a human, and functions as a constant needling reminder of the person they used to be and their desire to be "normal" again.
  • Was Once a Man: The Redeemer philosophy rests on the assumption that all the "monsters" in the World of Darkness are in fact just different kinds of humans who have been twisted by magic in some way. To be fair, the way the WoD is set up this is fairly justified, but even one oddball monster that's a menace to humanity while having nothing to do with humans at all — or even just plain does not give a shit about its connection to humanity and is incapable of being made to do so — makes several of their Edges useless and throws their philosophy into chaos.
  • We Help the Helpless: Some Redeemers who specialize in the Respire Edge end up using this ability to make money as religious faith healers or New Age "energy healers" rather than participating in the Hunt directly. This is a pursuit most Redeemers don't think of very highly (and will quickly deplete a character's Conviction pool if it's the only thing they do), but it's a way for Redeemers to keep themselves financially afloat in a pinch.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Redeemers tend to Take a Third Option in the ongoing debate over whether Hunters count as a kind of "monster" or are still "normal" humans — they genuinely believe all beings in the World of Darkness count as "human" or as "people" and should only be judged on their actions. Vampires and warlocks and the demon-possessed are just people with a kind of "illness" that makes them prone to harming others; arguably, the effect of the Imbuing on certain Hunters, including but not limited to the Waywards, is just another kind of "illness".
  • White Mage: Redeemers' level-3 Edge, Respire, is the "signature" ability they're most known by and is one of the most potent healing abilities available to Hunters, and is significantly more effective — able to raise a character multiple health levels at once — than the Defender's similar ability Rejuvenate, and therefore has enough Mundane Utility some Redeemers can make faith healing their whole gig. It also serves as Life Drain on supernatural enemies.
    • They also have a variant level-3 Edge, Preserve, that keeps a dying character in an Only Mostly Dead state until help arrives. It's more situational than the healing of less-serious injuries provided by Respire but can be more useful if Hunters are facing foes dangerous enough to deal fatal blows on a regular basis.

     Innocents 

  • Actual Pacifist: Innocents are this more than any other Creed, even the "bleeding-heart" Redeemers — they're reluctant to cause harm to monsters even for the sake of "healing" or "saving" them, since they're not comfortable with other Creeds' certainty there's anything wrong with them in the first place.
  • Aura Vision: The level-2 Illuminate Edge grants this power temporarily, allowing the Innocent and other nearby Hunters to see and analyze monsters' auras the same way a Vampire's Auspex or a Wraith's innate Lifesight can do. Bookworm55 famously nicknames his Mage contact "Purple" because of the color of his aura (which is because he's primarily invested his powers in the Entropy Sphere and is therefore probably a Euthanatos).
  • The Bait: Zeal Hunters derisively call Innocents "bait", saying that's the only use they can find for someone with their Admiring the Abomination attitudes and Actual Pacifist suite of powers.
  • Blinded by the Light: The Radiate Edge. Most monsters experience it as blinding light, but it still acts as a repelling and confusing force field even to monsters who can't see.
  • Child of Two Worlds: Innocents often see themselves as acting as "ambassadors" or "liaisons" between the Imbued and the other supernatural beings of the World of Darkness, often to the point of Living a Double Life in their relationships with both sides.
  • Classical Antihero: The Innocent Creed embodies this — it's a Creed based on the very postmodern idea that "vices" like doubts and uncertainty, Conflicting Loyalty, a "cowardly" fear of bloodshed and violence, etc., might be necessary virtues in their own right, that keep you from going off the deep end as a Knight Templar.
  • Constantly Curious: The attitude that fuels an Innocent's fascination with the supernatural, one which, unlike their Visionary cousins, never actually seems to lead to trying to form a grand theory or declaring definitive answers — Innocents seem to think It's the Journey That Counts and to find exploring the strangeness of the world a worthy goal in its own right (an attitude tied to their unshakable optimism that learning new things can't ever be a harmful thing).
    • Even the Zeal Hunters who despise the Innocent Creed and Bookworm55 in particular have to admit that his being the first Imbued to make sustained personal contact with various types of "monster" was invaluable for gaining intel, and almost everything in the hunter-net Monster Compendium "The Enemy" is built from his initial research.
  • Easily Forgiven: The negative stereotype of how Innocents treat wrongdoing, either by monsters or by other Hunters, because they see keeping the peace and avoiding bloodshed as their highest priority. Redeemers get hit with this too, but Redeemers even if Redeemers see evil as merely a kind of illness they still see illness as something that needs to be cured (with Extremist Redeemers going to quite insane lengths to cure it). Innocents are the ones who are most likely to talk themselves around to the idea that a certain amount of evil needs to be accepted for The Needs of the Many, by asking What Is Evil? and the like.
  • Enemy Civil War: Like the other Vision-touched Creeds (Judges and Visionaries) Innocent Imbuings often happen when a supernatural encounter involves multiple monsters fighting against each other, and the newly-Imbued human has to pick sides between them rather than simply intervening to protect a human from a monster. Judges tend to happen when the decision is over which monster's victory will save the most human lives; Innocents tend to happen when there aren't human lives at stake and the Innocent altruistically intervenes based on the monster's own welfare.
  • The Fettered: The Innocents seem in some sense to be the Internal Affairs of the Imbued — part of what defines them is holding onto their original humanity and refusing to let the Hunt change them and make them violate their original moral code, and trying to enforce this on the other Creeds as much as they can.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Innocents believe very strongly in this trope, and think of it as the ultimate salvation the Imbued must put their faith in that may ultimately save the whole World of Darkness.
  • The Fool: The Innocent Creed is associated with the Tarot Major Arcana of the Fool (known as "the holy fool" by some anthropologists). Innocents aren't literally stupid — in fact, the signature character Bookworm55 is one of the smartest characters in the gameline — but in order to regain Conviction they have to embody their Creed's worldview of openness, trust and a certain guileless optimism, and to allow other Creeds to pick up the slack of being Properly Paranoid and taking rational precautions. (This is why, on a practical level, Innocents are also the most social Creed and depend a great deal on those other Creeds to survive.) An Innocent who loses faith and becomes The Cynic will also find their powers rapidly draining away.
  • Good Luck Charm: Innocents' special crafting power is to make good-luck charms for their True Companions that provide some measure of magical protection. Note that this is similar to the charms Defenders make, only Defenders' charms provide actual physical protection while Innocents' charms allow their owners to avoid danger in the first place through a Luck Manipulation Mechanic.
  • The Heart: The role Innocents typically play in a Hunter cell, and that Bookworm55 arguably plays for the signature characters in the metaplot.
  • Holy Burns Evil: Surprisingly, once an Innocent goes Extremist and gets their level-5 Edge, Blaze, they not only get an offensive power but one of the deadliest offensive Edges in the game, basically letting them turn any mundane light source into a Holy Hand Grenade (or a directed light source like a flashlight into Frickin' Laser Beams). This seems to be a Beware the Nice Ones Magikarp Power situation — Innocents spend most of their career unwilling to use deadly force because they aren't sure who would make a deserving target... which means once they become self-assured enough to know who is deserving, you'd better watch out.
    • The variant level-5 Edge Backlash is a version of this that only works on other Hunters, and is implied to be for an Innocent who's fully embraced their role as a Hunter of His Own Kind.
  • Hope Bringer: The most positive view of what the Innocent Creed does. ProfesorGeo160's vitalismo philosophy argues that if supernatural monsters are the result of "negative energy" polluting the world then only positive energy based on positive emotion can counteract it, however tempting Pay Evil unto Evil may be. The Imbued must instead model the utopian society they hope to someday create.
  • Humble Hero: All Imbued are prone to A God Am I grandiosity as they increase in Conviction, but Innocents are the ones who make an explicit ideology of at least trying to stay grounded; much of their role in Hunter society seems to be playing the role of Only Sane Man and holding back other Hunters from extremism.
  • I Reject Your Reality: The Derangements peculiar to the Innocent Creed tend to involve their Wide-Eyed Idealist outlook driving them to live in denial of what the world around them is actually like (which is, after all, called the World of Darkness). When subjected to repeated traumas that act as a slap in the face to their optimistic worldview, they may repress the memory or full-on retreat into a fantasy world. There's also Innocents who take too far the knowledge that they're protected by powers like the Hide or Fool's Luck Edge and develop what is called "Charmed-Life Syndrome", the belief that the Messengers have personally promised that no harm can ever befall the Innocent no matter what they do — a belief that is almost always tragically proven wrong.
  • Light 'em Up: Innocents are almost as frequently associated with sunlight imagery as Redeemers, including several light-based powers (Illuminate, Radiate and Blaze).
  • Living a Double Life: Many Innocents cultivate a whole set of relationships with a local supernatural community as an "ambassador" at the same time that they're integrating themselves with the local Hunters, and will mislead both groups about how extensive these relationships are (failing to tell the Friendly Neighborhood Vampire they're connected to the Avengers directly making war on them, etc.) This is referred to on /vitalis/ by the then-Ripped from the Headlines "Don't Ask Don't Tell".
  • Living Emotional Crutch: The Ease Edge seems designed to allow an Innocent to serve as this for another Hunter who's nearing Extremism.
  • Luck Manipulation Mechanic: As a replacement for the more predictable but limited protection provided by the Hide Edge, an Innocent can take Fool's Luck, an Edge that, well, makes you unnaturally lucky so long as you embody the Innocent Creed's archetype of The Fool, letting you roll to get lucky breaks as a reward for deliberately putting yourself in harm's way.
  • Manifesto-Making Malcontent: More than any other hunter-net subforum, the /vitalis/ subforum representing the Innocent Creed is the personal work of one man, Bookworm55 (Jackson "Jake" Washington), whose voluminous contributions to hunter-net constitute one long manifesto about his complicated feelings about the Hunt.
  • Morality Chain: The role an Innocent tends to play to a Hunter of another Creed. The "childlike" quality of many Innocent personalities often makes this cross over into Little Brother Is Watching.
  • Muggle Best Friend: One specific Imbuing type that almost always leads to being Imbued as an Innocent is finding out you've been the Muggle Best Friend to a Reluctant Monster — and maintaining the friendship, rather than being the kind of person who'd feel the need to Shoot the Dog (Martyr) or give them a Kirk Summation (Redeemer).
    • Once you become Imbued you're not really a Muggle anymore, but Innocents still often strike up relationships with "monsters" as this, with their immunity to Mind Wipe and their "harmless" aura making them well-suited for such a role. Purple's relationship with Bookworm55 was like this before things went sour.
  • My Species Doth Protest Too Much: Out of all the Imbued Creeds, Innocents are the ones who chafe the most against the term "Hunter" or its various synonyms as a way to describe what they are. Bookworm55 almost ends up breaking from Witness1 and hunter-net.org completely over this issue, and his manifesto when he founds /vitalis/ incldues asking for the Imbuing to be studied dispassionately as a physical phenomenon and for people not to just go along with the default assumption that the Imbuing has a purpose that demands they become the monsters' enemies.
  • Never Split the Party: In-universe, Innocents are going to be the ones insisting on this rule both in the short-term immediate sense and in the broader social sense. All the other Creeds might reach a point where they abandon their friends due to their moral principles; Innocents are the least likely to do so, since to a large extent the point of their Creed is not doing that and seeking peaceful resolution through compromise, to a fault. Indeed, to a certain degree Innocents are gradually developing a formal ideology stating that the World of Darkness reached the state it did because of Fantastic Racism and the various supernatural entities losing their moral compass due to their isolation from normal humans and each other.
  • New-Age Retro Hippie: Any Hunter can have spiritual beliefs along these lines, of course, but Innocents in particular seem drawn to belief systems that emphasize "inclusion" and "positivity", just as Avengers are often stereotyped as The Fundamentalist. Bookworm55, for instance, chose to name the Innocent listserv /vitalis/ after the concept of "vitalism", which he has come to think defines the nature of the World of Darkness and the Imbuing (and underpins his belief that the "energy" powering monsters and Hunters is the same).
  • Nightmare Fetishist: Innocents are distinguished by their Second Sight not triggering feelings of hostility the way other Creeds' does, and often instead triggering a sense of curiosity or fascination. The signature Innocent character, Bookworm55, will Never Live It Down that he got seduced into what he thought was a romantic relationship with a vampire.
    • Bookworm55 isn't the only one, with the events of Hunter: Moonstruck getting Ticket312 smeared as a pervy werewolf fancier. Redeemer may be the Creed most likely to end up in a serious emotional relationship with a monster (either before or after they actually became a monster), but Innocents' Admiring the Abomination attitude is the one that seems to lead to the sexual-fetish version of this trope.
  • Not So Different: Innocents are the most willing to explore the idea that an Imbued is the same kind of thing as a "monster" and ask questions about why, exactly, Hunters are primed by the Second Sight to react negatively to "monsters" and not each other — questions other Hunters tend to avoid or even consider blasphemous.
  • Odd Friendship: Innocents have a knack for ending up in these with various local monsters. Note that the monsters are probably going to be oddball or outcast members of their own species too, like a Friendly Neighborhood Vampire with an unusually high Humanity rating, a Bone Gnawer or Glass Walker who's unusually sympathetic to human civilization, etc.
  • Only Sane Man: Zigzagged. Their goal is to try to be this for the rest of the Hunter Creeds; unfortunately, they happen to live in a world that really works by insane rules and requires insane actions in order to survive, and as a result an Extremist Innocent's worldview becomes its own kind of madness.
  • The Paragon: The Innocent Creed is the one that insists that Hunters try to be this as much as possible, and that descending to Knight Templar actions can only undermine their cause.
  • Part-Time Hero: Innocents tend to be unwilling to let go of their previous lives and devote themselves fully to the Hunt, and to try to persuade Hunters around them that staying grounded in "normal" human life is absolutely necessary to avoid going off the deep end and forget what they're fighting for.
    • Note that this impulse is something they have in common with Defenders, and is one reason Witness1 notices Defenders and Innocents in particular make a complimentary team — Defenders are obsessed with the many practical challenges of defending a normal "way of life" from supernatural threat Innocents often overlook, and Innocents are good at helping Defenders take time to smell the roses and remember why they valued that way of life so much in the first place so they don't burn out.
  • Perception Filter: The Hide Edge doesn't literally make you invisible, but it does make you appear to be The Generic Guy and someone not worthy of attention, which is potentially far more useful. For most Innocents, Hide is the core mechanic they rely on to fulfill their function as researchers or spies (or, as Avengers tend to snark, "bait" so they can unexpectedly Draw Aggro when their power fails).
  • The Pollyanna: The negative stereotype of Innocents in a nutshell.
  • The Power of Friendship: Innocents tend to be the Imbued who actively seek out other Imbued and try to keep Hunter social networks alive, and to likewise try to make friends and contacts among the monster communities Hunters are hunting in order to look for peaceful resolutions. It reaches the point of some Innocents specifically targeting "loner" Hunters as dangerous possible loose cannons to be integrated into the community or else peacefully neutralized.
    • It is very rare to be Imbued as an Innocent unless you already believed in The Power of Friendship in your normal human life. The Innocent worldview is based on an unshakable faith in the power of empathy, community and solidarity, which is very hard to maintain in the World of Darkness without having grown up with True Companions who've always been there for you.
  • Psychic Link: Innocents' Bond Edge is a much weaker version of this than the Martyr's Revelation Edge, which serves as more of a long-term Spider-Sense for danger among your True Companions than actual telepathy.
  • Psycho Psychologist: Many Innocents are people who were diagnosed as neurodivergent or mentally ill before the Imbuing. They're far from the only ones, of course, but they're the ones who tended to identify with their diagnosis in a positive way and therefore to have empathy with "monsters" for being "different". As a result, they tend to apply the pejorative term "headshrinker" to Hunters who see monsters as a "disease to be cured", especially ones from the Judgment or Redeemer Creeds.
  • Restraining Bolt: The variant level-5 Edge Backlash allows an Extremist Innocent to directly neuter another Hunter they think is too dangerous to be let free, burning them with holy light if they continue to harm others.
  • Sheathe Your Sword: This trope becomes a game mechanic with the level-4 Confront Edge, where because your character is unarmed and refusing to defend themselves, monsters who try to raise a hand against you are paralyzed with overwhelming feelings of guilt (like they're about to kick a puppy). (So yes, it is literally invoking the trope Never Hurt an Innocent, pun intended.)
  • Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids!: Innocents are often thought of as having been rendered mentally or emotionally childlike by their Imbuing — even though they come from all ages and several of them, like Bookworm55, are clearly of genius-level intelligence — and condescendingly treated as needing protection from the realities of the world. Notably, this is an attitude that's even more common among the kiswah than the Western Hunters, whose Innocents don't cause as much conflict as hunter-net's because they're never given a position of any authority from which to do so in the first place.
  • Super Empowering: The variant level-4 Edge Inspire allows Innocents to temporarily share the protective benefits of Conviction — the immunity to Mind Control and Baleful Polymorph — with non-Imbued normals and Bystanders, which makes it much more viable to add Badass Normals and Muggle Best Friends to a Hunter cell.
  • Take a Third Option: The idea behind the whole Creed, which constantly questions and undermines the logic or the morality of other Creeds' ideology but refuses to accept they should give up and do nothing (or they wouldn't be Imbued at all but Bystanders). The typical Innocent Imbuing event involves seeing a situation that seems like it demands either killing or allowing others to be killed and finding a third option to take.
  • Talking Your Way Out: Innocents are a Creed that relies on The Power of Language like Redeemers, but are more prone to this trope than the Break Them by Talking trope — rather than directly attacking a monster with guilt and trying to get them to deny their own nature, Innocents tend to use their words for straightforward negotiation to try and rationally resolve a situation without necessarily needing to attack anyone or make anyone feel bad.
  • Team Mom: The typical role Innocents have in a mixed cell of Hunters; in well-functioning communities of Hunters it's Innocents' willingness to play peacemaker and persuasively argue for a certain degree of moral relativism that keeps Hunters from other Creeds from constantly being at each other's throats. The variant Edges in the Innocent Creedbook — Ease, Inspire and Bond — are aimed at keeping the peace and enabling teamwork among Hunters rather than doing anything directly to monsters.
    • Even when there aren't direct moral conflicts going on, Innocents' Creed is the one that reminds other Hunters there is a life outside the Hunt and there are both duties and pleasures in life that matter outside of the struggle against the forces of darkness. A big part of Innocents' job is keeping Hunters from succumbing to the burnout of Samaritan Syndrome.
  • Transhuman Treachery: What Innocents get accused of by other Creeds, as a logical endpoint of their willingness to "find common ground" with monsters and see things from their point of view (even Redeeemers start from the premise that monsters need to be redeemed), and one of the reasons other Hunters see the question of whether the Imbued themselves count as "supernatural" as so ideologically significant. It doesn't help that one of the most infamous members of their Creed, Oracle171 (Beatrice Tremblay), is the first Corrupt Extremist who sells out to a Demon.
  • True Companions: Someone who has these in their life is very likely to become an Innocent (just like it's almost impossible for an Ineffectual Loner to become one), and trying to forge their fellow Hunters into these is often an Innocent's primary goal in the Hunt. Having one of your True Companions become or turn out to have been a monster themselves is an almost-guaranteed way to trigger an Imbuing as an Innocent.
  • Unfazed Everyman: This is an Innocent's whole shtick and the source of their power. The more someone is The Generic Guy before Imbuing — without any juicy traumas or triggers or obsessions in their backstory for the other Creeds to draw on — the more likely they are to be Imbued as an Innocent, although conversely someone who's a weirdo or an outcast and has come to make peace with it is equally likely to be drawn into the Creed. The level-1 Hide Edge uses an Innocent's "Everyman" energy to power a Perception Filter.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: What Innocents are stereotyped as by other Hunters. Moreso even than Redeemers and Martyrs, both of whom — the latter especially — experience their moral ideals as a grim tragedy within the World of Darkness. Innocents are defined by their unwillingness to abandon the idea of a world with a purpose behind it that is basically good.

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Vision Creeds

     Visionaries 

  • All Myths Are True: The longer Visionaries study the World of Darkness the more they start to think this way, along with believing Prophecies Are Always Right and the like — and, indeed, they start becoming dependent on other Creeds to argue them into being skeptical of a possible supernatural connection between events at all. (To be fair, they do live in a magical universe where if you follow the metaplot of Mage: The Ascension there is metaphysical truth to all myths — and yet in the immediate, everyday, mundane sense there are some beliefs about the supernatural that are clearly false that Visionaries can't help latching onto anyway.)
  • An Arm and a Leg: Visionaries get the level-4 Restore Edge, which lets them heal far more severe injuries than any other healing power in the game, regrowing lost limbs and regenerating deformed flesh. It's not clear exactly why this is on-theme for Visionaries, other than providing a very strong incentive for an amputee Hunter to accept a Visionary's leadership — it's stated in flavor text that this has to do with Visionaries' power to "see things the way they should be" rather than how they are.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: All three of the Vision-touched Creeds — Judges, Innocents, and Visionaries — have some ability to do this, but it's the Visionaries who put the most emphasis on "analysis". They know the most out of all the Creeds, with the only problem being they're least focused on what information is actually immediately useful for survival.
  • Bat Signal: Visionaries get a power that greatly simplifies the process of Putting the Band Back Together, the level-2 Edge Summon, allowing them to draw a graffito in hunter-sign that telepathically compels all Imbued in the area to gather at its location.
  • Belief Makes You Stupid: Paradoxically, even though they're supposed to be the Smart Guy of the Creeds the Visionaries can end up being an example of this — they get really into broad, sweeping theories, often ones based on existing religious traditions, of how the World of Darkness works, ones that can lead them down rabbit holes and garden paths into pursuing dangerously false leads. And yes, this does seem to happen a lot with Visionaries who get Imbued because they were already religious and prone to a totalizing worldview that tries to fit everything into it.
  • Blow You Away: The Vision Creeds are associated with the invisible force of wind, and Visionaries often appear to be surrounded by Dramatic Wind during their prophetic visions, with the use of their Summon Edge being experienced by other Hunters as being pushed and pulled by a mysterious winds to their meeting place.
  • Can't Take Criticism: Visionaries' natural sense that they're The Leader and because they know more than others they should be telling them what to do can, once your Virtue rating rises about 7, start reaching the level of a Derangement, prompting a Freak Out reaction to anyone or anything challenging the rightness of your ideas.
  • Claimed by the Supernatural: The Imbuing in general and the various Creeds have already done this to every Hunter — but Visionaries get the ability to do this themselves in order to claim members for their own Cult of Personality based around their unique "vision" for the Hunt. Their special power in their Creedbook is to create a "new word in hunter-sign that represents their movement, which then gives them a supernatural Psychic Link to any locations and people "claimed" by it.
  • Combat Clairvoyance: Most Visionaries' level-1 Edge, Foresee, has this effect — giving them very brief precognition during an emergency situation letting them know what the best choice to make is. By itself it's not that powerful, but it tends to immediately hook the Visionary on the idea of becoming The Chessmaster and aspiring to see far enough ahead to make the perfect plan.
  • Conspiracy Theorist: All Hunters are this — they have to be, since the whole point of being Imbued is becoming aware the world objectively is controlled by one or more secret conspiracies — but Visionaries are the ones who care about their pet theories most and work hardest to flesh them out. Unfortunately, the limits of their powers are such that none of them is ever 100% right about what's really going on in the World of Darkness (and, by authorial fiat in the rulebook, they can't ever be allowed to be, without breaking the Gothic Punk genre Hunter is supposed to be in), and even more unfortunately, as their powers push them toward Extremism the more convinced they are that they are 100% right.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Visionaries try to bring this to the table for any Hunter cell they're part of. The variant level-4 Edge Unify depends on this — the Visionary plans for a supernatural encounter to occur in a given location and shows up there ahead of time to "bless" it with their powers, ensuring any Imbued involved will have a major advantage.
  • Crisis of Faith: It is implied to be very rare for a Hunter to actually lose their original Creed, but if something major happens such that they just can't follow their original path and they steadily lose Conviction all the way down to zero (like a Defender losing the family they swore to protect and having no one else in their life to transfer that devotion to), one possible way for such a Hunter to come back into the Hunt is to convert to the Visionary Creed, deciding that everything happens for a reason and making their new quest being to figure out how their previous failure fits into The Plan. (They can, of course, in theory convert to any Creed, but the Visionary Creed is the one with a built-in setup to attract people whose previous Creed failed them.)
  • Divided We Fall: The Zeal and Mercy Creeds are often perfectly willing to write each other off as failed experiments by the Messengers and abandon each other to go do their own thing. It's the Visionaries who are most insistent that all Hunters must stick together and maintain a unified front against their enemies, and who haven't given up on the big dream of the Imbued someday forming a whole new society worldwide that can defeat and replace the supernatural conspiracies of the World of Darkness. (The biggest problem, of course, is that the Visionaries themselves don't have a unified vision of how this should go, Witness1's efforts on the /unity/ forum notwithstanding.)
  • Don't Think, Feel: This trope is normally how a Hunter Imbuing works — a Hunter's Creed is determined by their impulsive immediate reaction to a crisis involving the supernatural — but Visionaries tend to be created in situations where this is subverted because the crisis is so complex or confusing the Visionary doesn't have an obvious emotional impulse to follow and has to use their brain instead.
  • Enemy Scan: The level-2 Edge Pinpoint gives a Visionary direct knowledge of a monster's Weaksauce Weakness, if it has one, and is a much more reliable source for this information than going off of folklore, books, or hearsay from an Innocent's supernatural "contacts". Especially vital because it's so common for Imbued to get different "species" of monsters confused for each other (like confusing a Pooka Changeling with an animal form for one of the Fera).
  • Insufferable Genius: Visionaries get this way as they go Extremist, and it's one of the single biggest challenges to them fulfilling the destiny the Messengers laid out for them — yes, they may be best-equipped of all the Creeds to hold a leadership position in terms of deciding what orders to give, but that's academic compared to getting people to listen to your orders. It doesn't help that the "big picture" of the World of Darkness metaplot is so perversely byzantine that it's legitimately difficult to tell apart genuine counterintuitive insights from personal obsessions and madness.
  • Junkie Prophet: A fair number of Visionaries have tried "mind-expanding drugs" to try to gain more knowledge than they get from their powers alone, but it generally doesn't seem to be fruitful.
  • The Leader: All the Creeds at times have laid out arguments for why they should be leading the Hunt and have actually had leaders emerge from among them (yes, even the Hermits), but Visionaries are the ones who have been generally most successful at getting other Creeds — even members who generally dislike them — to acknowledge that this is the role they seem suited for. Hunter-net.org, the closest thing there is to a global organization of all Hunters, has Witness1 (Kim Sun) as the closest thing they have to a leader (although he's kept that position partly by being very much a Humble Hero).
  • Living Emotional Crutch: Visionaries seem to have specifically designed to function this way for the other two "lost" Vision Creeds, Waywards and Hermits, as though the Messengers sent the Visionaries to salvage their botched first attempts. Simply being in the presence of a Visionary is able to dampen the Psychic Static that besets Hermits and quell the effects of Waywards' primary Derangement, giving them temporary relief from their suffering and giving the Visionary a chance to try to get them onto a team of more normal Hunters.
  • Mad Scientist: Visionaries who go off the deep end can become this, performing monstrous Mengele-style "experiments" to try to gain as much knowledge of the supernatural as they can to enact their Utopia Justifies the Means "evil plans". This ends up being Fyodor's whole shtick that alienates him from the Hunter community and turns him into the first Visionary Extremist.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Visionaries get Edges that allow them to do this to monsters, and unscrupulous ones to do it to their fellow Imbued.
  • Meta Guy: Their analytical and impartial tendencies are what make Visionaries the ones most aware of the game mechanics Hunter: the Reckoning runs on, and they're the ones most likely to develop an in-universe terminology for out-of-universe concepts like having "dots" in "Virtue Stats", having a Conviction meter that gets recharged or depleted by certain actions, and explicitly classifying Hunters by Creed and figuring out which Creeds grant which Edges. In the in-universe fiction Witness1 often seems to be treating hunter-net.org as one big social experiment allowing him to gather data and case studies to figure out, essentially, the information in the Hunter core rulebook about how the Imbuing functions.
    • Fyodor ends up writing his last words to hunter-net while in the process of becoming a Divine Extremist, explaining in in-universe terms the difference between the three paths of Extremism (Divine, Corrupt and Independent) and specifically giving an in-universe guide to becoming an Independent Extremist using the last of his free will before the Messengers take him. This provides, if necessary, an in-universe explanation for how Independent Extremists can exist relatively commonly in your chronicle when the whole point of their Path is there's no guide trying to exhort or tempt you into taking the steps to become one.
    • Because Visionaries are The Spock, their advancement in the Vision Virtue doesn't just come about with a general "feeling more devoted to the cause" the way other Creeds' does — it specifically involves them consciously becoming more aware of the truth (or what they think of as the truth) when they make a major breakthrough in their theory of how the world works — and they become obsessive about pursuing their theory because they're aware in-universe that this knowledge gives them power.
  • Mission Control: A lot of Visionaries like hunter-net a lot and end up spending so much time on research that this ends up being their role in a Hunter cell, providing intel and guidance but never risking their own necks. Not necessarily a bad thing, but some Visionaries, including Witness1 himself, are starting to realize being seem as Soldiers at the Rear is bad for their credibility and that there are reasons to be a Frontline General (not least of which are Edges that only work with close contact with the enemy).
  • The Needs of the Many: Visionaries talk a lot about this as part of their big Utopia Justifies the Means dreams. They are, however, notably very different from Judges, who feel utilitarian ethics as a burden that imposes an immediate moral urgency on them — Visionaries often seem disturbingly comfortable with doing awful things that vaguely advance them toward a utopia they have no specific, concrete goals for bringing about, or even just to learn things that someone else may someday use to bring about utopia (the infamous Fyodor's MO).
  • Psychometry: Visionaries get the most classic and the most broadly applicable version of this power of all the Hunter Edges, with the level-3 Delve Edge letting them directly "go back in time" in a given location and see what happened there (the "past" version of the level-5 Augury Edge, which lets you go forward in time).
  • Putting the Band Back Together: Well, it's the Innocent Creed that tends to keep an existing group together, but it's the Visionaries who tend to have the grandiose plan to put together a perfectly balanced team of Imbued to carry out The Plan. Witness1 creating hunter-net is the largest-scale example of this in the world, and his creating the /unity/ subforum (which ends up being patronized mostly by his fellow Visionaries) is an attempt to address how this plan started going south when Hunters started breaking up into communities by Creed. See Team Dad.
  • Rage Against the Heavens: Given the Hopeless War they've been drafted into, it's not that uncommon for Hunters of all Creeds to have negative feelings about the Messengers themselves, but generally speaking it's only the Visionary Creed who are detached enough from the emotions the Imbuing stirs up in them to seriously talk and think about the possibility that the Messengers themselves might be the bad guys. And it does seem like Visionaries are rarer than the other main Creeds because their capacity for rational detachment is a threat to the Messengers' agenda, and the other two Vision Creeds (the "Lost Creeds", Waywards and Hermits) were attempts to create a Creed based on the Vision Virtue kept on a tighter leash, only for them to both end up Gone Horribly Wrong.
  • Rousing Speech: The variant level-1 Edge Focus and level-3 Edge Rally give supernatural force to a Visionary doing this, the former to just one other Hunter and the latter to a group.
  • Science Hero: A lot of Visionaries get Imbued because they already worked in the sciences (or in some other part of academia) and are struggling to maintain an intellectual, rational worldview in the face of the World of Darkness (and don't always succeed). Note that this doesn't actually preclude being religious before the Imbuing, and indeed many Visionaries also become Visionaries because they had a well-thought-out, all-encompassing religious worldview that they're trying to harmonize with the All Myths Are True WoD.
  • Seers: Once Extremist Visionaries get the level-5 Edge Foresee they actually become this, getting detailed visions of the future at will rather than the dribs and drabs fed to them haphazardly from the Messengers. The variant Edge Determine lets them not only see the future but change it, albeit limited to the future of a monster they're fighting against.
  • A Simple Plan: Visionaries like making them. They even get precognitive powers that directly enable them to do this, though as with any other Edge they're only invoked in special circumstances and most plans are made based on good old-fashioned research and smarts (with all the limitations thereof).
  • The Smart Guy: The role Visionaries have been chosen for by the Messengers, though not all of them necessarily fit the stereotype of an educated intellectual. Their struggle is to avoid veering so far into The Spock or Insufferable Genius that other Hunters reject their leadership.
  • The Spock: All the other Creeds are driven to some extent by emotion; as the only "pure" Vision Creed (and the only Vision Creed that didn't drive its members to madness) Visionaries end up playing this role for Hunter teams. Rather than being driven by rage or by grief or by love, they're driven mostly by the desire to know what's going on for real and to get things right, which, while it's an extremely useful quality to have, often makes them unpopular.
    • In an actual use of the Freudian Trio in a Hunter Chronicle, a relatively well-adjusted Visionary may well start off as The Kirk, but will slide toward being The Spock more and more as they advance toward Extremism. Just as likely, a Hunter team that starts off with characters who fill the worst stereotypes of their Creed might start with a Visionary as The Spock with The Kirk being played by one of the more "rational" Creeds of the other two Virtues (a Judge, Defender or Innocent).
  • The Strategist: Very few Visionaries ever gain enough intel to actually reach the level of The Chessmaster, but most of them aspire to it — and what advice they can give about planning ops against monsters is the primary value they provide to other Creeds, particularly the Zeal Creeds, and why gung-ho Avengers with no interest in spinning theories about the supernatural agree to keep them around. Out-of-universe, Visionaries are recommended as characters for players who have The Strategist as their player archetype.
  • String Theory: Visionaries, of course, are exactly the kind of people who do this.
  • Team Dad: If Innocents are the Team Mom who try to keep everyone's emotional needs met and to smooth over interpersonal problems to keep the community together, Visionaries are the ones who remind everyone why the community exists in the first place and give them "tough love" from a hardnosed rational perspective about subordinating their personal issues to the greater good.
  • Utopia Justifies the Means: Out of all the Creeds, Visionaries are the ones most prone to developing an actual specific goal for a better society they think could be built once the supernatural conspiracies running the World of Darkness are out of the way, and to be willing to make what seem to be senseless moral sacrifices in the short term to achieve this eventual goal. This is the theme of Fyodor's controversial thesis (and in-universe Fictional Document) Apocrypha, which leads to him committing multiple atrocities and making him persona non grata with Witness1 and hunter-net.
  • Winds of Destiny, Change: The power of the level-5 Edge Determine, which lets the Visionary see the "destiny" of a particular monster and shift it onto a different path. Note that this isn't actually Mind Control or full-on Reality Warping, just allowing the Visionary to become aware of a situation where a supernatural being has multiple plausible choices their character might allow them to take, and dictating which one will actually be chosen, in order to force the monster onto a certain fated path (essentially applying the level-1 Edge Foresee to an enemy rather than themselves).
  • You Are in Command Now: In an Imbuing scene where multiple Hunters get Imbued at the same time, it's pretty common for whoever instinctively takes charge of the situation and starts giving orders to the others to be the one Imbued as a Visionary.

     Hermits 

  • Animal Lover: A lot of Hermits become this in order to cope with their isolation, since normal animals can never set off "the static". The most common version of this is the stereotypical Hermit lucky enough to own their own property protecting it with an Angry Guard Dog.
  • Artistic License – Medicine: Leaving aside how realistic Hermits' condition is in the first place, the Hermit Creedbook uses the existing-but-uncommon term "demophobia" ("fear of people") for what is much more commonly described by real-life psychologists as "agoraphobia" ("fear of being in public"), possibly because of the common confusion that "agoraphobia" literally means fear of being in a physically exposed space.
  • Astral Projection: One of the most impressive powers any of the Imbued have. Hermits get a minor version of this as their level-1 Edge, Reach, letting them project their senses outward as a form of Combat Clairvoyance, and a major version of it as their level-4 Edge, Transcend, letting them travel the world as an incorporeal spirit and interact with wraiths and Umbral spirits on their own terms. (Note that interacting with them on their own terms... might not be the safest pursuit, given how little about them Hunters know.) Going with the theme of the Hermit Creed, use of these Edges leaves their physical body in a Convenient Coma and a Remote yet Vulnerable state — better hope that basement you're dwelling in is well-hidden and/or well-defended.
  • Basement-Dweller: A Hermit isn't actually haphazardly "staticked" by normal humans, only by humans who are somehow touched by the supernatural. Some Hermits never quite make it far enough to figure this out, but ones who do can manage to live like this, if they're lucky — in a household with others whom they know aren't Imbued or monsters and can count on as friends and caretakers. Of course, should anyone they live with become Imbued or a monster, things could go south for them very, very quickly...
  • Behavioral Conditioning: The Creedbook points out the dark truth that it's very difficult to avoid being Maddened Into Misanthropy when interacting with other humans unpredictably shocks you with sudden blinding pain for talking to the wrong person.
  • Beyond the Impossible: Even for a level-5 Edge, Proclaim does several things that are borderline game-breaking — giving Bystanders a second chance to become Imbued, giving every Hunter present a plot-affecting prophetic vision from the Messengers, and, most controversially of all, letting the monsters know it's objectively true that God Is Displeased with them. (How objective the truth is is, of course, up to the Storyteller to decide, but the way the power functions it feels true and is very difficult for the monster to resist.)
  • Blessed with Suck: To a far greater degree than any other Imbued — to become a Hermit is to instantly have your life destroyed, and to have your powers you gain in return be almost useless at helping others in practice.
  • Cowardly Lion: The personality type who becomes a Hermit is often someone who's very reticent to intervene in a dangerous situation but who ultimately feels a responsibility to act when no one else will. It's a very dark irony that, when someone about to be Imbued faces a Conscience Makes You Go Back situation, "failing" the test lets them become a Bystander and resume a normal life, while "passing" it gives them the dubious reward of becoming a Hermit.
  • Fictional Disability: "The static" looks like some kind of agoraphobia or social anxiety disorder, and would probably be diagnosed by a Muggle psychologist as such, but is a real, physical phenomenon that cannot be treated or cured by any mundane means. See There Are No Therapists.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: Unlike other Imbued, a Hermit's Imbuing instantly foists a Derangement on them, since it starts with an agonizing Poke in the Third Eye with knowledge the human brain can't handle.
    • The Hermit's level-3 Edge, Edict, and level-5 Edge, Proclaim, let them inflict this on others — the former lets the other entity have a brief glimpse of what the Messengers really think of them, and the latter temporarily fully imbues everyone else present at the scene with their connection to the Messengers. Edict hinting that God Is Displeased (or Gaia, or the Ministers, or whatever entity is responsible for their creation) with a monster's existence is enough to drain their Willpower, and Proclaim making them fully aware of it is enough to cause a permanent Derangement.
  • Gone Horribly Wrong: It is very hard for even the most faithful servants of the Messengers to argue that the Hermits turned out the way they wanted them to.
  • The Hermit: Exactly What It Says on the Tin. Given the contemporary, urban setting of the World of Darkness, relatively few of the people Imbued into this Creed actually have the resources to live as literal Hermits, and become something more like a Hikikomori.
  • Hermit Guru: What a particularly successful Hermit might evolve into, given the opportunity to actually use their powers and advance in their Creed. Violin99 becomes one for hunter-net thanks to his association with Fyodor.
  • Hypochondria: One of the signature Derangements of the Hermit Creed, both as the natural result of living as The Shut-In for too long and as a result of understanding the supernatural influence on the world as an "infection" that directly does them physical harm.
  • Ineffectual Loner: Hermits are considered a "lost Creed" or "failed Creed" because it's so difficult for them to make contact with enough other Imbued to use their powers to achieve anything. However, the Messengers seem to think they still have a role to play, since they continue to be created, albeit in small numbers.
  • Insanity Immunity: Along with their brother Creed, the Waywards, Hermits get one small blessing, if you can call it that, from their damaged "Lost Creed" status — because their initial Derangement is so intrinsic to their situation, they don't gain any further Derangements from advancing their Vision stat until it hits 9. Basically, when madness is such an intrinsic part of who you are, it's hard for trauma from the supernatural to drive you any crazier.
  • Kryptonite Factor: Hermits' Psychic Powers are, in fact, quite powerful, and a Hermit could be even more helpful to a Hunter cell at gathering intelligence than Visionaries are, if not for the massively crippling effect of the static.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: Being around a Visionary is the only thing that can dampen "the static" and allow a Hermit to temporarily tolerate being around other Hunters and directly witnessing supernatural events. Having a Visionary in the party is pretty much necessary (along with taking the Tolerance Talent) in order to make a viable Hermit character at all, cementing Visionaries' status as The Leader among the Creeds.
    • Signature Hermit character Violin99 has this relationship with signature Visionary character Fyodor, with Fyodor singlehandedly giving Violin99 his He's Back moment by recruiting him to be The Watson for him.
  • Loners Are Freaks: Hermits get hit with this pretty bad, compounding their existing Derangements with the Mad Oracle messages from the Messengers and the normal social oddness that comes from living as The Shut-In for a prolonged period.
  • Mad Oracle: The whole idea behind the Creed. Hermits are given unparalleled access to the Messengers' knowledge of the future and the nature of the universe, but are unable to process this information without going insane. Their visions themselves look to the outside world like paranoid schizophrenia, and the damage it does to their minds always gives them an actual Derangement on top of it that enforces their namesake lifestyle.
  • Message in a Bottle: The Hermits' special ability is named for this trope, and is essentially the Messengers making use of the Room Full of Crazy trope — Hermits are psychically compelled to try to write down all the information flowing through their brain via Psychic Static, as one of the few things they can do to soothe the static's painful effect on their minds, and then periodically send out that information "randomly" into the world, in such a way that Contrived Coincidence by the Messengers can get it to Hunters who need to read it. How coherent the message appears at first glance depends a lot on the individual Hermit and how strong a handle they have on their disability, with the worst examples looking to normal people as an absolutely incoherent Wall of Text (the arch joke being this is the origin of many spam messages), but there's always some Hunter somewhere who will benefit from seeing the Message in a Bottle at the right place and time.
    • Fyodor's Apocrypha is one of the more coherent examples in the game, with Violin99 being a relatively stable, high-Willpower Hermit who was able to write down his interpretation of Fyodor's experiences in his travels as a work of prophecy and self-publish it online as a book. Tyrone Bellamy's memoirs, from the Martyr Creedbook and serving as a manifesto of sorts for the Martyr philosophy, are another example — transcribed in his last moments by a Hermit and bouncing around as a spam message on fax machines and email listservs to rally the otherwise Ineffectual Loner Martyr Creed.
    • In general, especially since Hermits have the psychic ability to transcribe anything, including other people's thoughts or writings, into a Message in a Bottle in the throes of their madness, this is a typical way for the Storyteller to Hand Wave a Fictional Document coming into the hands of someone who needs to read it.
  • A Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Read: A variant on this trope. They're not directly reading other people's minds, they're getting the Messengers' knowledge of those people and their destinies, information that's so incomprehensible and painful to process it functions only as Psychic Static.
  • Morality-Guided Attack: Edict is supposed to function by channeling the will of the Messengers, and seems to "judge" people based on the Messengers' agenda. Notably, when used on normal humans, it always drains Willpower if they're connected to monsters in some way, has no effect on evil humans unconnected to the supernatural at all, and may restore Willpower for the rare human who's living an exceptionally virtuous life (and who is not in any sense hobnobbing with "monsters" while doing so). When used on other Hunters, it always grants extra Conviction to Hunters who've been staying true to their Creed while draining Conviction from ones who've been straying from it, regardless of how ethical their actions have been in the normal human sense.
  • Non-Player Character: It is transparently obvious that the Hermit Creed was created as a convenient explanation for an NPC info-dispenser type of character. The Hermit Creedbook does its best to make Hermits playable, giving them the Tolerance Talent as an option for making it less debilitating to physically travel with other Hunters, or giving tips for playing as a character physically separated from the party by means of Meanwhile Scenes and/or being a Voice with an Internet Connection, but it's still unwieldy enough that many people criticized the choice to spend time on this option at all.
  • Poke in the Third Eye: The effect Hermits have from proximity to Imbued or other supernatural being is called "the static", but unlike the TV Tropes entry for that trope it's not a conscious defense against Psychic Powers but the reverse — any exposure to the supernatural sends a firehose blast of psychic intel from the Messengers about what's going on, which, tragically, almost always gets filtered out by the conscious mind and is experienced only as intense pain.
  • Power Incontinence: The Hermits' access to the Messengers' knowledge cannot be turned off, ever, and can only be temporarily quelled by the presence of a Visionary.
    • Although "the static" does not function the same way as the Second Sight, it does make sure you know whenever you're in proximity to a monster or another Hunter, and is therefore inevitably maddening the same way the Waywards' always-on Second Sight is.
  • The Schizophrenia Conspiracy: All Hunters are Conspiracy Theorists but the Hermits get it the worst of all. You'd think their 24/7 always-on connection to the Messengers would make them best suited to giving actual answers about the nature of the World of Darkness and about the Imbued's mission — but, unfortunately, it's clear the Messengers greatly overestimated the human brain's capacity to handle direct communication with them, and most of what Hermits churn out every day is the same Infallible Babble other Hunters are used to seeing in their own visions, that all-too-often only makes sense in hindsight.
  • Shrinking Violet: Hermits act like this, though it's not really a matter of natural personality so much as a learned response to repeatedly having the experience of a painful electric shock when interacting with new people.
  • The Shut-In: Hermits are forced to live this way — not only do they always have an initial Derangement that makes them "antisocial", they never know when an encounter with a monster or fellow Imbued will send them into agonizing pain from Psychic Static, requiring that they keep social contact to a minimum.
  • Telepathy: The level-2 Hermit Edge, Send, lets Hermits communicate to other Hunters this way, though since they're using the same damaged "channel" the Messengers used to communicate with Hunters in the first place it comes out just as garbled and cryptic as a typical Messenger vision is.
  • Super Empowering: The Proclaim Edge is the only method given in the rules as written for a Bystander to get a second chance at Imbuing, and also grants any existing Imbued present the "gift" of the Hermit's direct line to the Messengers for the duration of the scene (which the Storyteller is encouraged to use to grant them prophetic visions directly related to their own arcs).
    • The Edict Edge is a weaker version of this, charging up fellow Hunters with Conviction at the same time that it drains Willpower from monsters and those who serve them.
  • There Are No Therapists: Played straight in this case — the "static" is completely impossible to treat by any mundane means, and since that's the main thing messing up the Hermit's life and causing the secondary Derangements they pick up along the way, going to see a normal mental health professional is of little benefit to them. Ironically, the best hope they have for managing their condition is going to their fellow Imbued (a Visionary can dampen the static just by their presence, and an Innocent can use the Ease Edge for a more lasting effect), but that's exactly what their condition has trained them to avoid.
  • Traumatic Superpower Awakening: Hermits often get Imbued because they're placed in a situation where they physically cannot intervene in a situation — they're too far away or physically blocked — and spontaneously manifest the Reach Edge to see past a wall or locked door to get the information they need to help, or the Send Edge to warn someone of danger they can't reach any other way.
  • Used to Be More Social: Tragically, this is fairly common for Hermits — many of them are faced with the Irony that the Messengers originally wanted Hermits to serve as their own Messengers and picked charismatic, intelligent, thoughtful people with a passion for communication (writers, artists, public speakers, marketing/advertising professionals, etc.) to be their mouthpieces... only for it to go horribly wrong and turn them into mentally ill Hikikomori who can barely function.
  • Voice with an Internet Connection: One option for Hermits who hook up with a team of Hunters and want to be able to contribute in real-time rather than just being a Hermit Guru. Note that this was somewhat more cumbersome and expensive to set up with realistically available off-the-shelf equipment at the Turn of the Millennium.

     Waywards 

  • Absolute Xenophobe: Those few Waywards who bother trying to articulate and defend their hatred as an ideology (like God45) put it in these terms — they know for an absolute fact that humans and the Imbued belong in this world, and that "monsters" are alien beings who do not and whose mere existence within it is a grave offense.
  • Ax-Crazy: Upon becoming a Wayward, a character must immediately take a severe, violent Derangement, which can never be cured.
  • Blood Knight: Waywards not only gain pleasure from killing monsters, for many of them it ends up being the only thing that gives them pleasure.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: The worst thing about the Wayward Imbuing is that while a high percentage of people taken by it were always "bad seeds" who showed Serial Killer traits beforehand, quite a few of them seemed perfectly normal and were transformed against their will into violent psychopaths. The existence of Waywards is the clearest sign — even moreso than what was done to the Hermits — that skeptics of the Messengers' intentions or their competence have a point, and that Holy Is Not Safe.
  • The Chessmaster: Some Waywards live down to the negative stereotype of just being mindless Ax-Crazy murderers, and come to a quick and bloody end. The smart ones, like God45, remind us that Waywards are a Vision Creed, and prove to be far more effective chessmasters than Visionaries are — since they remember that a chess game can only be won via total singleminded devotion to the goal of checkmating the other side.
  • Collateral Damage: Waywards tend to cause a lot of it and not to care much about it when they do. It's the one thing that Avengers can't stand about them, to say nothing of the other Creeds — not only do they not care about innocent bystanders, they'll sacrifice their own comrades if they have to without blinking an eye, just to kill off more monsters.
    • Whether it's a cause or an effect no one can say, but one of the clearest signs that a Wayward has just been Imbued is a situation occurring where a monster can't be stopped without Collateral Damage among bystanders and someone just going ahead and shooting the hostage.
  • A Darker Me: Part of the Irony of the Wayward Imbuing is that it's often the ones who seemed like the nicest, most normal people beforehand who reveal the darkest Hidden Depths afterwards — having never experienced the urge to kill before nor been trained in controlling it, they instantly become fully committed to their twisted version of the Hunt without any barriers or filters. E.g. God45 himself, who, as Joshua Matthews, was by all accounts a gentle-mannered family man.
  • Darker and Edgier: The Wayward Creedbook was published under White Wolf's Black Dog imprint "for mature audiences", given the extensive discussion of mental illness, personality disorders, and mass murder (particularly attempting to give realistic advice for getting away with murder using improvised household implements).
  • Dissonant Serenity: The primary difference between Waywards and Avengers, even Extremist Avengers, is that Waywards are primarily a Vision Creed, not Zeal. Their hatred burns cold, not hot — much depends on the Wayward's specific Derangement but their genocidal desires tend to manifest as detached, "rational" hatred without needing the emotion of rage to fuel it (hence why so many Waywards' Derangement is specifically being The Sociopath). God45, the Wayward signature character, is famous for showing barely any emotions at all other than sardonic contempt, and to show an unusual amount of said contempt toward his fellow Wayward Peleus' Psychopathic Manchild temper tantrums.
  • Fantastic Racism: It's built in — Waywards find the existence of "monsters" absolutely intolerable and will stop at nothing to wipe out as many of them as they can, by any means necessary. This attitude tends to bleed over to their view of the other Imbued, whom they hold at best in casual contempt for their more-lenient approach to the Hunt (yes, even Avengers). Whether they mix this up with other, more mundane forms of bigotry depends on the Wayward's background.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: As fractious as the other Hunter Creeds can be with each other, nobody is comfortable around Waywards — not even the Extremist Avengers you might think they resemble, who are repulsed by Waywards' coldness and their cavalier attitude to Collateral Damage. Their Lack of Empathy or any other moral restraint makes them fundamentally unsafe for anyone to be around, however useful their skills and powers might be.
  • Frontline General: Waywards seem to have been intended by the Messengers as this, with their laser-focus on identifying and opposing the enemy meant to give them a tactical leadership role in combat situations, as The Lancer to Visionaries' big-picture role as The Leader. Unfortunately, it's Gone Horribly Wrong.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: Though they weren't damaged as overtly as Hermits were, it's implied that Waywards' Irrational Hatred is because their constant awareness of supernatural beings around them as a threat — designed to make them into the ultimate strategists and Frontline Generals — was too much for them and broke their brains.
  • Gone Horribly Wrong: In everyone's minds but the Waywards themselves, this is what happened with their Creed. At least when the Messengers created the Hermits they only destroyed their own lives.
  • Good Powers, Bad People: One of the signs that Waywards are "defective" is that their powers don't seem to match their Ax-Crazy reputation — they do most of their killing by mundane Combat Pragmatist means, and their powers seem to be for organizing and leading other Hunters, which they rarely get a chance to do because of how terrified everyone else is of them.
  • Hate Plague: The level-3 Edge Enrage does a far more terrifying version of what the level-1 Edge Impart does — rather than having to cleverly arrange a Let's You and Him Fight situation by remotely triggering another Hunter's Second Sight, Enrage simply forces the situation by mind-controlling any Hunters nearby into an Unstoppable Rage against the monster a Wayward chooses to target. The fact that they aren't just Ax-Crazy but turn other people Ax-Crazy is why Waywards don't find a warm welcome in most Hunter cells.
  • Improvised Weapon: Waywards are the ultimate Combat Pragmatists, possibly because some part of their brain never stops thinking about monsters and once they actually see one they are psychologically incapable of letting it go until it's dead. The Darker and Edgier Black Dog imprint on the Wayward Creedbook is because of a lengthy chapter describing grisly means of murdering people with household implements, improvised poisons and explosives, etc.
  • Improperly Paranoid: The Wayward's level-1 Edge, Impart, is something the Defender Creed would kill for — allowing them to automatically trigger Second Sight for a whole group of Hunters at once when their own always-on Second Sight sees a monster. Combine that with their level-2 Spider-Sense Edge and it seems being in a cell led by a Wayward would be as safe as you could possibly get from the supernatural... if Waywards themselves weren't something most people feel the need to be kept safe from. As it is, the Impart Edge is mostly used for the opposite of keeping people safe — it's used to get fellow Hunters in trouble and turn them into cannon fodder.
  • Ineffectual Loner: One of the saving graces of the Wayward Creed is most of them are so obviously Ax-Crazy they don't last long and don't manage to recruit many others to their cause, sharply limiting the damage they can do (hence them being a "failed" Creed). The vast majority of Waywards are only even able to kind of get along with other Waywards, and Waywards are far too few in number for the idea of an all-Wayward hunter cell to be viable (thank the Messengers).
  • Insanity Immunity: Just like Hermits, Waywards get some protection from the creeping Derangements other Hunter get as they advance in their primary Virtue, only gaining additional Derangements at 9 dots rather than 7.
  • Irrational Hatred: Waywards are defined by this post-Imbuing, and a number of Waywards seem to have been chosen for the Creed because they were already prone to this mode of thinking. Anyone who was already prone to Dehumanization and Demonization of whole categories of people — whether or not they have a Freudian Excuse for it — is in danger of turning into a Wayward upon Imbuing. (A maximally unsympathetic example might be Peleus, a Right-Wing Militia Fanatic and open white supremacist, whereas a more sympathetic version might be a rape victim who Does Not Like Men.)
  • It's Personal: Averted. The biggest difference between Waywards and Avengers is Waywards don't have to be personally harmed by the supernatural to be Imbued into the Creed — and even if they were, as God45 was, they rapidly stop seeing their own personal issues as being of any consequence compared to the "big picture" of wiping out all monsters completely.
  • Jekyll & Hyde: Waywards who had a "normal" personality before their Imbuing often end up acting like this, unpredictably swinging from their previous persona to murderous rage as soon as their Second Sight informs them there are monsters to hunt. (These outbursts of Irrational Hatred toward seemingly random human beings are noted as something that would likely get diagnosed as borderline personality disorder by a Muggle psychiatrist.)
    • Particularly mentally ill Waywards may literally experience their killings — including their inital Imbuing event — as an Easy Amnesia fugue state, although as they advance in their Vision Virtue this will become impossible to maintain.
  • Kill 'Em All: When Waywards say "all", they really mean all.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: One reason Waywards are so unpopular on hunter-net and in similar communities is the tendency for chessmaster-types like God45 to intentionally set up other Hunters in dangerous situations and manipulate them into doing their dirty work for them — a perversion of Waywards' original purpose as "warlords" or "tacticians". Sometimes they don't even bother to put that much effort into it, and use their knowledge of the Hunter community to straight-up Frame-Up another Hunter for their crimes.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: A Visionary can be this for a Wayward who's at least trying to moderate their urges and integrate into the rest of Hunter society — only in the presence of a Visionary can a Wayward expend Willpower to even attempt to "turn off" or act outside of their Derangement, and a Visionary is more or less required for a Hunter cell to be able to function safely with a Wayward Token Evil Teammate. A Wayward who works with a Visionary "therapist" like this long-term might develop a Jekyll & Hyde Fighting from the Inside narrative about their Imbuing, although they will never achieve a permanent cure. Some Visionaries theorize their limited ability to "control" Waywards indicates the Messengers' intended organization for a Hunter team was Visionaries as The Leader and Waywards as The Lancer, before the Wayward Creed became "lost".
  • Moral Event Horizon: Wayward Imbuings often involve crossing this right away, like immediately killing a monster who is obviously harmless or in distress simply because you can.
  • Murder Is the Best Solution: Waywards start off with the conviction that for monsters, murder is the only solution, and then rapidly Jumping Off the Slippery Slope to being okay with killing humans to enable killing monsters.
  • Noble Demon: Ironically, a Wayward who was already The Sociopath before Imbuing and already had some kind of internally-enforced moral code for controlling their antisocial urges a la Dexter is more likely to be able to remain "themselves" after an Imbuing. It's the ones who were seemingly radically transformed by the Imbuing you have to watch out for.
  • Not-So-Well-Intentioned Extremist: It's hard to even call a Wayward a Knight Templar in the way an Extremist Avenger might be; on the surface they might spout similar platitudes about "saving the world" by killing off the monsters controlling it, but if you push even a little bit you find out they don't really care about saving the world at all and for them killing monsters is its own reward. God45 is one of the few Waywards who's sane enough to put any serious thought into the philosophy behind his actions at all, and he would explicitly let the whole planet burn if it would destroy the creatures he hates along with it. He seems to be getting his wish, with the Time of Judgment getting underway, and Waywards seem particularly likely to become part of an Apocalypse Cult and to actively seek to destroy the world in order to save it. (In Time of Judgment it's implied a Wayward waylaying a peace talk in Tel Aviv that's been infiltrated by monsters sets off World War III.)
  • Power Incontinence: Waywards have the Second Sight active at all times and are unable to turn it off (although they do not gain the full benefits of the Second Sight's protection against Mind Control, etc. automatically and must still expend Conviction points to do so).
  • The Power of Hate: Unlike other Creeds, Waywards barely care about "innocent human life", their fellow Imbued, or the Creator and its Messengers who gave them their power. They don't need a justification to kill monsters; killing monsters is the justification for everything else they do.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: One of the mindsets that are all-too-common among Waywards, both pre- and post-Imbuing, although as God45 points out, Waywards who are unable to show any restraint at all don't last long.
  • Psycho Prototype: Some of the first Imbued were Waywards, and it seems obvious in hindsight that Waywards were an early and failed experiment by the Messengers (with the prototype Wayward Creed's function split up among Visionaries and Avengers in the final system, hence Visionaries' lack of Zeal for the fight and Avengers' lack of big-picture Vision).
    • Some of the more grandiose Waywards took this theory further, arguing that Waywards are a Master Race of humans who existed long before the Imbuing, the Imbuing only awakened the potential they've always had, and all of the other Imbued are mere lesser imitators of the "pure strain" that is now the so-called Wayward Creed. There's some evidence for this, looking at fanatical Fantastic Racism-driven Hunter of Monsters characters in other gamelines, like Catholic Inquisitors with True Faith in Vampire: The Masquerade, and at the legend of the wan xian in Kindred of the East.
  • Racial Face Blindness: As a tradeoff for their always-on Second Sight, Waywards are unable to ever enhance the Second Sight with Edges like Illuminate, Discern, etc. that show different species and gradations of "monsters". Even the most intelligent Waywards show very little psychological interest in telling apart vampires from werewolves and have to push themselves to take an interest in the subject for practical purposes — their hatred of the supernatural is so all-encompassing that to pay any attention to differences among them seems offensive.
  • Reluctant Psycho: Some Waywards who started out more "normal" than others try to be this, although it's a losing battle over time. Mundane therapy and medication explicitly cannot cure or even partially treat the primary Derangement of a Wayward; only the intervention of a Visionary or an Innocent with the Ease Edge can have any real effect, and that only temporarily.
  • Spider-Sense: The level-2 Edge Forewarn, which, like Second Sight, is always-on.
  • Spooky Séance: Waywards' level-4 Edge gives them a "speak with dead" ability to interrogate corpses for what they know. As if Waywards needed yet another incentive to Leave No Survivors in a battle.
  • The Sociopath: Waywards very often present as this post-Imbuing, though they don't have to specifically (most likely they do present some form of what used to be called "Cluster B Axis II personality disorders", such as sociopathy, borderline personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder, etc.) More importantly, someone who had such a disorder in their previous life — someone who had trouble remembering to treat other people as human — is a prime candidate for Imbuing as a Wayward.
  • Spiritual Predecessor: As the "evil" splat for Hunter: the Reckoning either Waywards or Corrupt Extremists are this for Hunter: The Vigil's Slashers.
  • Token Evil Teammate: The jury's out on how good or evil other Hunters are in general, but a Wayward will definitely be this in almost any Hunter cell they're part of, if the other Hunters have tried to maintain anything close to normal human values.
    • Waywards were pretty clearly intended as the "enemy" splat in their initial introduction, like the Black Spiral Dancers in Werewolf: The Apocalypse, and trying to make them playable characters — and to have God45 prominently displayed in a sympathetic light in the video game Hunter: the Reckoning - Wayward — was one of the most controversial decisions in an already controversial gameline.
  • Tornado Move: The Wayward level-5 Edge, Spiral, is a literal tornado — a weaponized version of the Vision Creed as symbolized by wind — that tears through everything and everyone around the Wayward, monster, human or otherwise, while leaving the Wayward themselves safe in the proverbial eye of the storm.
  • Torture Technician: Waywards are far from the only Hunters to resort to torture as a method in the Hunt, but their status as The Unfettered means they're the most willing to dive right into it.
  • The Unfettered: They can try Fighting from the Inside, but ultimately if it comes down to a choice between any other principle and the imperative to kill as many monsters as possible, a Wayward will choose the latter — their madness has rewritten their brain so they can't choose anything else.
  • War Is Hell: This is as far as God45 is willing to go in terms of writing down his thought process as an "ideology". Although the idea is popular and hotly debated among many of the Imbued Creeds (and, hell, among characters in other gamelines, particularly Werewolf: The Apocalypse), Waywards are unshakably convinced the whole history of the World of Darkness is one long, brutal war between the natural and the supernatural, and any attempt to give depth or nuance to that is a distraction to be ignored.

Extremists

     In General 

  • Ax-Crazy: By the default rules from before Fall From Grace was written, an Extremist Hunter must be this, since it's impossible to get to 10 dots in any Virtue stat without accumulating at least four Derangements. Becoming an Extremist always makes this worse in some way, regardless of what Path is taken, and everyone who interacts with them sees and senses there's something deeply wrong with them.
  • Beyond the Impossible: Level-5 Edges are designed to explicitly break the rules of the World of Darkness in some shocking way, and Divine/Corrupt Edges even break the rules of Hunter itself. Corrupt Edges, in particular, are often designed to do things Hunters are specifically not "allowed" to do under normal circumstances, like Shapeshifting into a monster themselves or being able to teleport to Another Dimension.
  • Dangerous Forbidden Technique: All level-5 Edges are like this — not only is becoming an Extremist so you're allowed to use them itself an ordeal that leaves you a barely-human wreck, but several of them have very dangerous side effects, all of them cost a lot of Conviction, and none of them are at all subtle — the use of a level-5 Edge goes up like a supernatural Bat Signal and the existence of an Extremist Hunter will almost immediately draw the attention of all nearby supernaturals. This is a major reason why, despite all their terrible power, every single Extremist is Living on Borrowed Time.
  • Determinator: All three Extremist Paths have in common that they have the Hunter so dedicated to achieving their goals they "break all the rules" and give up all hope of ever returning to a normal life, regardless of whether those goals are noble or corrupt.
  • Fridge Horror: Given that Waywards are a "failed" Creed it seems unlikely the Messengers would ever choose them to become Divine Extremists, and given the whole hat of Waywards is being an Absolute Xenophobe against the "demonic" it seems unlikely they could become a Corrupt Extremist. But the whole existence of the level-5 Edge Spiral implies it must be possible for an Independent Extremist Wayward to exist, and the thought of what one might be able to accomplish is Nightmare Fuel.
    • Note that it's pretty strongly hinted by the fact that God45 survives all the way into the Time of Judgment unscathed that he becomes an Extremist Wayward before the end.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: It's not a hard-and-fast rule, but several Hunters we've seen become Extremists generally have in common that they were some total nobody with no real skills or qualifications that made them a real threat to monsters — a nutty Christian fundamentalist named Wendell Delburton (Crusader17), a Granola Girl peace activist named Leaf Pankowski (Potter116), a bad-tempered Internet Troll named John Coaler (Rigger111), and that they had to claw their way tooth-and-nail upward into getting what small amount of power they could as a Hunter before the Traumatic Superpower Awakening that made them Extremists. This is the suggested arc for any player character who goes through an Extremist chronicle.
  • Gone Horribly Right: The Messengers created the Imbued in order to unlock the "hidden potential" in all human beings' souls. Extremists are a demonstration of what happens when that power starts to come to full flower.
  • Jump Off The Slippery Slope: All three of the Extremist Paths involve jumping off a different slippery slope — being overwhelmingly dedicated to your own moral code, giving up even that code for blind devotion to the Messengers, or even giving that up to ally with the enemy if it means you get what you want.
  • Knight Templar: For it to be even possible for a Hunter to become an Extremist and unlock level-5 Edges they have to have already raised their Primary Virtue stat (Zeal, Mercy or Vision) to its maximum of 10, unlocking level-4 Edges. This means that their dedication to their goals — noble or ignoble — is already something they cling to with an intensity that cuts them off from the way the vast majority of normal humans think, and there is very little they won't sacrifice to it.
  • Infinity +1 Sword: One very controversial aspect of Hunter was that the initial core rulebook listed level-5 Edges as the final capstone reward for fully leveling up a character, but didn't give any way to do so and told players they'd have to wait for a later book. Hunter: Player's Guide doubled down on this, saying level-5 Edges were only for powerful NPCs and giving optional rules for using level-5 Edges in play when the GM makes a special exception but not for actually advancing to them through normal gameplay. Finally, the book giving rules for how to become an Extremist who can use level-5 Edges came out three years later, Hunter: Fall From Grace in 2002, and it turns out to be Harder Than Hard and explicitly written to give a Dying Moment of Awesome to a character who's reached the end of their arc.
  • Magic Enhancement: Not only do they get to use level-5 Edges, Extremists get a huge dice pool to roll when using lower-level Edges, such that they basically never fail and regularly achieve extreme success — something the Storyteller is encouraged to represent as the Edges being visibly "juiced up" and dramatic compared to a normal use of Imbued power.
  • Power at a Price: The core theme of any Extremist chronicle. To become an Extremist at all requires a Hunter to give up a huge chunk of what makes them human, one way or another, and guarantees that they will soon pay with their life.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: All three of the Extremist Paths are "damaged" by the experiences that drove them to become Extremists and have lost a large part of their mental resilience and their ability to function as normal people, represented by the Willpower stat, although the exact way this works is different for all three — Divine Extremists simply lose the ability to regenerate temporary Willpower by any means other than succeeding at the missions the Messengers give them, Corrupt Extremists have their temporary and permanent Willpower slowly being drained by interaction with their patron, and Independent Extremists simply have a flat five points of permanent Willpower deducted when they have their second Imbuing. (Divine Extremists, in other words, are People Puppets who only feel alive when doing their masters' will, Corrupt Extremists are still "normal" for now but Fighting from the Inside against Demonic Possession, and Independent Extremists are Broken Birds who are still their human selves but badly damaged.)
  • Weirdness Censor: Level-5 Edges are suggested to be so powerful that they cause Psychic Static akin to Werewolves' Delirium not just to Muggles but other Hunters, unless they use Second Sight. (Normally Hunters are granted immunity to this effect from each other's powers, whether or not they have Second Sight up.)
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Not all of them, of course — Corrupt Extremists are specifically written to give you a chance to play a Not-So-Well-Intentioned Extremist character — but most Extremists, even Corrupt ones, do still have something we would consider "good intentions" (they have to have a primary Virtue stat of 10 to even be considered, after all). It's just that, as is typical with this trope, they've been so worn down and traumatized by the Hunt that those intentions have been warped into something almost unrecognizable as normal human morality.
  • Your Days Are Numbered: Corrupt Extremists explicitly have a Race Against the Clock until they lose the last of their free will and are fully consumed by their demonic patron, but the rules tell us that all player-character Extremists are intended to last for only one more chapter before going out in a Dying Moment of Awesome. Given how the other two Extremist Paths completely destroy your capacity for rational self-preservation and the way level-5 Edges seem to physically and spiritually burn out the user, this seems to be inevitable.

Extremist Paths

     Divine 

  • Abnormal Ammo: Crusader17 (Wendell Delburton) runs out of ammo at a critical moment during his Ordeal, and prays desperately to God to be given what he needs to finish his quest at any cost... and suddenly finds himself able to shoot Frickin' Laser Beams of what looks like pure sunlight from his pistol, doing aggravated damage to any monster he hits. (Note that this is a deliberate violation of a balancing principle that went into the Cleave and Impact Edges, that they do not work on firearms and only let you strike a monster or throw something at it with your own muscles with one blessed object that breaks very soon thereafter.) This turns out to be an attack powerful enough to permanently wound Lucifer himself.
  • Brown Note: The Denounce Edge is framed as a Divine Extremist telling a monster directly to their face what the Ministers think of them, with this being such a painful thing for them to hear it causes permanent damage to their soul, losing a permanent point from one of their stats. It's notable that this is an intentionally Nerfed version of the Martyrdom level-5 Edge Expiate, which is more powerful than what the Ministers intended Imbued to be able to do; the backlash damage this does is also nerfed from Expiate.
  • The Chosen One: You cannot take active steps to seek out a Divine Second Imbuing yourself; the Divine Extremist Path is only available to those who have been chosen by the Ministers, according to their mysterious ways, and like the initial Imbuing it's an offer made once that is rescinded forever if the test is failed.
    • Moreover, a Divine Extremist must not only be chosen but must choose — the Ordeal always ends in an offer from the Ministers themselves whose price is made clear, and a Divine Extremist cannot become one without making an informed choice of their own free will. (Lucifer finds the fact that Crusader17 was not "brainwashed" but willfully chose to become what he is the most offensive thing about him.)
  • Cut Scene Power To The Max: We aren't given exact details of how it works, to be fair, but signature character Crusader17's Divine Edge seems far more powerful than anything we've seen that has in-game rules (and, unlike other Divine Edges, is given no playable equivalent in Fall From Grace) — most importantly, he seems able to spam Frickin' Laser Beams of divine energy from his pistol whenever he wants, when it's stated to be important that playable Divine Edges require significant effort to use and can only be invoked in emergency situations.
  • Darkest Hour: The offer made by the Ministers comes only when the candidate is bereft of all hope and is willing to give up everything, even their very soul and their free will, just so that their quest won't be All for Nothing. (Indeed, the stories we're given all explicitly have a moment where the Hunter gets a crushing revelation they've made some terrible mistake that will make everything they've done All for Nothing unless they desperately pray for a Deus ex Machina.)
  • Death of Personality: Lucifer is revolted when he meets Crusader17, realizing that his sponsors have "hollowed out his soul to use as an oven mitt, rooting around in this burning world". In game terms, becoming a Divine Extremist requires turning both your Nature and Demeanor into one of three personality archetypes (erasing any Hidden Depths your character may have had), the Autocrat, Dreamer or Fanatic, erasing any Hidden Depths they may have had. Even their Derangements get removed, except for their one "primary Derangement", which can now no longer be controlled by Willpower — they're crazy in a way so deeply rooted in their new personality they no longer consider it madness. Your character is now very close to no longer being a separate human being at all, as opposed to an avatar wielded by the Ministers for their inscrutable agenda.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: Becoming a Divine Extremist means you're fated for one of these, and probably sooner rather than later — the Ministers aren't too comfortable having pawns as powerful as Extremists even on their side of the board, and the fact that a Divine Extremist can only regain Conviction and Willpower from meeting challenges equal to their power means they will inevitably end up biting off more than they can chew.
  • Emissary from the Divine: What a Divine Extremist unambiguously is. Not all Hunters have to be religious, but it's pretty difficult to end up a Divine Extremist without putting some kind of faith in the Messengers and whatever you think they represent to you — a faith you end up being willing to sacrifice everything for.
  • Empty Shell: Divine Extremists look and act like this around other people, disturbing even their fellow Hunters with how inhuman they seem and how little interest they take in ordinary human life or human emotions. In game-mechanical terms, while Extremists have a very easy time regenerating Conviction (the supernatural mana that powers Hunters), an Divine Extremist has almost all of their means of regenerating Willpower (the "mortal" mana stat powering mundane acts of mental focus) cut off. Nothing makes them come alive anymore except their mission — they no longer even get the default Willpower regeneration from a good night's sleep.
  • Godzilla Threshold: The level of power wielded by Extremist Imbued puts them potentially on par with their predecessors, the wan xian or the Solar Exalted, and is exactly what the Ministers were trying to avoid when they put such harsh Power Limiters on Hunters when they created them. The book tells us that it's only because the Time of Judgment is ramping up — with other extreme movers and shakers like the Antediluvians and Malfeans stirring themselves to action — that the Ministers saw no choice but to start creating Divine Extremists as their backup plan.
    • It's especially notable that as Hunters start surviving long enough to hit level-10 Virtue ratings, choosing them to become Divine Extremists is the only alternative the Ministers have to keep those Hunters from eventually awakening as Independent Extremists or getting poached by Demons as Corrupt Extremists.
  • Greater-Scope Paragon: A Divine Extremist NPC can serve as this for a Hunter chronicle, and is one of the ways the concept of a Divine Extremist can be introduced to allow a player character to make an informed choice about becoming one. On a cosmic scale, the Divine Extremists' gift cannot be given to them by the Omniscient Council of Vagueness known as the "Messengers" themselves, but require direct contact with the "Paragons" of the universe itself, the Messengers' Man Behind the Man the Ministers (a pair of "archangels" who seem to number only two, the Scarlet Lady and the Ebon Dragon). Direct contact with the Ministers makes Divine Extremists privy to far more of the secret truths of the Hunter setting than any other Hunter except maybe Independent Extremists in the Vision Creed, but they're both sworn to keep their bosses' secrets and unlikely to have time to tell anyone much of anything before their inevitable Dying Moment of Awesome.
  • Holy Halo: Divine Extremists have a constant aura around them that anyone with the slightest attunement to the supernatural can sense, which becomes a holy signal flare when they use their Divine Edges. This "aura" is also Super Empowering to other Hunters, letting them share in their connection to the Ministers, although they tend to hear it as the same old vague Messnger babble (in game terms, this can only raise their Patron rating to 5.)
  • Holy Hand Grenade: The Cremate Edge is the big splashy nuke that power players have been waiting for — it emits a massive wave of Life Energy that burns with hostility toward "dead things", instantly turning all corpses to ash and doing massive aggravated damage to "undead" creatures like vampires, kuei-jin, zombies and ghosts. (Note that even if a ghost isn't physically nearby, using Cremate on their body does them grievous harm — in Wraith: The Oblivion terms, almost all the recently-dead Wraiths who survived in the Skinlands after the Sixth Great Maelstrom did so by adopting their own corpse as a primary Fetter.)
  • Holy Is Not Safe: The whole theme of Divine Extremists, and especially of Divine Edges, which tend to be explicitly Light Is Good themed superpowers that are at the same time shockingly dangerous and destructive. They're usually explicitly set up to thematically enable an Extremist's final Blaze of Glory.
  • Mad Oracle: All Divine Extremists immediately gain a Patron rating of 5, giving them a direct line to the Ministers themselves, who bark out much more direct and explicit mission orders than the ordinary Messengers ever do, although they remain cryptic as ever about the context behind those orders. A Divine Extremist is broken enough into their service, though, that anything that seems cryptic or perverse about their orders no longer matters.
  • Personality Powers: Although there's no Spell Crafting of Edges in-universe, players are encouraged to work with the Storyteller to create a custom level-5 Divine Edge that fits their character — Divine Edges are hinted to be unique from Extremist to Extremist, with the ones shown to us being ones already seen among powerful metaplot NPCs and only there as inspiration for players.
  • Super-Power Meltdown: The Storyteller is encouraged to have the Divine Extremist end their dramatic arc this way, going out in a blaze of glory as the Ministers allow them to channel power to Heroic RRoD levels, possibly literally exploding and taking out some unfathomably powerful monster with them (the Cremate and Denounce Edges are directly written to enable this possibility).
  • Trauma Conga Line: A Divine Extremist can only be Imbued after the candidate goes through an "Ordeal", a series of painful emotional and physical challenges designed to break them by testing their commitment to their core Virtue until they have no choice but to put their faith unquestioningly in the Ministers. (Notably, in order to arrange for this to happen, the Ministers frequently directly intervene in the world to a far greater degree than they're seen to do elsewhere, including by manipulating their candidate's fellow Hunters.)
    • Note that this is the Ministers consciously emulating the structure of The Hero's Journey, and frequently entails forcing the Imbued to go through a Burning the Ships moment, destroying their connections to their ordinary human community and even to other Hunters so they have no one to turn to but the Ministers for aid, often pushing them into either violating their faithfulness to their core Virtue or committing an outright atrocity by human standards. It is an explicit rule of the Ordeal that the offer never comes until the candidate has, on every level, reached their Darkest Hour.
    • Needless to say, the few non-Divine Extremists who have any idea how this works are shocked and appalled by it and consider it evidence that the Ministers are Evil Mentors (no less than Lucifer himself holds this opinion). It's especially notable because the "Aesops" of different Ordeals often are at direct cross-purposes, with a Zeal Hunter being put through an Ordeal to give up everything to kill a monster than a Mercy Hunter would be challenged to defend at all costs in the same situation. This ties into the disturbing implications that the two Ministers themselves are working at cross-purposes to each other.

     Corrupt 

  • All for Nothing: A Corrupt Extremist who fully succumbs to the Demon immediately loses their connection to the Messengers and all of their related powers (the Edges, the Second Sight, the connection to hunter-sign and hunter-net, etc.) This means that Demons who seek to corrupt the Imbued to infiltrate the Hunter community, to investigate or confront the Messengers, etc. are likely to react with rage and disappointment at the result, according to Hunter: The Infernal. But see All There in the Manual for how, from the Demon's POV, it's a bit more complicated than that.
  • All There in the Manual: Hunter: Fall From Grace and the Demon: The Fallen core book were being worked on at the same time, so there's not too much clarity of what's going on from the Demon's point of view in this relationship. Eventually we get an explanation in the Demon Storytellers Guide and Hunter: Infernal that what the Hunter rules call a "Corrupt Extremist" is just the only way a Demon character can make one of the Imbued into a thrall.
    • The Storytellers Guide goes on to point out that although Hunters aren't aware of it (it's not a stat that would show up on their own sheet), the Imbued have a "Faith rating" that is much higher than that of a typical human (roughly correlating with their Virtue stats), with Extremists maxing out at 10 (when a typical human — and starting host for a default Demon character — is more like 3 or 4). This means a Corrupt Extremist is feeding a Demon a huge number of Faith points every day, and if/when the Demon eventually takes the Extremist as their new Host they'll be suddenly able to channel far more advanced Lores by jumping ahead on the Demon Experience Meter (the equivalent of a Vampire: The Masquerade character completing diablerie).
    • Demon adds rules for the "ravaging" that appears in the fiction about John Coaler and Vassago in Fall From Grace but isn't described mechanically; a Demon can, in a pinch, drain Faith from one of their thralls by force, which manifests as draining temporary Willpower (the "maggots wriggling in my guts" John describes). Spamming this is a cheap tactic for a Demon to get a Corrupt Extremist to give in to them, but one with unpleasant side effects — accidentally letting temporary Willpower hit zero causes Sanity Slippage and Derangements that don't go away once the mortal becomes a permanent host, as well as possibly damaging the Hunter's Faith rating, compromising the very reasons a Demon would want an Imbued host in the first place.
    • Demon also reveals to us what exactly is going on with Vassago, the Demon Prince shown to us as the patron of John Coaler (Rigger111), the signature Corrupt Extremist character — he's an Earthbound, not a normal Demon. Earthbound are Eldritch Abominations presented as the Demon equivalent of Antediluvians in Vampire — far more powerful than any playable character, Always Chaotic Evil Monsters, and normally incapable of possessing a human body for more than 48 hours without fatal Possession Burnout. It's hinted (and eventually confirmed, when Leaf Pankowski becomes Vassago's host) that the Imbued are the one exception to this rule, and that the idea of an Earthbound gaining a permanent human body is Beyond the Impossible and if accomplished would be a massive upheaval to the balance of power of the World of Darkness.
    • What Hunter thinks of as a "Corrupt Edge" is from a Demon's point of view just a way to describe a Demon's ability to grant some of their innate abilities — Lores and the Apocalyptic Form — to their thralls. The Channel Edge is the Apocalyptic Form, the Enthrall Edge is the Devils' Lore of Radiance, the Transport Edge is the Malefactors' Lore of Paths.
  • Became Their Own Antithesis: A Corrupt Extremist has made the conscious decision to become exactly what the Hunters were called by the Messengers to fight — and the instant they accept the Demon's Pact, they become a "monster" themselves and start pinging other Hunters' Second Sight, become vulnerable to Edges that only target "monsters", etc., while being permanently cut off from the Messengers and unable to ever become a "normal" Hunter again. A Hunter who becomes Corrupt as a result of a Knight Templar obsession with taking down some other group of "monsters" will eventually have to face the cruel irony that they've sold out to the most powerful and dangerous kind of monster in the World of Darkness, and the one arguably responsible for the existence of all the other monster gamelines.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Played with. The Corrupt Extremist doesn't actually gain any Derangements or have anything noticeably "wrong with them" when they first become Corrupted — but they do have a constant voice in their head telling them to do awful things, which can easily be mistaken for a Derangement — and if they keep on fighting their master's will long enough the Willpower drain will lead to actual Derangements soon enough.
    • A Corrupt Extremist may well be a Hunter who accumulated enough Derangements when they hit 10 in their primary Virtue that they're cut off from reality and can't really be held responsible for their actions — Beatrice Tremblay (Oracle171) being the primary example. Unfortunately, this isn't enough to keep the pact with the Demon from taking hold and doesn't mean they're any less dangerous puppets of evil.
  • The Corrupter: The Demon's goal once the connection has been established — any long-term interaction with the Demon or use of the Corrupt Edge it grants you shaves off some of your Willpower, and when your permanent Willpower falls to zero the Demon fully possesses you and consumes your soul. Often the Demon will try to hasten this process along by directly "corrupting" you, trying to push you into situations where you compromise your values and your past sense of self.
  • Crossover: Hunter is a crossover-themed game, but this is one of the most major elements of crossover in the setting — Corrupt Extremists are presented as a major character option for Hunters as a way to end a chronicle, and the way they work relies heavily on the lore for Demon: The Fallen, Hunter's sister game.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: Vassago is shown temporarily assuming direct control of Rigger's body in the in-game fiction, something neither Hunter nor Demon give any rules for and that it's difficult to stat up as an in-game ability in a way that doesn't break the game in favor of the Demon.
  • Cryptic Conversation: For the most part averted — according to Demon rules, conversation between a Demon and a thrall is as easy as having a normal spoken conversation via telepathy, no coded language or bizarre hallucinations required. Corrupted Extremists, ironically, have the sanest and least traumatizing version of Patron 5 you can have in this game, at first glance. (Of course, this is based on the fact that playable Demon characters are by far the sanest and most humane of the Fallen who've returned to Earth, basket cases though they might be, and a Demon who becomes your patron in a Hunter game is likely as not to be a truly monstrous being with a permanent Torment 10 rating — at which point all bets are off on how they communicate.)
  • Deal with the Devil: The whole idea of this Path. It only happens as a result of a Demon finding a way to offer your character an easy way out way out of their problems, especially as a shortcut out of an Ordeal they're being put through as a candidate for a Divine Imbuing. The deal can't work if the Hunter doesn't accept of their own free will, although the Demon, being a Demon, is free to be much more deceptive and manipulative in getting the Hunter to accept without realizing the full consequences of what they've done.
  • Elite Mooks: Corrupt Extremists are this from a Demon's POV, being able to channel powers their ordinary followers can't and being a much more potent source of Faith. See also Mauve Shirt.
  • Evil Is Easy: The whole selling point of this Path. Demons usually try to make it as easy as they can to sign up with them for power, avoiding the whole Trauma Conga Line Ordeal the Messengers insist on, they give Corrupt Edges that outclass any other source of power an Imbued can have in Hunter, and as a Patron they often give simple instructions and explicit information in plain English and totally eschew the Messengers' Cryptic Conversation Omniscient Council of Vagueness act. The problem is, of course, that the Demon is a Manipulative Bastard and all the easy solutions to your problems are railroading you toward an endgame where you give up your soul.
  • Evil Is Petty: Many high-Torment Demons are petty and, as Fall From Grace points out, feel the need to deface and destroy anything beautiful in the world out of pure spite. But there's a method to the madness of the petty evil a Demon puts a Corrupt Extremist through, too — anything that undermines their morals and their sense of self brings them closer to having their soul consumed.
  • Fighting from the Inside: All Corrupt Extremists are doing this, knowingly or not, until the bitter end — unlike normal human thralls, the Imbued's personality is too strong to allow the Demon to actually possess them until they hit zero permanent Willpower. Moreover, they continue to have the "angelic" powers granted by their initial Imbuing, which they don't depend on the Demon for at all, and which they can use against the Demon — Second Sight, for instance, still continues to function to give them respite from the Demon's voice as long as they still have the Conviction to use it. One appropriate Dying Moment of Awesome might be the Hunter reaching enough of a level of self-awareness/catharsis that they do the right thing, invoke Second Sight one last time and commit Heroic Suicide rather than let the Demon have them.
  • Game Changer: Even more than the other Edges, Corrupt Edges are this — they give Hunters abilities that are specifically completely outside what the Messengers intended them to be able to do (and since they're really powers from Demon they tend to be Beyond the Impossible for games like Vampire too). The Transport Edge, for instance, allows Hunters to enter Another Dimension, something that in every other circumstance is rendered completely off-limits by the Imbuing.
  • Glamour: After a whole career based on seeing through and piercing monsters' glamour, the Corrupt Extremist finally gets this power themselves with the Enthrall Edge — allowing them to do what may be the hardest thing for Hunters to do, getting normal humans to believe and support them.
  • God Guise: Plenty of Demons fool regular humans into joining cults by pretending to be God or unfallen angels (and gain a great deal of ironic pleasure from doing so), and the Imbued are no exception. The only obstacle they have to get over is that if the Hunter should think to invoke their Second Sight when dealing with the Demon or its emissaries, the Sight will remain honest as always, and no power a Demon has can overcome this. A Demon can only circumvent this obstacle through trickery or by exploiting desperation; Oracle171 becomes a Corrupt Extremist because in the throes of her madness she was willing to take help from anyone who'd give it.
  • Heroic Willpower: The Second Sight gives Corrupt Extremists a version of this trope, allowing them windows of time in which they are entirely themselves and no longer hear the Demon's influence (but likewise can't draw on the powers the Demon offers). In game-mechanical terms, the Hunter doesn't lose the game and become fully corrupted until their permanent Willpower rating reaches zero.
  • Holy Burns Evil: The Messengers' powers and the Demon's coexist very uneasily within a Corrupt Extremist's soul. Making the Demonic pact insteadly permanently severs the Imbued from the Messengers (and this severance remains even if the Demon is somehow banished or destroyed). The Hunter holds onto the Edges and Second Sight they already had, and use of the Second Sight is mutually exclusive with communicating with the Demon or using its Corrupt Edge.
  • Kick the Dog: Demons will frequently try to mix up the real tasks they need Hunters to do on a practical level with orders to pointlessly harm or kill innocents just for the hell of it — both as part of a strategy to corrupt the Hunter and drain their will for possession, and because most Demons legitimately hate humanity and want them to suffer For the Evulz (i.e. have a high Torment score).
  • Loophole Abuse: It was formerly a foundational rule of the Hunter setting that Hunters cannot become monsters in any way whatsoever — they get nothing from drinking Vampire blood, they can never Awaken as Mages or even learn hedge-magic, and when they die they're absolutely guaranteed not to leave a ghost. And yet Corrupt Extremists become "monsters", because Demons are so much more powerful than any other kind of monsters they can break this rule — and, possibly, because Demons are Not So Different from the Messengers and can hijack the channel they used for the initial Imbuing.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Demons may be Affably Evil at times and may seem much more forthcoming than the always-cryptic Messengers, but never forget that they are this — as long as the initial pact was "voluntary", in the broadest possible terms, Demons have very little restriction on how much they can and will tell you Blatant Lies to get you to do what they want.
  • Mauve Shirt: Demons tend to treat ordinary humans as expendable pawns and food sources, but are forced to take a personal touch with Corrupt Extremists and develop something of a relationship with them, both because they're more valuable prizes — the endgame is always for the Extremist to be the Demon's personal host — and because the Extremist has much more power to resist them, both in terms of their literal Willpower score and because they still have the Second Sight.
  • Mysterious Backer: This is one of the main reasons Extremists sign up with Demons, even possibly mattering more than the level-5 Edge — any Demon powerful and knowledgeable enough to be trying to get Hunters as thralls probably has a great deal of mundane power for the Demon to draw on, stuff like money, supplies, legal connections, etc. that are all in dreadfully short supply for the typical Hunter. Signing up to work for a particularly powerful Demon means straight-up joining an Ancient Conspiracy with all the wealth and goodies you could possibly need (as long as you're providing what the master needs).
  • Non Standard Game Over: Death Is the Only Option for a Corrupt Extremist in the end under normal circumstances, but "death" by possession isn't death in the normal sense of the term — their body is still running around with a Demon inside of it, and the book recommends such a character either become a high-power antagonist in the current chronicle or a future one, or that, possibly, they become a new playable character using the Demon ruleset (most likely in a new chronicle, given how unbalanced a Fallen is compared to a PC from any other gameline).
  • Our Demons Are Different: There are many, many different types of evil beings that get casually referred to as "devils" or "demons" in-universe, both by Hunters and by their enemies, and most of them are totally irrelevant to becoming a Corrupt Extremist. The patrons of a Corrupt Extremist are the "True Demons" of the Demon: The Fallen gameline, who were only recently unloosed from the Abyss by the events of the Week of Nightmares and the Sixth Great Maelstrom, the same events that led to the Imbuing of the Hunters in the first place.
  • Soul Eating: Corrupt Extremists have their permanent Willpower rating steadily drained over time as they interact with their patron, to represent their soul being reaped and consumed — when it reaches 0, there's nothing of them left and the Demon takes direct control.
  • Spiritual Predecessor: As the "evil" splat for Hunter: the Reckoning either Waywards or Corrupt Extremists are this for Hunter: The Vigil's Slashers. John Coaler/Rigger111 in particular is called out by Fall From Grace as a monster more dangerous than most vampires, driven to kill by a logic that only makes sense to his demonic patron.
  • Super Form: Corrupt Extremists can get this in the form of the Channel Edge, which is all the power of the Infuse Edge taken Up to Eleven — rather than just giving you a Battle Aura, it's actual Shapeshifting, into a classic Big Red Devil form, with plenty of additional Body Horror depending on the specific Demon type and its powers (the default version given has Spikes of Villainy all over its skin), which can be customized at will each time the Edge is invoked.
  • Symbiotic Possession: It's never truly symbiotic in the long term — the Demon is always in the end a predator/parasite — but a particularly strong-willed Hunter and a particularly patient Demon can form a relationship that looks like this, for the time being. As terrifying as he is, Vassago is disarmingly blunt and honest and even Affably Evil to Rigger111, compared to the abusively cryptic runaround Oracle171's patron leads her on — either because Vassago is confident in his power enough to play the long game or because he knows that Rigger is The Cynic and that's the best strategy to use on him.
  • Teleportation: After all the complaints that Hunter Edges are narrowly focused on monster-fighting and have little in the way of "utility powers", the Transport Edge is the power with the most Mundane Utility imaginable. Unfortunately, this power works by entering Another Dimension (breaking one of the most fundamental rules about what the Imbued can't do), and what the Hunter sees in the Eldritch Location is likely to cause them to Go Mad from the Revelation (draining their Willpower and hastening their downfall).
  • Voice with an Internet Connection: A smart and sane enough Demonic patron can end up acting like this for an Extremist, not just providing intel but general advice, banter and social interaction, a la Vassago and Rigger (who, among other things, has Vassago helpfully define words for him, recommend books to read, snark to him about his diet, etc.) Of course, none of this is ultimately good for the Hunter in the end, but in the short term it's a major advantage over the level of supernatural support other Hunters get.

     Independent 

  • Anthropomorphic Personification: Unlike the other two Paths, both of which make the Hunter into a puppet of some incomprehensible higher force — which may or may not match their original Creed's mission at all — an Independent Extremist is almost a physical embodiment of their Creed, and is the only Path that uses the level-5 Edges from the earlier books designed for the existing Creeds.
  • Broken Bird: Every Independent Extremist deducts a full five points from their permanent Willpower rating in their Heroic Spirit moment when they first manifest their level-5 Edge — they may still be fully human, but the experience of breaking free of the Messengers' Power Limiter is so traumatic they can never forget it and will always be too spiritually wounded by it to be fully "alive" or happy again.
  • Cowboy Cop: Independent Extremists are described as being seen by the Messengers as this — still technically on the same side, but dangerous loose cannons who can't be directly controlled and who may become a threat. Indeed, while most Independents still see the Messengers as allies, they almost always go Honor Before Reason with their Creed in a way that harms the Hunt overall and eventually gets themselves (and possibly others) killed. And there's a few who go all the way to becoming true Rogue Agents, deciding that other Hunters or the Messengers themselves are the true enemy.
  • Dangerous Forbidden Technique: Literally so — both the Messengers and their Demon enemies are strongly opposed to Hunters finding out that a third Extremist Path exists. Fyodor's Apocrypha has a "lost chapter" (available only online) where he uses the last of his free will before becoming a Divine Extremist to describe this "Third Path" and give instructions on becoming an Independent Extremist as best he can, but most Hunters still seem to discover it independently.
  • Death of Personality: Ironically, even though one becomes an Independent Extremist by being true to one's own human moral code and refusing to accept the role of the Messengers' puppet, an Independent Extremist may undergo this worse than a Divine Extremist, since in order to do this they must embrace their Creed so fiercely it becomes their entire personality. Like a Divine Extremist, their Nature and Demeanor changes to one of only three archetypes (the Autocrat, Dreamer or Fanatic) and must be the same as each other, with no nuance or Hidden Depths. Unlike the Divine Extremist, this is an organic change that occurs over time and not one forced on them by an Ordeal.
  • Dying as Yourself: The stated reason to become an Independent Extremist. Becoming an Extremist at all leads to Death of Personality followed shortly thereafter by an actual death (hopefully an awesome one), but to be an Independent is to follow a path you created for yourself based on values you chose when you unconsciously selected your Creed at your initial Imbuing, even if the thing you end up becoming is something unrecognizable to your previous self. It's the values of Be Yourself and Do Not Go Gentle that Fyodor exhorts other Hunters to take when he describes the Independent Path in Apocrypha, even if it's too late for him to follow it himself.
  • Grew Beyond Their Programming: The Independent Extremist Path is something the Messengers explicitly did not plan for Hunters and tried to prevent — and yet a Path that ends up being inevitable for a Hunter to take if they survive long enough and advance in power enough without becoming Divine or Corrupt Extremists, some consequence of the Messengers "unlocking true human potential" allowing the existing Creeds to evolve into their level-5 Edges. Indeed, it seems the Ministers may have created Divine Extremists as a way to hijack the process by which Independent Extremists evolve and get them back under their own power.
  • Hero Ball: The Storyteller is explicitly given the power to derail the Extremist's mission by introducing an unbreakable compulsion based on their Creed that, since it's coming from the Storyteller, is intended to screw with them and, eventually, get them killed. This is one of the more controversial aspects of Fall From Grace, and is intended to set the character up for their mandatory Dying Moment of Awesome that comes at the end of an Extremist chronicle, since unlike with the other two Extremist Paths there's no supernatural patron through which the Storyteller can pull a Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies on you.
  • Heroic Spirit: The oomph to manifest a level-5 Edge on the Independent Path comes entirely from the Hunter themselves, sacrificing a whole chunk of their soul — five points of permanent Willpower — to jailbreak the Messengers' power channel and achieve the full potential of their Imbuing.
  • Honor Before Reason: The chief weakness of an Independent Extremist — their Creed is so central to who they are that every so often they'll experience an irrational compulsion based on it that cannot be resisted in any way, unlike mundane Derangements. A Zealous Hunter will insist that a particular monster must be destroyed and refuse any other solution to the problem; a Merciful Hunter will contrariwise refuse to kill a particular monster even when it's obvious no peaceful resolution is possible; and a Visionary Hunter will insist on proving some bizarre theory they have correct, even when there's no practical benefit to doing so. See also Hero Ball and I Reject Your Reality.
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness: Divine Extremists can passively resist the Messengers' missions, although their inability to control their primary Derangement or regenerate Willpower normally means it's very difficult to do so. And Corrupt Extremists are intended to be constantly Fighting from the Inside against their patron's demands, even if it's a Hopeless War. By contrast, the Independent Extremist's Creed is a part of their own mind and by the rules as written they cannot ever deviate from it, no matter how insane it seems to get. This is a by-product of the same ultimate commitment that makes them completely Immune to Mind Control.
  • Immune to Mind Control: Independent Extremists only ever need to spend Conviction to activate the Second Sight for its namesake function of seeing monsters — when it comes to resisting Mind Manipulation or Baleful Polymorph, an Independent Extremist's protection is permanently on and can never be removed. Note that this is the reverse of the special gift Waywards get, where they can see monsters all the time and only need to activate Conviction to protect themselves from magic — meaning should a Wayward ever succeed in becoming an Independent Extremist they would have all the benefits of Second Sight all the time and never have to spend Conviction on it at all.
  • I Reject Your Reality: The Independent Extremist's soul may have reached the pinnacle of human evolution and now be Incorruptible Pure Pureness, but their mind is still limited and flawed and, unlike the Divine Extremist, has no pipeline to the Messengers giving them objectively correct intel. Fall From Grace tells us that the Virtue-based compulsions an Independent Extremist gets are quite often delusional fantasies, going off half-cocked on some random prejudice that based on their Virtue they are no longer capable of rejecting or questioning, and from any practical or normal moral standpoint might indeed be horrifying. (Just deciding an innocent human being is "demonically corrupted" and must be murdered, or that a whole race or ethnicity is, for instance.) Hunters may generally be guilty of Black and White Insanity from a normal human POV, but an Extremist takes this Up to Eleven to the point where it will inevitably lead to your death.
  • The Paragon: Extremists of any kind are rarely The Paragon from the point of view of normal human values, but anyone who's far enough along on their Creed will see an Independent Extremist as The Paragon of their new belief system; indeed, it's recommended that a character meant for the Independent Extremist path meet an NPC Extremist first to be their role model. (They are, notably, far more suitable as role models than Divine Extremists, who act just as inscrutably as the Messengers.)
  • Rage Against the Heavens: One of the signature characters in Fall From Grace is Mary Ellen Kramer, an Avenger who has come to believe the Messengers themselves are the real enemy. The vast majority of Independents aren't nearly so extreme, but any degree of skepticism or resistance to the Messengers' authority (especially if the Hunter was a Secular Hero to begin with) makes it likely they'll find a way to turn off the Divine Path toward this one.
  • Refusal of the Call: It isn't required, but the vast majority of Hunters who hit level 10 in their primary Virtue and become "candidates" for Extremism will either start going down the path of a Divine Ordeal or Corrupt temptation, and will find the Independent Path by making the decison to reject it and find a path true to their own values.
  • Take a Third Option: The literal "third option" between being a Divine or Corrupt Extremist, although it turns out that all of the theorizing about Hunters using the level-5 Edges printed in the core rulebook and Creedbooks was talking about Independents the whole time.
  • Traumatic Superpower Awakening: The actual process of becoming an Independent Extremist is deceptively simple — after roleplaying a long period of time in which your character obsessively meditates over their Creed until it's all-consuming, your character encounters a Darkest Hour where failure seems inevitable unless they do something Beyond the Impossible, and then with a supreme effort of will they manifest the level-5 Edge for their Creed. (This may or may not be a Darkest Hour forced on them by the Messengers for a Divine Ordeal — if it is, it's usually them manifesting their own superpower as a dramatic refusal of the Messengers' offer.)
  • Underused Game Mechanic: This Path is the only canonical way for players to ever use the level-5 Edges they'd been seeing in the core rules and the Creedbooks all this time with no rules given for how to spec into them.

Others

     Bystanders 

  • The Atoner: One of the most painful and immediate ways to force a Bystander into the Hunt — their Bystander Syndrome had immediate consequences and allowed a monster to cause great harm where they could see it happening, and now if they want to make it right they have to do so without superpowers.
  • Badass Normal: Bystanders qualify for this even more than the typical Hunter, being far more "normal" than an actual Imbued — indeed, with a few exceptions they have no superpowers at all, and are the same idea as a generic World of Darkness "mortals" campaign except they live in a world where the Imbuing and the Imbued exist.
  • Beyond the Impossible: Bystanders who choose to become Hunters have as their most desperate desire getting a second chance at the Imbuing. This is, for the most part, impossible — the Messengers explicitly do not give second chances — except for one major exception, an Extremist Hermit opening a direct connection to the Messengers with the level-5 Edge Proclaim (something so rare it's the capstone of an entire chronicle).
  • Broken Masquerade: The defining feature of a Bystander — they know, just as an Imbued does, that the World of Darkness exists, and can never truly forget this knowledge. A Bystander who goes on to try to live in denial will therefore likely have an unhappy and troubled life.
  • Bystander Syndrome: Bystanders in this game are named after this trope. Playable Bystanders are The Atoner for it.
  • The Call Knows Where You Live: A particularly unfortunate trope for Bystanders, who, unlike in other settings that use this trope, can't change their mind after an initial Refusal of the Call. The Hunted and Nemesis Flaws in the Hunter Player's Guide describe plot twists that force a Bystander to get involved with the Hunt despite their initial rejection — either the monsters that were revealed to them noticed them there and need to eliminate any witnesses, or one of the Imbued who got the Call to Adventure alongside them is aware they could've helped and chose not to, and resents them for this fact.
  • Crutch Character: One suggestion for how to integrate a Bystander character into a campaign of Imbued characters — the Bystander is someone who's already Badass Normal, a soldier or cop or Gun Nut or otherwise highly competent individual, who can babysit the Unfazed Everyman Imbued characters, who steadily grow in power as their Virtues advance even as the Bystander's Sanity Meter steadily depletes.
  • Expy: The Sanity Meter mechanic, Badass Normal concept and Failure Is the Only Option ending makes Bystanders a pretty obvious Expy of "investigators" from Call of Cthulhu.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: This is far more intense for Bystanders than normal Hunter characters — a Bystander will eventually Go Mad from the Revelation when their Sanity Meter inevitably hits zero, unless they quit the Hunt or are killed first.
  • Friend on the Force: It's recommended in the Project Twilight section of Hunter: First Contact that there be no such thing as an Imbued who actually holds a high rank in any important government organization (Real Life or World of Darkness-specific), and that at best such a person might become a Bystander and by that coincidence (with a Bystander's sixth sense for the Imbued) become a liaison to the Hunter community.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: The Non Standard Game Over that awaits any Bystander character whose Conviction eventually hits zero.
    • Bystanders cannot take the Patron Merit and cannot actually get productive visions from the Messengers. The ones unlucky enough to have the Haunted Flaw have the Messengers continue to contact them, but these visitations provide no useful information and instead just drive them toward Sanity Slippage. (At best, the fact of the visitations ends up being a hint that whatever path they're on is making the Messengers unhappy and serves as a prod to try doing something else.)
  • Immune to Mind Control: The only other supernatural power Bystanders have by default besides the sixth sense to recognize other people touched by the Messengers, and the one that makes them viable player characters at all — they share a normal Hunter's immunity to being controlled or changed by monsters, but by default they must spend a point of Willpower every time they use it, which means it runs out very quickly.
  • Mission Control: One of the most obvious uses for an NPC Bystander, helping take care of mundane life necessities a Hunter is often too busy for, and doing all the time-consuming grunt work — especially research — that can safely be done from behind the front lines.
  • Muggle Best Friend: Bystanders are a good candidate for being these for an Imbued, since unlike other Muggles they have unambiguous proof the supernatural is real but they lack any tools for dealing with it. The Hunter corebook even has "Bystanders" as a merit Hunters can take, with 1-3 Bystander NPCs your PC can have as their support network (who may or may not have received their Imbuing offer at the same incident you did).
  • My Greatest Failure: Some Bystanders are people whose Refusal of the Call makes sense for their existing personality — unassuming ordinary people who try to stay out of the way — but surprisingly, not that many. The Messengers are trying not to "waste" the Imbuing, and a lot of Bystanders are people with a strong sense of duty, including people with a career as first responders or public servants, who falter at a critical moment. These Bystanders are the ones likely to spend their lives making up for it, at tragic cost to themselves.
  • My Greatest Second Chance: The only way for a Bystander to get a second chance at the Imbuing by canonical rules is an Independent Extremist Hermit using the level-5 Edge Proclaim. It's also suggested that Bystanders getting Imbued might be a sign of the "rules breaking down" as the Hunter setting enters the Time of Judgment — and that if this does happen then it happen in an obviously flawed way that makes Bystanders regret their prayers for it, ranging from Bystanders getting default Derangements or even all joining the Brainwashed and Crazy Wayward Creed, to Bystanders instantly becoming Divine Extremists (ultra-powerful People Puppets).
  • Promoted to Playable: Bystanders were originally included in the Hunter corebook as a source of NPC Muggle Best Friend contacts. The Hunter Player's Guide decided to upgrade them to player characters, and to pitch the idea of an all-Bystander campaign as a "low-power" way to play Hunter that emphasizes the Hopeless War even more than a normal campaign does.
  • Redshirt Army: Particularly callous Hunters, like Memphis68, famously treat Bystanders this way. Steven Lambert (Moderator87) is famous for being so dedicated to the cause he intentionally tries to organize one of these, the "Moderators", graduating from being Witness1's virtual flunky on hunter-net.org to demanding that his fellow Bystanders make themselves available to do any task Hunters need done that the Imbued can't do for themselves because they're too busy or not expendable enough.
  • Refusal of the Call: This is what defines a "Bystander" in Hunter terminology — someone who is temporarily gifted the Second Sight in an Imbuing event, i.e. is given an "Offer" by the Messengers, and chooses not to act based on what they see. This is a voluntary choice that must be understood by the Bystander in question — not trying to act and failing, but deliberately choosing to do nothing so as not to put themselves at risk — and once rejected this offer is, generally speaking, never made again. The majority of NPC Bystanders commit to this choice and go on to live boring, mundane lives; PC Bystanders are the ones who see this as My Greatest Failure and seek to make up for it.
  • Sanity Has Advantages: Bystanders often demonstrate this trope when working together with Imbued — the fact that a Bystander is still living a Muggle life and doesn't have a Creed driving them deeper into the Hunt means they can provide some much-needed perspective from the mundane world and slow a Hunter's Sanity Slippage. That said, this only works for Bystanders who keep themselves at arm's length from the Hunt — a Bystander who faces the supernatural themselves on a regular basis will find themselves facing far more rapid Sanity Slippage, since their lack of a Creed means they have nothing to take the place of their mundane, mortal worldview that's getting steadily destroyed.
  • Sanity Meter: Unlike for a normal Hunter character, a playable Bystander's Conviction score is this — rather than a Hunter Creed, it represents the "normal", everyday worldview a Bystander clings to that will inevitably be eroded by the Hunt.
    • Along these lines, the "Virtues" — Courage, Reason and Self-Control — held by a Bystander represent the Bystander's futile ability to hang on to normal human values in the face of the Hunt in the absence of a Hunter Creed to take the place of those values, and will steadily get eroded along with your Conviction rating every time you fail.
  • Sanity Slippage: Bystanders get this much worse than the Imbued, if they choose to get involved in the Hunt directly — they can't interact with supernatural beings or powers at all without risking slipping down on the Sanity Meter, and when it inevitably hits zero they become incurably insane and get a Non Standard Game Over.
  • Token Heroic Orc: Unless they specifically take the "Cannot Become a Monster" Merit that gives them the same immunity an Imbued does, a Bystander is a normal human who can be touched and converted by the supernatural as much as any other human, and is therefore one of the most likely origin stories for a "monster" who ends up sympathizing with the Hunter community rather than their own kind. This can range from the very minor level of a Bystander becoming a Hunter cell's resident dabbler in Hedge Magick (a la Willow or Giles from Buffy the Vampire Slayer) to something more serious like experimenting with drinking Vampire vitae to full-blown being Embraced as a Vampire, Awakening as a Mage or dying and becoming a Wraith. Note that once a Bystander becomes a monster they're mechanically identical to any other monster and how sympathetic they are to the Imbued is entirely a matter of their own personality — and the question of how much the Imbued are willing to tolerate them is just as open.
    • Also note that, despite this, a Bystander can only become a Bystander by being eligible for Imbuing and cannot start out with any connection to the supernatural (hence a Kinfolk or a Revenant can't be a Bystander even if completely unaware of their own nature).
  • True Sight: The whole point of being a Bystander is that you've rejected the Imbuing and cannot use the Second Sight the way the Imbued do. The only traces of it a Bystander has by default are a sixth sense to identify other Bystanders and Imbued by sight (the remnant traces of an Imbued's abilities like reading hunter-sign) and the ability to burn a Willpower point to resist a monster's mental control. A Bystander can, optionally, replicate some parts of or even all of a true Imbued's Second Sight ability by buying special Merits to do so, but this will leave a Bystander as a poor imitation of a true Hunter who still can't learn Edges and has no character points left for any other abilities.
  • Weak, but Skilled: Bystander characters are often a source of special skills, contacts, backgrounds, etc. that an Imbued character lacks.

     The Messengers 

  • All Myths Are True: Hunters can interpret the Messengers any way they want, and the Messengers don't particularly confirm or contradict any of their theories. The majority of Hunters have a background in the Abrahamic faiths and think of them as Biblical angels, hence "Messengers", but some like Soldier91 take a more science-fiction view and think of them as extraterrestrial aliens, while others see them as only a metaphorical manifestation of the strength of the human spirit. Potter116 takes a pantheistic view and sees the Messengers as Spirit Advisor manifestations of the "Living Power" in all things; other Hunters with polytheistic beliefs identify their Messenger visitations with various pagan gods.
  • All There in the Manual: Although the Ministers are clearly identifiable as the Scarlet Queen and the Ebon Dragon from their descriptions in the Hunter books, almost no information is given about them within the gameline, and anything you want to learn about them you have to dig up from reading Kindred of the East or Tabletop Game/Exalted (much of which will be contradictory).
  • Animorphism: The Scarlet Phoenix and Ebon Dragon either appear in the forms of mythic animals they're named for (the "red bird and black snake") or in human form ("the burning lady and the dark man").
  • Applied Phlebotinum: Although they end up taking a major role in high-level Hunter chronicles poking at the backstory of the World of Darkness, it is strongly recommended that in low-level play the Messengers be treated as this — they're a convenient source of the Second Sight and the superpowers that make an everyman monster hunter plot possible at all, and for most Hunters that's all they'll ever be, with their nature and their intentions continuing to be a mystery.
  • Big Good: They are theoretically this for the World of Darkness, especially from the POV of the average Hunter. It is highly arguable how good they actually are.
  • Bizarre Alien Psychology: There's something fundamentally incompatible between the way the Messengers think and normal human functioning, which is why the Hermit Creed became a disastrous failed experiment — the constant flow of information from the Messengers ends up being only Psychic Static that drives the Hermit insane and makes them unable to function.
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: At first, it seems like the Virtues of Zeal, Mercy and Vision are appealing to the best, most altruistic impulses in human nature. But it doesn't take long for Hunters to start Jumping Off the Slippery Slope and showing how alien these values can be when taken to extremes — and it becomes clear that the Messengers are fine with the perverse outcomes that result.
    • This is exacerbated by the degree to which Exalteds lore drifted from the World of Darkness, and Exalteds version of the Ebon Dragon became the Primordial most associated with primal Evil and eventually the Greater-Scope Villain of the whole setting, which seems utterly incompatible with his role in Kindred of the East or as one of the Ministers in Hunter. That said, the Ebon Dragon's role in creating the Unconquered Sun and the Solar Exalted does indicate a possible connection still exists, if you're willing to string together enough Epileptic Trees.
  • Celestial Paragons and Archangels: It's ambiguous whether they're the rulers of the Messengers or if the "Messengers" don't really exist and they're the only two Loyal Angels who remain, but the Ministers are this trope — we do know that one of them, the Scarlet Queen, was once called Ziana, the Seraph of the Cycle and ruler of the Sixth House.
  • Council of Angels: The Messengers present themselves as this, although one of the Reveals we eventually get is that it's quite likely the "council" has been reduced in number to only two, with the rest of the angels having gone wherever God went.
  • Cryptic Conversation: All interactions with the Messengers are like this. It's implied that this isn't entirely voluntary and that the Messengers are too fundamentally alien from humankind to communicate plainly with them, in sharp contrast to the Demons who've been infected by humanity after being banished to Earth.
  • The Dividual: Even though the Scarlet Queen and the Ebon Dragon are clearly two different beings and Hunters who see them report feeling a clear affinity to one or the other based on their own Virtues (Zealous Hunters like the lady more, Merciful Hunters the man), the Ministers are rarely if ever seen outside each other's company — visitations always involve the two of them appearing to deliver a message in unison.
  • Fire/Ice Duo: A variant. Appearances of the Ministers involve the phoenix or the lady giving off blazing light and heat, while the dragon or the man is described as being cloaked in shadows and giving off a soothing cool breeze.
  • A Form You Are Comfortable With: Notably averted with the Messengers, who mostly don't take any recognizable form at all and instead communicate in unfriendly, uncomfortable ways like Hearing Voices and seeing The Writing on the Wall. The Messengers don't take any concrete form unless you're important enough to speak to the Ministers, and the Ministers' forms of the Scarlet Queen and the Ebon Dragon are notable because they don't match any images that most Hunters were familiar with from their own religions. When Beatrice Tremblay gets a visitation from "the Messengers" that takes the form of her dead father to speak to her, it's a red flag that the vision is a fake sent by a Demon.
  • God Is Inept: A lot of the apparent mistakes and miscalculations the Messengers made with the Imbuing come off this way, like the unconscionable damage done by creating the two "lost Creeds". But if you buy the Messengers' hype of being directed by the "Ministers of Creation", this goes a lot further back than the Imbuing — Hunters are just the most recent of an endless series of "experiments" by the Ministers that led to all the other supernatural gamelines, and have been created just to clean up their past messes and hide the evidence of their failures. As Carpenter169 taunts hunter-net with, "You're not even the janitor, just the janitor's mop, bucket and broom!"
  • The Gods Must Be Lazy: The typical version of this trope where it seems like the Messengers must be incredibly powerful to empower the Imbued, and yet empowering the Imbued is all they do, leaving their chosen ones to do the dirty work while basically never directly intervening on Earth in any other way. Lucifer speculates this is all they can do, having been barred from direct intervention, spitefully mocking Crusader17 as having been "hollowed out into their oven mitt so they can root around in this burning world".
    • This is complicated by the fact that the circumstances of Imbuing events often seem like an all-too Contrived Coincidence, and the Messengers are often speculated to be nudging events to allow them to happen rather than just Imbuing people who organically happen to witness the supernatural. This gets a lot more blatant when arranging an Ordeal to Imbue a Divine Extremist, although even then the book stipulates the Messengers can only operate by "nudging" people's actions through their thoughts and can't directly perform miracles.
  • Godzilla Threshold: Whether they couldn't perform the Imbuing beforehand or simply chose not to, the Imbuing itself is clearly a reaction to the Week of Nightmares and the Sixth Great Maelstrom that blew up the status quo of the World of Darkness in 1999. The primary purpose of the Imbued seems to be giving the Skinlands a frontline defense against the waves of ghosts flooding back into the land of the living after the destruction of the Underworld, and their secondary purpose being a vague hope that their existence might give ordinary humans a glimmer of a chance of surviving the upcoming Time of Judgment.
  • Gone Horribly Right: It's strongly implied the Messengers didn't create the Hunters' abilities but "unlocked something always meant to be there" (possibly indicating the Imbued are the second coming of the Solar Exalted), and that because of this the Imbued are rapidly evolving into something outside of their control.
  • Harbinger of Impending Doom: One of the Stock Phrases used by the Messengers in the Imbuing, "Inherit the Earth", is a way of telling Hunters that The End Is Nigh and their purpose is to prepare for it.
  • Have You Seen My God?: The Ministers of Creation are very careful to always call themselves only that and never "the Creator", and the sorry state of the world seems to be because the actual Creator is gone and whatever plan She had for the universe is now unknown.
  • Herald: The alternate name for the Messengers, the Heralds, both references their possibly-angelic nature and their extremely on-the-nose role as this trope for The Hero's Journey.
  • In Mysterious Ways: Extremely so. Any Hunters who are even slightly more in the know than average are pretty aware that the Messengers are dicking them around to some degree, and anyone with a bigger-picture view of the World of Darkness — especially "monsters" investigating the Imbuing from their own POV — finds it obvious the Hunters are being lied to about the nature of their mission.
  • Jerkass Gods: When looking at the big picture of their effect on the world and on the lives of individual Hunters it's hard not to see them as this — drafting random humans into a Hopeless War that rarely accomplishes anything positive or lasting, dooming most of their Chosen Ones to a horrible and early death, and driving the ones who survive stark raving mad and destroying any chance they have at happiness. This gets worse if the Ministers really are the creators of the other gamelines — if, for instance, the Scarlet Queen really is Gaia, and has created two sets of children, the Werewolves and the Zeal Hunters, and set them to kill each other in order to maintain "balance".
  • The Man Behind the Man: Fall From Grace finally confirms that there are at least two different "layers" to the phenomenon known as the Messengers, and that the "inner circle" that actually gives the Messengers their marching orders is a somewhat different phenomenon, known as the Ministers of Creation. It's not clear whether "the Messengers" are actual beings serving the Ministers or just a veil of illusion the Ministers operate behind, but where the Messengers are a cold, mechanical dispenser of powers and information, the Ministers are much more humanized and talking to them is almost like having a conversation. Unlike the faceless Hive Mind that the Messengers present as, the Ministers are two distinct entities, the "red lady and the black snake", better known to Kindred of the East players as the Scarlet Queen and the Ebon Dragon.
    • The Ministers themselves are named that because they disclaim the title of "God" or "Creator", and claim to only be servants. Whether they're receiving orders from a higher God is unknown, although if you plumb deep enough into Hunter lore it becomes worryingly apparent that God is absent or unresponsive and the Ministers are acting without orders or even against orders, due to the desperate state of the world. (Demon: The Fallen's backstory immediately confirms this — everything about the World of Darkness is the way it is because to all appearances God is Dead.)
  • Multiple-Choice Past: The authors of Hunter: The Reckoning intentionally did this with the Messengers, whose nature ties into the general Multiple-Choice Past of the World of Darkness itself. Notably, there is deliberate ambiguity in the Demon: The Fallen backstory over whether the Messengers really are the last of God's loyal angels and therefore Lucifer's enemies, or whether they are, in fact, a mask for Lucifer himself.
    • One suggestion about the Messengers' identity is that they're the Aralu, the godlike beings in the crypts at the center of the city of Enoch in Vampire: The Masquerade; a line in the Vampire sourcebook Children of the Night states that after the destruction of Enoch, triggering the Sixth Great Maelstrom, three angelic beings rose from the wreckage and contemplated Creation briefly before vanishing. Note that this meshes very poorly with previous lore stating the Aralu were Antediluvian vampires, and with lore from Hunter saying the Man Behind the Man for the Messengers, the Ministers, numbered only two. (Cue Wild Mass Guessing about the identity of the third.)
    • The Time of Judgment book for Mage: The Ascension, titled simply Ascension, suggests that the Psychopomps who give Mages their Avatars and the Messengers who Imbued the Hunters are the same beings. (If we go by Mage's implied links to Exalted, this makes them the last of the Sidereal Exalted.) While this makes some sense, it also makes the Messengers unambiguously Manipulative Bastards playing a Right Hand Vs Left Hand game.
    • The closest thing to a "canon" origin for the Messengers is the implication that the two Ministers are the Scarlet Queen and Ebon Dragon from Kindred of the East, who may or may not be connected to the similarly-named Scarlet Empress and Ebon Dragon from Exalted. This would, controversially, be linked to the idea that the Scarlet Queen is the same being as Gaia and the mother of all shapeshifters, while the Ebon Dragon is the original creator of the Underworld (perhaps the original Halaku Angel Charon from whom the mortal shade Charon took his name), and that they're two out of three of the Angels who cursed Caine — thus making them the original creators of all the "monsters" they set up the Hunters to kill.
    • The final idea for the Messengers' origin is that they're a front for Lucifer himself, or that Lucifer himself is the third of the Ministers after the Scarlet Queen and Ebon Dragon. This is directly Jossed by Time of Judgment telling us that the identity of the Messengers is one of the few things that, even at the very end of the world, Lucifer doesn't know, although of course the point of Time of Judgment as a sourcebook was presenting a multiple-choice set of endings for the World of Darkness with none of them fully canon.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: A lot of the havoc Hunters are wreaking in the World of Darkness seems like it can't possibly really be in line with the Messengers' plan, and often makes things worse for ordinary humans and just creates opportunities for the most evil beings in the World of Darkness to consolidate their power. The worst example of this might be the fact that by Imbuing the Hunters at all, the Messengers have created a bunch of naive, manipulable humans who are supercharged Faith batteries for their worst enemies, the Demons, to exploit. Indeed, the Imbued are the only way the Eldritch Abominations known as the Earthbound can be freed from their prisons and gain a human avatar, which is very, very much an Oh, Crap! moment for any of the lesser beings in the World of Darkness.
  • Not So Different: The existence of Corrupt Extremists in Hunter indicates that the Messengers and the Demons are somehow the same order of being, and that Corrupt Extremists exist because Demons can hijack the "channel" the Messengers created for the Imbuing and take their place. Moreover, we come to learn that the Messengers were somehow Sealed Good in a Can until the Week of Nightmares, just as the Demons were trapped in the Abyss until then — and, eventually, we find out from Lucifer that the Messengers must be acting on their own authority rather than God's and whatever they're doing is just as much a deviation from God's plan as Lucifer's rebellion was. The fact that the two Ministers of Creation still exist within the universe when the limitless host of the Loyal Angels the Demons were expecting to meet have all gone wherever God went indicates they may be "rebels" in their own way, stragglers who stayed behind to meddle against God's will.
  • Omniscient Council of Vagueness: The Messengers are exactly this trope — no one knows exactly how much they know, either about the supernatural world or the mundane one, and to what degree everything that happens is All According to Plan. A lot — a lot — of their actions seem to backfire, especially the creation of the two "failed" Hunter Creeds, and yet you can never be sure what is or isn't some kind of In Mysterious Ways double-bluff. And as for the Messengers themselves, only a very few Hunters know anything about them at all — even how many of them there are and whether they have any individual identity is a mystery.
  • Our Angels Are Different: The consensus among Hunters is that the Messengers are something like this, although that's as far as the consensus goes. Most Hunters use a mundane synonym like "Messenger" or "Herald" rather than the actual Biblical term "Angels", since there's no proof they actually are the angels from any particular religion (and it seems like if they were they would've said so). What does remain consistent in the visions most Hunters get is the sense that the Messengers are plural, that they had some kind of hand in the creation of the world as it is but they themselves are not God or the Creator, and that they're trying to fix what went wrong with it.
    • The Muslim Hunters (kiswah) in Holy War tend to call the Messengers "Nightly Visitants", a reference to The Qur'an's Surah 86, which uses the term "Nightly Visitant" (at-Taariq) to represent Allah's revelation. Interestingly, at-Taariq is understood to literally mean the "morning star" or the planet Venus, which in Christian tradition is associated with Lucifer — cueing Epileptic Trees about the Messengers' connection to the Big L himself.
    • Demon: The Fallen makes it clear that, within that gameline's own mythology, the only thing the Messengers really could be is the last of God's Loyal Angels, and yet the whole mythology of the World of Darkness is based on the fact that God and the Loyal Angels completely vanished after the Fall and Lucifer has never been able to find any evidence of their existence since then, despite his constant and desperate searching. If the Messengers are the Loyalists suddenly returned, the question of why they were only able to return now and what the hell they've been doing all this time before now is a major Riddle for the Ages.
  • Powers That Be: They're among the most powerful and unaccountable beings in the World of Darkness, and there's a strong implication that they literally are the "powers that be" for the other gamelines — the highly controversial hints that they're the same as the Psychopomps of Mage: The Ascension, the Scarlet Queen may be the same being as Gaia from Werewolf: The Apocalypse, the Ebon Dragon is the original creator of the Underworld in Wraith: The Oblivion, they're the archangels who cursed Caine in Vampire: The Masquerade, etc.
  • Rage Against the Heavens: More than a few Hunters end up taking this view of the Messengers themselves, and since the Messengers can't or won't provide much direct oversight of the Imbued's actions, they can do little to stop them from turning against them and using all the powers they were given to try to frustrate the Messengers' goals (especially if they end up taking the Corrupt or Independent Extremist path).
  • Riddle for the Ages: What exactly the deal is with the Messengers is one of the questions that pointedly remained unanswered all the way through the old World of Darkness' run, with the very last moments of Time of Judgment having Lucifer go over the few unanswered questions he has before the end, with "Who empowered the Bright Shiners?" being one of them. (One reason for this is that the original intended backstory involved a direct connection between Exalted and the World of Darkness, which is an idea that was eventually abandoned and Retconned out.)
  • Right Hand Vs Left Hand: The Messengers are clearly already doing this by creating both the Zeal Creeds and Mercy Creeds, which seem designed to be at odds with each other — a conclusion reinforced by finding out they're led by the two Ministers of Creation, the Scarlet Queen and the Ebon Dragon, who embody these two opposing Virtues and seem to almost be Friendly Enemies.
    • This is made much worse if the Epileptic Trees implied by them being the "Ministers of Creation" are true and, as participants in the creation of the World of Darkness, the Ministers are in fact the original progenitors of the "monsters" they've now set up the Hunters to oppose. This could be downplayed if you take the interpretation that the other supernatural gamelines are "failed experiments" they're trying to clean up (like the Curse of Caine obviously is), but if they really are the Psychopomps from Mage: The Ascension then they're actively creating new Mages at the same time that they're creating Hunters tasked with fighting them.
    • It's strongly implied that the Hunters were never actually intended to win their "war" and their creation was a last-ditch attempt to restore a Balance of Power between normal humans and monsters by brute force (the attitude of the Innocent Creed to the Hunt is almost textually this). While this might be an understandable strategic move on the Messengers' part, this does make their relationship to the Imbued, who have been set up to fail and die in their Hopeless War, fundamentally abusive.
  • Rule of Three: Played with. Many Visionary Hunters assume there must be three entities behind the Imbuing, since there are three Virtue Paths (Zeal, Mercy and Vision) that drive the Imbued, and a few of the hooks for the Messengers' identity describe three angels (three angels were sighted rising from the ruins of Enoch in the Sixth Great Maelstrom, three of God's archangels cursed Caine according to Noddist legend, etc.) However, those few Imbued who've actually met the Ministers of Creation only see two entities, the Scarlet Queen and the Ebon Dragon, who seem to map onto the Zeal and Mercy Virtues. The question of what happened to the "missing" third Minister who represents Vision is a Riddle for the Ages.
  • Sealed Good in a Can: Leaving aside the question of how "good" they are, it's implied the Messengers were this for most of human history; the Imbuing doesn't start until after the Sixth Great Maelstrom blows up the Underworld and shakes Creation to its rafters in 1999, the same event that breaks open the Abyss and allows the Demons to return to Earth in Demon: The Fallen. This may or may not be because the Messengers are the true identity of the Aralu who were entombed at the center of Enoch, and were seen rising as angelic figures from the wreckage after the city exploded.
  • Spirit Advisor: The Messengers serve as this for Hunters with the Patron Merit, although they're the kind of Spirit Advisor prone to Cryptic Conversation and maybe the occasional Dreaming the Truth or Helpful Hallucination.
  • Stress-Induced Mental Voices: The Messengers' words are easily mistaken for this, and in the eyes of some humanistically-minded Hunters that's all they ever were.
  • Tiger Versus Dragon: The Ministers of Creation, in their animal forms of the Scarlet Phoenix and the Ebon Dragon, with the Phoenix representing Yang (and the Virtue of Zeal) and the Dragon representing Yin (and the Virtue of Mercy). (They're a Gender Bender from traditional Eastern iconography, with the Yang figure being female and the Yin figure being male.)

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