Here’s a link to In Retrospect–Hunter: The Reckoning Part 1

There’s one thing which hindered me from running a World of Darkness RPG: all of the story. And Hunter: the Reckoning is no different.

As I said in the first part, unless you count character creation, you don’t see any rule systems until Chapter 6. Chapters 1 & 2 explain the setting. Chapters 3 thru 5 delve into your character’s background story of which your abilities are contingent, and for every ability and skill, there’s a 2-3 paragraph vignette before the explanation on how it works. Chapters 6 & 7 finally explain the rules. Then Chapter 8 delves into the art of being a Storyteller.

Hunter the Reckoning uses dice polls of d10s. If you want to shoot something, add the number of dots you have dexterity + your firearms skill and roll the number of dice. So if you Dex has 3 and your firearms is 2, that’s five dice. You’re usually looking for 6s. The more successes you get the better the result

It can be difficult to remember which combinations of abilities and skills I should use, and deciding on the difficulty. I’ve never run Hunter: The Reckoning, but I’ve played in other World of Darkness games, where the game master had trouble, and so he made up the result on the fly. The rules encourage it.

Here’s another weird thing–The more dice you roll in your dice pool, the greater the chance of failure. What? Yes.

It’s like this: A 10 is an automatic success, you succeed no matter the difficulty. A 1 is an automatic failure, and subtracts from any successes you’ve got, including any 10s. So if you’ve rolled a 10, 7, 4, and 1 for that shooting test above, you’ve only got one success. If you rolled a 10, 5 , 4, and 1, then you’ve botched (no successes and a 1) and bad stuff happens. 1s cancel out 10s, but 10s don’t cancel 1s.

Thus, while it seems like the greater the dice your roll increase your chances for success, it also increases your chances for a botch.

I think they fixed this in the 2004 World of Darkness reboot.

Anyway, I’ve also always wondered about this:

Hunter02
Left: angelic letters from A Dictionary of Angels, Including the Fallen Angels, by Gustav Davidson    Right: The Hunter Code transmitted by mysterious messengers (from on high?)

Is there a connection?

Did the game designers draw some inspiration from this?

The game doesn’t shy from religious themes, so it wouldn’t surprise me.

In the game itself characters use these signs for aid and guidance, but nobody knows their true origins.

Final thoughts

I’ve never played Hunter: The Reckoning, nor do I plan to, but I can’t help but be inspired the rulebook. There are lots of ideas here to bring into other games, and the advice in the Storyteller sections is useful.

The game came out in 1999, and therefore its no surprise that an Apocalyptic tone runs throughout. It’s called Hunter: The Reckoning, for a reason. The characters must bring retribution against the forces of darkness which have dominated the world for so long.

I would love to play in a game like this, but probably with another system. Maybe The Burning Wheel perhaps?