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Tabletop Game / Hunter: The Vigil – Dark and Light

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"What? You think this assignment is going to be easy, greenhorn? I've fought these witches before, and let me tell you who else wore a stupid outfit. Superman with his underwear outside his tights. This is not a cakewalk, and if you don't shape up you won’t be coming home. I've seen skilled veterans empty entire clips and hit nothing but air. I've seen little girls walk off bullets at point blank range. And rookie, you will never ever laugh at a Barbie magic wand that shoots rainbows once you've seen those rainbows melt the flesh off a man's bones. Oh god, I can still smell it."
Charles Nelson, Task Force VALKYRIE captain

Hunter: The Vigil — Dark and Light is a fan-made Hunter: The Vigil book that tries to be as close to Original Flavor as possible.

Similar to previous fan-made supplement Hunter the Vigil: Dream Catchers, this one follows the pattern of official supplements describing how Hunters interact with various other gamelines, such as Nightstalker for vampires or Spirit-Slayers for Werewolves. Unlike Dream Catchers, however, this one focuses on Hunters' interactions with a fan-made gameline — namely, Princess: The Hopeful. It is the third supplement of this kind, and the first to address the interactions between Hunters and a fan-made gameline.

Like previous supplements of this type, Dark and Light introduces its own Compacts and Conspiracies:

  • #Ammit: A former Cell of Stormwracked who came to realize the error of their ways and reconverted themselves into a Hacktivist group, working to viciously tear the Darkness apart through communication.
  • Character Risk Analysis: A firm that makes a business out of helping rich (and often corrupt) humans against the supernatural.
  • The Star of Bethlehem: An association of parents who accuse the Queens of using Princesses as Child Soldiers and seek to protect the children whom they see as victims.
  • The Light Company: Sworn Mercenaries who support Princesses in their fight against the Darkness in exchange for Bequests and the hope of finding their place in the world.
  • The People's Guard: Modern-day Revolutionaries who see Nobles as a modern aristocracy oppressing Muggles and intend to overthrow them. Infamous for being incredibly violent and ruthless, even by Hunter standards.
  • The Magister of Economie: Corrupt Corporate Executives who abduct Princesses to deliver them to the Wardens, receiving part of their power as reward.
  • Sanitation Workers Committee: A secret conspiracy among cleaners, electricians, and other lowly placed individuals who teach the vulnerable how to survive working in close proximity to Taint; and use their access to the homes of rich and powerful employers to blackmail anyone hurting the people they protect.

It can be found here, albeit currently unfinished mechanics-wise.

This game provides examples of:

  • Arrested for Heroism: Part of this book's themes is to expand on this trope regarding Princesses, which already was hinted at in their corebook. Many hunters conspiracies, including the government-founded Task Force Valkyrie, hold negative opinions of Princesses and seek to stop them, because even though they are fighting crime and corruption and trying to make the world a better place, they still are illegal vigilantes at best, or supernatural invaders from a weird Dream Land at worst.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Invoked in one of the supplement's pictures, which has a shotgun-toting Union Hunter, and a Noble of Swords with a flaming battleaxe, standing together while surrounded by a horde of Darkspawn.
  • Bat Signal: Invoked in one of the new Tactics, which allows Hunters to summon a nearby Princess. It's put to frequent used by members of the Union who have good relationships with Nobles on their territory.
  • Birds of a Feather: The Nobles and Lucifuge of things, with both groups having similar ideologies and methods. Initially the Lucifuge viewed the Nobles with the same envious Fantastic Racism they applied to mages, until they saw the Blessed with Suck aspects of a Noble’s powers. They have since come to view the Nobles as their angelic counterparts and gradually have managed to befriend them, to the point that there are rumors of a Lucifuge and Noble dating.
  • Big Damn Heroes: The opening fiction of the book features a Princess saving the lives of a Hunter Cell from Darkspawn after entering in a Dark Cult's hideout.
  • Bullying a Dragon: It's mentioned there have been cases of Magisters who stupidly tried to use the Rite of Somnus (the rite they use to trap Princesses in the Dreamlands and steal their powers) on Beasts and Changelings, both beings who have a strong affinity with dreams and the art of manipulating them. These attempts have always ended with the captives easily escaping, to then Mind Rape their would-be captors into a coma with horrible nightmares.
  • Burn the Witch!: A belief that more religious Hunters may have towards Nobles, most especially the more radical sections of the Long Night and Malleus Maleficarum (with a fiction in the Malleus Maleficarum's section of the book having one of their leaders literally burn a Noble at the stake — his own daughter, no less). Zigzagged in that the Long Night and Malleus Maleficarum don't have all their members subscribe to this belief, with some in the Long Night believing that Nobles are Angels sent by God to help humanity fight the forces of darkness, and the Order Of St. Ambrose also believing that the Nobles have their magic derived from more holy than unholy sources. The book even provides a fanmade chapter of the Malleus Maleficarum, the Order of Phargos, who believe Nobles are reincarnations of "Chosen Ones" meant to fight the Darkness (and, in the aforementioned fiction, take in another member of the Maleficarum under their wing, after he was horrified with what they had just done to the Noble his leader burned alive.).
  • Cape Busters: Any Hunter organization who hunts Princesses will be this, given that the Hopeful are the closest thing this setting has from superheroes.
  • Clark Kenting: Discussed; Hunters are aware Princesses have this ability, and they find it very frustrating, as all a Princess has to do to escape them is run out of sight and revert to mundane form before they can catch up. More than one Hunter Cell lost track of a Noble because they were chasing her, only to lose her after an unknown civilian who "just happened" to be around gave them the wrong direction.
  • Cool vs. Awesome: Monster Hunters vs Magical Girls
  • Dark Secret: The higher ranks of Task Force: VALKYRIE know that there are important members of the US government, including high-ranking generals, who have been corrupted by the Darkness, with a number of them actually having authority over the Task Force. While they do their best to deal with the problem, they keep this from the lower ranks to prevent panic and to keep it from undermining the government's authority.
  • Deadly Euphemism: Sending a princess's soul back to the Dreamlands is referred to by the Magisters are "retiring". The result is a soulless husk that acts like it's been lobotomized or a comatose vegetable.
  • Deal with the Devil: Interestingly, #Ammit, Character Risk Analysis and the Magisters all technically qualify:
    • Character Risk Analysis in the figurative sense, in that while they don't make deal with supernatural forces, the wide majority of their clients are Corrupt Corporate Executives;
    • #Ammit, though they gave up their Sworn powers, still worship the Queen of Storms and seek to serve her cause;
    • Magisters qualify in the most classic sense, since they gain their powers by turning in Princesses to their former jailers.
    • The Cheiron Group has an "Alhambran Agreement", although its exact terms are unknown aside from the fact it forbids them to directly engage Princesses on the field.
  • Deconstruction: In line with Princess: The Hopeful, several of the Compacts and Conspiracies introduced in this supplement serve to deconstruct aspects of the Hopeful and the Magical Girl genre:
    • The Star of Bethlehem was formed as a result of the high death rate caused by sending superpowered Child Soldiers fight against dangerous, evil monsters;
    • Character Risks Analysis rose primarily as a reaction to Hopeful activity because them harassing corrupt rich humans was disturbing the economy and potentially causing more problems by creating power vacuums, not to mention going against the law;
    • The Magisters pulled a Face–Heel Turn as a result of their Noble master's Honor Before Reason policy causing the death of several of them during a confrontation with more pragmatic vampires.
    • The People's Guard were just a bunch of peasants until they discovered during the French Revolution the noblewoman who had been abusing them for years actually was a Princess of Tears draining them for Wisps.
    • While Princesses of Mirrors may seem more like hilarious than anything else in their main gameline, this supplement takes time to show us how they appear in the eyes of Hunters and regular mortals; namely, as Egomaniac Witches and Succubi who brainwash entire groups into their personal cults.
    • The Queens and their Courts are viewed as foreign power from another realm by Task Force: VALKYRIE and the US government, with Princesses being viewed as dangerous vigilantes and terrorists at best, and agents of a foreign power infiltrating America at worst.
  • Dirty Commies: Task Force: VALKYRIE's view of the People's Guard, with standard procedure being to let members of the People's Guard engage hostiles, wait until the battle is over, then go in and kill whoever is left regardless of which side won, blaming the monsters for any People's Guard casualties.
  • Do Wrong, Right: The main reason the Cheiron Group dislike that Magisters: They tend to dispose of Princesses, which is wasteful and far less profitable than harvesting them.
  • Enemy Mine: Princesses usually aren't fans of Beasts to say the least, but both will occasionally join forces in their common hatred against the Ashwood Abbey.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • Even morally dubious Compacts and Conspiracies like the Cheiron Group and the Ashwood Abbey find how the Magisters deal with the Princesses distasteful.
      Ashwood Abbey (to the Magisters): There are a million soul-sucking jobs out there. Who the Hell do you think you are, trying to make the Hunt one of them?
    • This applies to the less scrupulous ones introduced in this supplement as well, of course; Character Risk Analysis look down on them for stealing the powers of the Nobles for their own, and the People's Guard hate them and what they do even more than they hate the Hopeful.
  • Evil Hero: The Magisters are technically protecting mortals from the supernatural and fighting monsters, but their methods include brainwashing innocents and using Princesses as power sources.
  • Fetish: The Ashwood Abbey sees Princesses as this; after all, what's not to love about beautiful, scantily-clad women fighting monsters?
  • Good Is Old-Fashioned: The Magisters of Economie hold this belief toward Nobles ever since their former Noble master lost multiple lives against a vampire because of his Honor Before Reason policy.
  • Good Versus Good: While most supernatural beings in the Chronicles of Darkness range from completely evil to morally ambiguous, Princesses are overall genuinely benevolent, with the Twilight Courts being Anti Villains at worse, making any conflict between them and Hunters this. Can Devolve into White-and-Grey Morality, Grey-and-Grey Morality, or even full-on Grey-and-Black Morality if the Hunters are morally ambiguous, or even outwardly villainous, compared to the Nobles they're hunting; examples of the latter include The People's Guard, The Magister of Economie, and Ashwood Abbey (the last one being notable in that Nobles may team up with Beasts of all things, just because both of them hate the Abbey so much).
  • Heel–Face Turn: #Ammit claims so, but they often use unscrupulous methods, and still worship the Queen of Storms.
  • Honey Trap: One of the sample members of the Sanitation Workers Committee is a handsome latin-American pool boy who seduces lonely housewives to get the dirt on their executive husbands.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: Members of the Light Company are often aiming to become Princesses' Sworn retainers. Many of the Magisters are stated to be a dark form of this in secret, not that they'd admit it of course.
  • In Love with Your Carnage: It's implied the Ashwood Abbey is always eager to find Storm Princesses due to how violent and dangerous they are.
  • Just Like Robin Hood: Some of the Sanitation Workers Committee. But they're more likely to use their skills to help the poor by influencing politics than by redistributing money.
  • Kick The Son Of A Bitch: #Ammit's modus operanti consists in savagely attacking and ruining the life of servants of the Darkness.
  • Kryptonite Factor: Hunters have obviously learnt to exploit the Darkness' weakness to Jade.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: The supplement has several sections dedicated to explain why Hunters and Princesses would clash despite being theoretically on the same side. Reasons primarily include Fantastic Racism and distrust toward the supernatural and the Hopeful's idealism clashing with Hunters' pragmatism.
  • Living Battery: Magisters fuel their powers by using comatose Princesses as batteries.
  • Loophole Abuse: The Alhambra Accords forbid the Cheiron Group from engaging Princesses in fight, and thus from sending agents after them to kidnap them. They go around that problems by following them whenever they go fight the Darkness and collecting them when they are too weakened and half-dead to fight.
  • La Résistance: So The People's Guard claim. To a lesser extent the Sanitation Workers Collective as well, which makes sense due to being an offshoot of The People's Guard when they initially fled France during the Reign of Terror.
  • Milkman Conspiracy: The Sanitation Workers Collective are a conspiracy of cleaners, maidservants, and other professions with little influence. However their jobs provide plenty of access to the homes and offices of people with real power which they use to their full potential.
  • The Mole: One of the sample princesses, The Green Knight, who is actually a Champion of Storms trying to destroy her conspiracy from the inside piecemeal.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
    • It's briefly mentioned a Hunter Cell once accidentally caused a Princess to turn into a Dethroned when trying to convince her to stop her activities.
    • Network Zero, despite being overall one of the most supportive Compacts toward Princesses, have an infamous habit of divulging info about their identities, thus exposing them to the Darkness.
  • Ninja Maid: The Sanitation Workers Committee is full of maids and cleaners who know how to defend themselves. They are often also masters of stealth, disguise, and even assassination, making them almost literal ninja maids.
  • Not Using the "Z" Word: Defied in the opening fiction for Character Risk Analysis, where a new member is reluctant to use the term "Magical Girl" due to how silly it sounds. His superior promptly urges him to not bother and just use it, arguing that they shouldn't let them use the silliness of the term to their advantage.
  • Off with His Head!: The People's Guard favors this method of executing princesses. The fiction piece has them doing this to a Tears princess.
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: Magisters get their powers by handing over Princesses to the Warden and using their comatose bodies as living batteries.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: Character Risk Analysis' view of The Union is that it is a good idea to convince their employers to throw them a bone every so often, simply to keep them from causing trouble rather than out of any actual desire to help the workers.
  • Punch-Clock Hero: The lower ranks of the Sanitation Workers Committee are often in danger from monsters when they're just trying to do their job, and only fight monsters to stay safe while they put food on the table. However the upper ranks are true believers in the Conspiracy's mission of protecting society's lowest.
  • Replacement Goldfish: The earliest members of The Light Company were looking for a replacement after being parted from the Noble they served. Now most members never had a liege, but many are hoping to get one.
  • Renegade Splinter Faction: The Sanitation Workers Collective was formed when members of the People's Guard fled north to England instead of east to Germany and Russia. They tempered the revolutionary rhetoric (considering England was wary after the chaos of Olvier Cromwell and the English Civil War, and would end up allying with Shinto burakumin (who, in traditional Shinto, were considered tainted, and cast down the social hierarchy, despite them cleaning everything to maintain its holiness — the Western founders of the future Collective would instead find a Shinto cult that inverted this prejudice, and put burakumin at the highest spiritual rank for maintaining the holy purity that Shinto ran on).
  • The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: The People's Guard are definitely aren't in their fight against "Noble Oppression"; they have no problem shooting down or beheading even child princesses and are absolutely ruthless in their methods, giving pause even to other Hunters.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: The Ashwood Abbey are repulsed by the Magister's Powered by a Forsaken Child use of Princesses as living batteries... because it makes the Hunt into a tedious job.
  • Sadly Mythtaken: The Star of Bethlehem, who have a fundamental misunderstanding of how Nobles work, blame the Queens for making kids Nobles.
  • Stop Being Stereotypical:
  • Sucksessor: The Magisters of Economie fancy themselves as more talented and pragmatic successors to Nobles, whom they see as obsolete protectors in need of retiring and Passing the Torch to them. In practice, they are corrupt people who do not hesitate to use their powers for profit, remorselessly brainwash mortals to be their happy slaves and bargain with the Wardens (who are agents of the Darkness) to use the one they are "succeeding" as a living battery. Needless to say, even other hunters usually do not think very highly of them.
  • Super-Cute Superpowers: As the book is full of magical girls, this is a given. One fiction has a veteran hunter talking about a magical girl with the power to shoot rainbows from a Barbie wand, and using them to melt the flesh from her enemies' bones.
  • Superhero Paradox: Discussed; some members of Null Mysterii theorized that Princesses actually are unwillingly causing the Darkness to show up wherever they do.
  • Supporting Protagonist: Very likely when playing as members of The Light Company. You might find yourself impersonating a Princess to protect her secret identity while she's off saving the day.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • The Light Company came together in the wake of the 2003 Recession and are often cash-strapped, due to many of the group not having much in terms of 'marketable' skills outside of very specific needs... like the Nobility.
    • Despite their best intentions, Princesses still are illegal vigilantes fighting outside the law, and debatably, given their connection to the Queens, foreign invaders. As a result, Task Force Valkyrie treats them with hostility and is one of the most hostile factions toward them.
    • A double-edged variant regarding relationships between the two sides; being genuinely well-intentioned and not particularly secretive in their culture, Radiant Princesses are more than happy to explain what they are and how they function to regular humans who ask them, meaning Hunters usually are better informed about Noble factions and motivations than they are about other supernaturals, enough that they more or less know the various Courts. Conversely however, despite all their willingness to cooperate, Princesses still are the only unambiguously good supernatural beings in a setting where such creatures usually prey on humans (not to mention all the bad reputation brought by the Twilight Courts), meaning Hunters don't easily drop their prejudice and distrust.
    • The US government has a very low view of communism, and view the People's Guard as communist. Because of this, Task Force: VALKYRIE has a tendency to kill them and blame their deaths on monsters.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: A common relationship between Nobles and Hunters. Hunters distrust Princesses due to their supernatural roots, while the Hopeful, despite being more than happy to cooperate, often take issue with the Hunters' Pragmatic Hero stance, but in the end, the two usually end up working together whenever the Darkness is involved.
  • Transformation Is a Free Action: Discussed; it's mentioned some Hunters were Genre Savvy about this trope and tried to subvert it; unfortunately for them, Princesses do not work that way. Their transformations take a few seconds at best, and most of them prefer transforming out of sight anyway.
  • Totally Not a Werewolf: Predictably, many Hunters cannot tell the differences between Princesses and Mages, with several groups in fact seeing the former as a subtype of the latter.
  • Underestimating Badassery: A frequent theme in the book; it's mentioned many Hunters initially fail to take Princesses seriously, seeing them as silly superhero wannabes whose bright flashy costumes make them feel out of place- only to be brutally reminded that, as silly as they look, Nobles are supernatural powerhouses. One story has a veteran Task Force: VALKYRIE Hunter chewing out a newbie for assuming a magical girl was harmless because of her cute outfit.
    "What? You think this assignment is going to be easy, greenhorn? I've fought these witches before, and let me tell you who else wore a stupid outfit. Superman with his underwear outside his tights. This is not a cakewalk, and if you don't shape up you won’t be coming home."
  • Violently Protective Girlfriend: Implied in one of the fictions, where a Hunter narrates how his Cell once kidnapped someone they suspected of being in relation with the supernatural to interrogate him. A Princess of Swords then showed up and proceeded to take them all down non-lethally in a few minutes before freeing the man and leaving a message telling them to stay away from her friends.
    "None of us died, somehow, but it barely took her more than a few seconds to make all of us bite the dust. Twelve trained men with guns and kevlar vests, taken down by a teenage girl in a mini-dress with an oversized knife."
  • Would Not Hurt A Child: The primary reason why many Hunters are uncomfortable fighting Nobles. The People's Guard aversion of this trope is one of the many reasons they are perceived as disturbing. And even they despise the Magisters of Economie for basically lobotomizing them to steal their powers.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: As per tradition in Hunter: The Vigil, many of the new Compacts and Conspiracies have completely inaccurate beliefs on Nobles:
    • The Star of Bethlehem believes Nobles are brainwashed and manipulated by the Queens into being Child Soldiers. While it is true that the wide majority of Nobles are children or teenagers, the Queens do not force them to fight, and in fact only allow them to do it because this allows them to keep an eye on them and better protect them.
    • The People's Guard sees Nobles as an oppressive aristocracy of wizards due to their first encounter being with a Princess of Tears, and assume Radiant Nobles merely are the same Nobles showing a kind face. While the Court of Tears indeed fits their visions of Nobles, the Radiant actually have no feeling of superiority over humans and are genuinely trying to help against the Darkness.