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[Hunter: The Reckoning] and right-wing dog-whistling

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  • [Hunter: The Reckoning] and right-wing dog-whistling

    Inspired by this thread. A treasure-trove of first-hand information from 2 of the original writers and a veritable marketplace of ideas concerning the game overall (i.e. lots of haggling and shifty exchanges). Frankly, it was rather disheartening that only by page 21 there appeared this comment, pointing out one of the elephants in the room:

    The World of Darkness was build on a sort of 'undermining' of the prior status quo of 'You are Heroes, you go kill the Monsters'. We can quibble about how many people actually played it that way(The Trenchoat Katana Wielding Vampire Superhero cliche is one for a reason), but Vampire was about being a Monster and dealing with the fundemental problems that brought you. A game about scheming and being angsty and feeding on people and yet having to deal with people as well. Werewolf was a game about being a Rage Machine that got to fight back against Evironmental degredation and had these cool spirit world elements in an ethos where New Age stuff is kind of right? Mage.... was different, and I'll come back to it, but you got games about being a reality bending searching of truth or a Ghost wrestling with their seperation from the world they once knew or being an entity that can see this entire world of play that is real, but only to you.

    …Mages, Werewolves and Changelings are each, in there way, fighting against mass opressive systems devoted to their destruction already, and the way Hunter was often presented the nuances and themes of those games come to be ignores.”
    Yes! That was the simple, basic essence of the “Gothic-Punk” genre – to make something, long considered to be a mere monster, and turn it into somebody, you can identify with, sympathize and, ultimately, play. It was “punk” to fight against literal ages of traditions and preconceptions and turning them upside-down.

    That was a step forward. Hunter: The Reckoning, as a gameline, have become two steps back… and then some more… and more… and more.

    You know who was/is having nothing of this “filthy postmodernism” and “disrespect of the tradition”? That’s right – dem right-winger types. Sometimes they are coy and sly and try to hide behind “moderate” and “reasonable” rhetoric. Othertimes/Oftentimes they speak out their mind directly and openly… and feel damn proud about it.

    I know. I had exactly one such player. Just one telling-all example. When confronted with the results of very “productive activity” of the Spanish Inquisition in years of yore, there were no expectant by now weasel words and appeals to “see the context”. Oh-ho, no! He said that, yes, they did burn the people “but they were burning them smartly”. That “burning someone smartly” for a long time became a dark meme in our circle. Naturally, he was a very faithful, “churchy” person. Not some knuckles-dragging uneducated troglodyte, finding it hard to form a coherent sentence. A fellow member of Academia, who knows several languages (both dead and modern) and possessing enormous knowledge pertaining to history and theology.

    What others might have been missing, he heard loud and clear. For him the central “message” of the HtR was obvious from the start – doing (Christian’s) God work in the Fallen World. All in the name of actively advancing the upcoming Day of the Reckoning, with a mere promise of the New Heaven and the New Earth making it all (*all of it*) worthwhile. And how could you argue with his reasoning, if the “signs and portents” were everywhere in the rulebooks and source material?

    - Splats, which we are supposed to play, called the “Creeds”, with such names like “Martyrs”, “Redeemers”, “Innocents” and “Judges” harkening directly to the Judeo-Christian common vocabulary of terms and concepts.

    - One becomes an “imbued” via the intercession of the powerful, seemingly benevolent supernatural beings, called “Heralds” or “Messengers”. A paper-thin disguise for the most people not invested in faith and religion, but immediately obvious for anyone knowing the etymology of the word ἄγγελος

    - Epigraphs at the start of every chapter in every book are quotes from the Bible. With two notable exceptions: “Hunter Storytellers Companion”, which could be explained as “early edition weirdness”, and the “Holy War”, which, instead, quotes extensively from what it calls the “Koran”. Still, that a lot of quotes from the same source.

    - Even stylistically books look very “appealing”. Hunter’s code incorporates cross as a key element. Illustrations often referencing exactly “correct” interpretation of the struggle against monsters.

    - Finally, various in game voices saying this “in your face”. The entire premise of “The End is Nigh” as a central official (not just in fluff, but in out of character writing as well) theme.

    To no one’s surprise, only “Guys with the Flaming Crowbars” (aka the Avengers) are doing The Right Stuff, while the others are either a bunch of slackers or, worse, a potential fifth column of the Enemy. No, he had no knowledge of the Waywards back then. Not sure if he’d put them on the pedestal of the Righteousness instead.

    Do you remember how the Imbued made their grand entry into the World of Darkness? The tricky thing is – it happened in the sourcebook of a different gameline, referencing the events of yet another gameline, all of this even before the official release of HtR’s corebook. I’m talking about this episode from the “Time of Thin Blood” (Appendix):
    “Johnny Jumpup spun the girl from one arm to the other as the big band music played behind him. Sometimes, he saw a ghostly echo of the musicians around the CD player, which perched incongruously on his lord’s throne. His lordship affected to scorn “swing” and said he permitted these dances only out of sheer magnanimity — but Johnny had seen Cassidan’s foot tapping to the beat often enough! Now, however, Johnny only had eyes for the black-haired beauty who swung on his arm about the hall. He beat a quick tattoo in counterpoint to the music out of sheer high spirits: He knew from Aronwy’s flushed cheeks and bright eyes that he’d jump her bones later that night. Commoner, ha! He’d show her there was nothing common about him!
    Only the changelings, or mortals under their spell, could see the marble floor, the tapestries, the golden palm-tree columns with the living crystal birds nesting among the leaves… Nor could mortals see the Good Folk in their true forms. They could not see the pointed ears and piquantly upswept brows of Aronwy, or Johnny’s horns and hooves. To them, his open, brocaded shirt was just polyester from K-Mart. The fire itself would look like nothing but a chafing dish.
    Demon!” shouted the pamphleteer on the corner a few yards away. Johnny saw him there daily, shoving his tracts in the faces of passers-by, exhorting them to let Jesus into their hearts. He harangued the changelings every time they had a dance, and he never saw a hint of their true selves. Now, however, Johnny saw the man brandish his cheap wooden cross at—at him?
    Avaunt thee, Satan, and thy harlot with thee!” the pamphleteer roared. Light blazed around the cross. Reeking flames burst around Johnny. He leaped away from the hellfire, frantically slapping at his scorched legs. Mundanes couldn’t do this! Johnny ran. At least Aronwy ran with him. The other changelings scattered too, lashed by the street preacher’s fury. Behind them, cries of joy, surprise and terror arose as other mortals found their dreams coming true — and their nightmares…”

    The big entrance of the Hunter: The Reckoning into the jolly mishpacha of the WoD gamelines was, quasi-literal, “Kill pookah-bunnies in the name of Jesus”.


    Well, that was memorable and, ah, “tone-setting” for sure!

    There are obvious problems with the HtR rightwing dog-whistling even beyond the obvious Christian fundamentalism angle:

    - Highly paranoid anti-authority and anti civil society attitude:

    “Monsters are everywhere, they have feelers and sensors at all levels of society, government and religion. Where monsters themselves cannot tread, they manipulate pawns who act as their eyes and ears — normal people in league with evil, people whom you may not recognize as the enemy. The police could be under the sway of the walking dead. Politicians may be possessed by spirits. Television stations may broadcast the prepared statements of mindcontrolling demons.”
    - HtR Corebook, p. 19, presented ooc.

    - Among the ready to play characters are such “adorable” concepts as “All American” frat boy, contract-killer working for the Federal Agency, Survivalist, prayer-group attending elitist, “gun-rights advocate”, a literal “Schoolyard Bully”, a literal “Redneck” and a literal “Voyeur”.

    - Signature characters are, predictably, “complex”, in lieu of institutionalized edginess of the Old WoD. Many are just plain “amazing” (I’m still amazed someone came up with such concepts and thought it’s worthy of seeing a print), with several of them contradicting the eternally popular adage of the HtR defenders, that the Imbued who seek to annihilate with utmost prejudice anything “target-painted” by their Herald masters are outliers who have very short expected lifespan. Enter ex-US military Wendel Delburton aka Crusader17 from the “Guys with the Flaming Crowbar” Creed. His description (Creedbook Avenger, pp. 90-91) is “amazing” in its, ah, balance and attempt to see both sides:
    “Delburton’s posts make his evangelical Christian beliefs crystal clear. To him, there’s only Good and Evil. Anything that seems ambiguous is an illusion crafted by Satanic wiles to confuse those who would insist on following “merely human” ethics.
    Crusader17’s posts have implied that even before becoming imbued, he traveled the U.S. “doing the Lord’s work.” Based on his rabidly pro-life.sig file (“The ongoing murder of the unborn is the American Holocaust”), some readers have speculated that his taste for killing extended to clinic workers. But of course, there’s no way to be sure.
    Even if it is true… can the imbued afford to cast out a fighter of such determination and skill?”
    Spoiler alert! For a gameline, where the life expectancy of the Imbued is already short, brutal and, anyway, “capped” by the upcoming End of the World, Crusader17 had a very long and “good” run. In fact, he was last seen engaged in the “Wars of Religion” with a fellow religious fundie on the pages of “Fall from Grace” with an unclear result. He “resurfaced” (as a corpse) only during the “Gehenna Newsticker”, i.e. right before the curtain fell on all of WoD. And there are many, MANY Imbued like him, serving as conduits of the in-game “truth” – and as inspiration for the players and Storytellers alike.

    - “Hunter Tactics”. Ah, pre 9/11 zeitgeist that found so many things “acceptable”! HtR taps into a long and well established “Tradition” of survivalists, vigilantes, crypto-Fascists and outright Fascists and the Nazis, that, in fact, had been tried and tested on the streets of the US and the so-called “Free World” not so long ago. Domestic terrorism with IEDs, attacks on the centers of authority (even the NATO HQ in Brussels!), creation of “fortified compounds” capable of enduring long sieges, illegal surveillance of both the civilians and legitimate authorities, etc, etc.
    “The Red Dawn” gets a shy mention in the list of “inspiration material” only in Storytellers Handbook 2 years after the release of the game. Strangely, not mentioned is a wave of… things… inspired by it like, say, “The Price of Freedom” taken 110% seriously.
    Pro-tip – if you have now and then in several books devote entire sidebars in your books warning, that, no, in no way are you endorsing terrorism and this is all just a game, really… re-think your approach.

    - The officially declared endgame – “Inherit the Earth”. All Creeds agree with it, what with the Heralds being the common source of the official party line. When individual Hunters don’t dwell much upon this task, they merely lash out at all sides. But when they try to think about it, mull over and proceed from this basic premise logically… Let’s just say, that a “3 step plan” offered by the “Guys with the Flaming Crowbar” Creed (CB Avengers, pp. 57-58), namely:
    “We are here to create a return to a better time. An older, wiser time when everyone lived in peace. We are here to fight a revolution in people‛s minds, and to open them to the power and possibilities locked inside. This is about killing the nightmares. This is about liberation. This is about a return to an Old World Order, the very oldest of them all.
    - The liberation of government, industry and media from inhuman control…
    - Mobilize human assets to assist in a worldwide hunt…
    - Establish an interim government…

    As stated in the plan, our roles will be far from over, even if we one day exterminate the forces of inhumanity. The human race will still need us in the form of protectors and guides to help shape a new society.”
    is a… milestone… but not the end of the very rough road. HtR internal logic thought train could (and would) go to the bitter end of it. Let’s for now hang thins thought on a wall, Chekhov gun-style.

    It’s all too easy to weasel out of any potentially controversial situation, claiming that writing in-character and even fiction inserts are part of the “unreliably narrator” trick. Okay! Let’s use “primary sources” and ooc writing. Hunter Storytellers Handbook makes the usual suspects’ preconceptions “basically true”, admitting their own dog-whistling: “If you want to put an explicitly Judeo-Christian spin on the metaplot by identifying God with the Creator and angels with the Ministers, there’s no reason not to do so”.

    It then spills the beans about the ugly underside, of what it means to be Heralds volunteer helpers (HSH, p. 112):
    “Hunters don’t see the other denizens of the World of Darkness as they truly are...
    At certain times such as at the imbuing, when the Messengers actively influence hunter senses, in some cases with second sight or with certain observation-oriented edges such as Witness or Illuminate, the chosen can see symbolic representations of creatures rather than their real-world appearances. These impressions tend to exaggerate everything that is monstrous about an entity, as if to emphasize it as alien and potentially unacceptable, presumably by Messenger standards
    And even when a creature’s worst features aren’t exaggerated or don’t appear spontaneously, monsters can still seem wrong to hunter senses… This isn’t necessarily a value judgment on the part of the chosen. It’s an awareness presumably imposed by the Messengers as a warning or a mandate to do something about the thing.”
    Meaning – they are spoonfed distorted, biased, often inaccurate picture of the world by their “benefactors”, urging them to, literally, hunt and “inherit the Earth”. What is interesting, is that this distortion remains in game descriptions both in character, and out of it. Sample “monsters” to hunt available in various books, besides the stats, also have a description and/or a background information, that, indeed, exaggerate their “monstrousness”. HSH even advices (p. 118):
    “To a large extent, you have to forget most of what you know. Hunter focuses on struggles that affect ordinary people in day-to-day life…”
    To make the most of the supernaturals in Hunter, step back from the their interpretations in the other games and return to the monstrous view of them that infuses folklore and mythology…”
    Basically, it says that HtR requires for seamless play to actively embrace bias and falsehood. Which soooooorely, can not have any potentially unfortunate implications and consequences… right? After all, it’s all for a Good Cause. With literal Angels of God on your side, how can you be wrong? How can the Higher Power mandated struggle for the land to call your own not justify a lot of “hard choices”?

    How about – because the Imbued are hypocritically “had” (HSH pp. 180):
    “The Heralds therefore direct and oversee the hunt by virtue of selecting their agents, determining the information agents need to know to do their assigned jobs, and limiting what other information those agents can gather. Were hunters capable of being more aware of these connections, they might realize that they are akin to soldiers in a war, handpicked, trained and briefed by the “generals” who intend to send them against the enemy — and perhaps with just as little compassion.
    Indeed, the Heralds represent in microcosm what happens to the World of Darkness as a whole. The world is manipulated by beings (monsters) that its mundane elements (people) can’t grasp, and those beings can’t be challenged directly and they don’t answer to anyone. If players and hunters stopped to consider this thematic similarity between Messengers and monsters as manipulators, they might doubt the legitimacy of ever taking up the hunt.”
    They are duped en masse and then sent to a slaughter (HSH pp. 16-17):
    “What the imbued do not fully understand is that the next age is one of chaos and ruin, not a golden age as many hope. Not even the Ministers can change the ironclad laws of the cosmos, meaning that an age of order such as the present one can be followed only by one of chaos…
    …If the chosen ever realize that they are not supposed to stave off an apocalypse but are to merely minimize it, some imbued may rebel against their divine patrons, making the situation even more unstable…
    …Hunters are… ordinary folks called upon to preserve their race in the face of an apocalypse that they can neither fully understand nor avert. From that realization flows a great deal of drama.”
    Small digression here. I couldn’t help myself but to chuckle, when I saw “All Quiet on the Western Front” mentioned on the same pages. Really, I wasn’t expecting even a tint of culture in these parts. Unfortunately, the book meant not the original novel by E.M. Remarque, and not even a superb 1934 screen adaptation, produced by the people who really understood the Great War and who were capable to translate that onto the silver screen. No, they meant the most recent adaptation, and utilized it to draw a couple of banal and convoluted parallels/advice. Like, that no one of the protagonists gets a “reward”. Such comments betray either unfamiliarity with the novel, or lack of understanding. Because first chapter of “All Quiet…” begins with the “reward” literally finding all of the main characters. Due to enormous rate of casualties suffered by their unit, they are the only ones who’d be eating today – meaning double rations. That’s the kind of reward, befitting the Imbued, but, sadly, the book misses an opportunity to draw such a parallel. Oh, well!

    I started by mentioning one strong common theme uniting all diverse gamelines of the WoD, namely, the essence of the “Gothic Punk”. Here’s another one – the World of Darkness is, to borrow from the CtD, an Autumn World. It’s long, long past its prime. Yes, in the past, during the mythical Dawn of Time, everything was perfect. Then, through different ages, you still had a lot of worthy, mighty and wholesome things, a lot of heroes and exemplars, but less and less so. So here you are now – at the precipice of the End. It’s a Fall season, but the only harvest you might be gathering is of the fallen leafs. It’s a season of growing nights, of short, wet, windy, cold days. But, most important of all, “The Winter Is Coming” (tm).

    That’s why for me personally the ultimate WoD novel will always be Remarque’s “Drei Kameraden”, a sequel and an antithetic counterpart of sorts to the “All Quiet...”. Even the people totally ignorant of history would feel by the end of the book – yes, so much lost, but it will get only worse. As for the people who DO know the history…

    For me, given all the “baggage”, controversies and undeniable right-wing dog-whistling of the Hunter the Reckoning, certain strong historical parallels are hard to dismiss. The game offers us to play what I’d call “Gray Stromtroopers”, battling their numerous enemies on the streets of Weimar Germany… right after the Great Depression’s impact hit the country and the rest of the globe. Your “Gray Stromtroopers” are all perfectly ordinary people, who either in the past, or after 1929 have lost nearly everything. All of your characters remember very vividly events of the last 20 years, including the gripping hunger of 1916-7 winter. It’s been a downward spiral ever since – defeat, humiliation, ruin, corruption, despair. Yet they remember their relatively safer childhood, with its legends and mythologies, about the Second Empire of blood and iron, into which you were born, and the First Empire, with its martial glory, spirituality and nobility of the moral, and even the Ancient Empire, a romantic pinnacle of the “Only Worthy Civilization” (tm). All gone, only ruins remain of them, and no trace of their people. Is it also your fate?

    Hence come the Messengers-as-if-of-the-Higher-Power, capturing the attention of countless ordinary people like you. They reveal to you the face of the “enemy” – and it is monstrous indeed. Messengers urge you to fight – and you sign up. Messengers promise to you in the end, that there will be new land, which you would claim as your own, free of “monsters”, free of corruption or the enemy imposed need. You feel elated, finding a clear purpose, explained in no uncertain terms. The fact that most of your enemies are, literally, faceless shambling dehumanized masses, helps in feeling no remorse. If you can overcome these “rotten ones”, then, surely, the rest of the Enemy will fall before you as well!

    You find companionship and camaraderie in fellow “Gray Stormtroopers”. You have your own culture, code, customs and traditions – so new, yet so seeming ancient at once! You hear the stories about “sacred knowledge”, about “prehistoric civilizations” (evidence conveniently hidden, destroyed or dismissed by the Enemy), to which you and your People are the modern inheritors. Going out for your Hunts, you can rely only on each other, for the Government is hopelessly corrupt and infiltrated by the Enemy, doing “monsters” bidding. Sure, there are some good cops who agree with you and your methods, who might even themselves go and fight the “monsters”, but they don’t See the whole picture. The system is hopelessly rotten anyway and ought to be replaced – completely.

    Of course, even among your fellow genossen there are lively discussions and sometimes even disagreements over how to do your duty and deal with the Enemy. Some say that merely ensuring that the “monsters” would stop make more creatures like them ought to make the trick. Others say that the creatures, non-human as they are, still have their uses and must be actively exploited both for the militant struggle you wage so tirelessly, and for the betterment of the whole of entire human Race. But most are reliable stalwarts with clear Sight and right Vision. As for petty squabbles and disagreement, well – any popular movement has them. Some inner policing gonna suffice for now, with the proper purge having to wait till the inevitable Triumph of the Conviction.

    But after all your fights and struggles, after so much blood and violence, when the most senior among your “Gray Stormtroopers” would be ready to announce that “the time for our new world has begun” – this won’t be a Triumph. It will be just a start of a new Apocalyptic War. A War, against virtually an entire Globe. A War, which, contrary all the promises of those, who claimed to show you the truth, your side of the Chose Ones, gonna lose. Catastrophically. Some of you might even experience a… regret.


    One of the less popular books for the MtAs gameline was “Orphan Survivals Guide”. Among other things, it contained 4 ready to play starting characters. One of them was a single mother with a newborn child. HtR gameline defines her as the legitimate “prey” for its Hunters. We are told, by the defenders of the HtR gameline, that the Imbued are diverse lot with a broad number of opinions and approaches to find a Final Solution for, what they perceive as, “monster infestation”.

    In short, we’ve been asked to trust the judgement of “our fellow humans”, who’d their worldview spoonfed to them by a highly biased Higher Ups with their own clandestine agenda, and whose opinions about “the Others” formed the equivalent of the “Völkischer Beobachter”, the printing produce of the “Stürmer Verlag” (Nuremberg) and movies by the Universum-Film Aktiengesellschaft (post 1933). To trust them the lives of a mother and her child?

    Personally, I couldn’t bring myself to play a game, where this would be a real option. Others, due to holding different worldview, find it okay to suspend all of their previous knowledge and consider those, who, by all standards, are their fellow human beings, into the category of “monsters”. And… that’s it.

  • #2
    You know the game is really old right?


    • #3
      I do wanna say that this is a rather well written essay and you bring a lot of evidence and information to the table and you’ve obviously spent a good deal of time considering this so I want to thank you for sharing this with us.

      Now, I’m not being a smart ass here, but I’m not entirely certain what the point of your essay was. Are you just saying that HtR is a game inspired by right-wing militia and conspiracy culture? If so I agree that definitely plays a role in the game. Maybe I missed something in your writing, please forgive me if I did, but I’m just not sure what you’re trying to get across to us.

      I agree that Hunter the Reckoning has many elements which make it reflect the right wing militia-survivalist-conspiracy culture which was known about even back in the late 90s and early oughts. I also acknowledge that Hunter, like many post-five materials, has a unique feeling.

      There are definitely some borrowed pastiches and motifs. Reckoning relies upon a siege mentality and a certain amount of glorification of violence. The implication of how the Imbued combat conspirators which reflects certain highly conspiratorial paradigms which in real life have been used as houses for antisemetism and QAnon style paranoia. I wouldn’t deny that.

      However I wouldn’t necessarily say that it’s meant to be a game or a love letter for those sort of people, any more then WtA is a game for hyper-traditionalists or vampire is a game for sociopathic machiavellians. Certainly the setting naturally creates attractions which may draw such individuals, but they are the set-dressing which justifies the gothic-punk action which is the core of these titles, not the cores themselves.

      Vampire leaves narrative room for characters to struggle to embody their humanity and reject the anti-humanity of any of the sects. Werewolf and Mage leaves room for young turks to blow apart the oppressive systems that bind them and create a better world. Every game line has some sort of conflict that feeds into the overarching goth-punk ideal of the game line.

      For Reckoning, the thing to resist is just that, the seductive desire to just “kill them all and let G-d sort them out”. Such ruthless behavior often leads one to become as awful as the monsters they hunt and not every imbued is an Avenger or Wayward for just that reason. It’s a common plot point in stories about monster hunters, you have to be careful not to become monsters yourselves and I think that’s a large part of what Reckoning is about.

      There are awful, dangerous people in the world. Perhaps some need to be utterly removed from society for our collective safety but perhaps are victims of circumstance capable of redemption. It would be easy to give up one’s agency to a objectively righteous and just cause but such things are likely non-existent and so we must walk warily and choose our battles as best we can so as to do the most good and least harm.

      Something which many Chronicles of Darkness games realized and implemented is that many game lines rely upon walking a tightrope between two harmful extremes. Most cannot survive live on the extremes of the spectrum. A werewolf who never fights is as useless and self-destroying as a werewolf who only fights.

      An imbued who does nothing accomplishes nothing; they are a Bystander. An imbued who goes off the deep end like a Wayfarer is almost certain to do just as much harm as they do good. Like most things in life, odds are the best path is somewhere in the middle, a unique road that each individual needs to find for themselves.


      • #4
        I thought Messengers were purely remnants from the Celestial Bureaucracy of the August Personage of Jade before its disappearance? I thought the Abrahamic stuff was just something the western-Imbued thought up to better comprehend the Messengers.

        Jade Kingdom Warrior


        • #5
          Sure, you can certainly go with a right wing conspiracy vibe for Hunter. So what? Why is that bad? There are plenty of WoD game that can have strong left wing themes, even Hunter if that is the direction people want to go with it. The WoD is full of conspiracies, political corruption, manipulation, and all sorts of social, religious, and political issues. That is one reason why a lot of people likes it, there are mature themes in it.

          If playing Hunter, or any other role playing game for that matter regardless of the ideological content, causes you to engage in some kind of negative behavior, then you had pretty big problems anyway.


          • #6
            Originally posted by Sergeant Brother View Post
            Sure, you can certainly go with a right wing conspiracy vibe for Hunter. So what? Why is that bad? There are plenty of WoD game that can have strong left wing themes, even Hunter if that is the direction people want to go with it. The WoD is full of conspiracies, political corruption, manipulation, and all sorts of social, religious, and political issues. That is one reason why a lot of people likes it, there are mature themes in it.

            If playing Hunter, or any other role playing game for that matter regardless of the ideological content, causes you to engage in some kind of negative behavior, then you had pretty big problems anyway.
            Pretty much. You could take any of the WoD lines and go down the Right Wing Conspiracy rabbit hole. Like the Camarilla could be seen as an analogue for the Deep State/New World Order/Whatever Shadowy World-Controlling Conspiracy while the Sabbat are violent religious fanatics and terrorists, with the Anarchs being the lone voice of FREEDOM! against their tyranny. Just as the Camarilla could be seen as the lone sane man in the room trying to keep things safe for everyone even if that means keeping everything the same as they've always been while the Anarchs and the Sabbat are fringe lunatics clinging to insane conspiracy theories and religious fundamentalism.

            Though with HtR, one of the Imbueds' three Virtues is Mercy and two of the Creeds, Innocent and Redeemer, are all about empathy and understanding with the Supernaturals. And for that matter, there are Imbued in the setting that aren't Christian or even religious. All of which is a far cry from the Right-wing power fantasy of waging war on the Deep State.

            As for the Supernaturals in HtR having their tendrils in everything, yeah they do because they do in the other lines as well. It wouldn't make sense for the Supernaturals to suddenly no longer have that reach and influence when the WoD is a vaguely connected world.

            Homo sapiens. What an inventive, invincible species. It's only a few million years since they crawled up out of the mud and learned to walk. Puny, defenceless bipeds. They've survived flood, famine and plague. They've survived cosmic wars and holocausts. And now, here they are, out among the stars, waiting to begin a new life. Ready to outsit eternity. They're indomitable. Indomitable.


            • #7
              I mean, the OP writes well, so I don't want to be too derisive but, you know...

              The World of Darkness is meant to be satirical, right? You're supposed to find humour in how obviously batshit these hunters can get?

              It's kinda painful to see so much effort being put into a tirade that's the result of not-getting-the-joke. This kind of crusading is counter productive and just serves to make "the left" look bad.
              Last edited by MyWifeIsScary; 11-03-2020, 11:48 AM.

              Throw me/White wolf some money with Quietus: Drug Lord, Poison King
              There's more coming soon. Pay what ya want.


              • #8
                In Mage ST book, where they talk about Messengers, it's said that a mage could have these as totem but only at the very step price of being judged all that time by what they describe as "spirits of divine justice gone wrong" . Maybe they were onto something with that "gone wrong"

                That being said. I think this is a marvelos study of how Hunter takes inspiration on right-wing paraphernalia. I had seen some of that, but also lot passed under my radar, it's pretty good.

                I don't think that means it's a love-letter to such people, however.

                The very OOC paragraphs the OP posts paint a very bleak world after Hunters "win", and pretty much declare the Messengers as monsters and manipulators themselves. Where it would have been every bit as easy, if not easier, to just ignore that and go with purely good benefactors that have none but the purest intentions to return to a pastoral utopy - like real life rigth-wing mystical movements do.

                Originally posted by Shakanaka View Post
                I thought Messengers were purely remnants from the Celestial Bureaucracy of the August Personage of Jade before its disappearance? I thought the Abrahamic stuff was just something the western-Imbued thought up to better comprehend the Messengers.
                That's one theory, however latter books go very heavy on the Heralds either being angels or related to angels, tying Hunter to Demon metaplot. This is very clear in the book about Extremists. Also in the book about Earthbounds. (there are some theories about Lucifer having created them, too)

                Then again, the Celestial Bureaucracy being regarded as angels within Demon metaplot wouldn't surprise me one bit, so it's not so much a contradiction as a very heavy wink to Demon: The Fallen
                Last edited by Aleph; 11-03-2020, 02:14 PM.


                • #9
                  The concept of the Messengers ARE Angels, but it was specifically said they were part of the Celestial Bureaucracy. Them just being "Angels" doesn't mean they are tied to D:TF at all since the August Personage of Jade and the big G Abrahamic god practically aren't the same entities. Lucifer didn't create Earthbounds at all, but apparently they are "Fallen so strong they cannot inhabit/possess regular bodies, so they are objects and suddenly they represent all "pagan" faiths around the world before the Abrahamic mythos took hold around the world". I don't know how Earthbones correlate with the Celestial Bureaucracy.

                  This isn't even broaching that the concept of the Celestial Bureaucracy began around Mage, Werewolf, and definitely KotE, then Hunter- all of which predate DTF. DTF can't even recognize the Celestial Bureaucracy within its own metaplot because it doesn't even have in-game or ooc mechanics for the other Umbras (now that I rechecked it, they DO have some stuff for interacting with other stuff- but its purely with the Low-Umbra only. The 5 rank of Portals lets a Fallen go to the Shadowlands, but no information about whether they can get to the Underworld proper- but that should be easy; just go through a Nihil or Byway after getting to the Shadowlands. Still though, no information about the Middle or High Umbra at all.), of which the Celestial Bureaucracy operates in the High/Astral Umbra.
                  Last edited by Shakanaka; 11-03-2020, 05:20 PM.

                  Jade Kingdom Warrior


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Gryffon15 View Post
                    I do wanna say that this is a rather well written essay
                    No. It is a text book example of a Black Legend, in which various facts are taken out of context, exaggerated, cherry picked, and otherwise distorted - and occasionally outright fabricated - in order to create a distorted and negative image of a person or thing.

                    I fail to see what purpose this serves other than as an attempt to try to stir up animosity and hatred during a period when tensions and anxieties are already far too high.

                    What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
                    Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by No One of Consequence View Post

                      No. It is a text book example of a Black Legend, in which various facts are taken out of context, exaggerated, cherry picked, and otherwise distorted - and occasionally outright fabricated - in order to create a distorted and negative image of a person or thing.

                      I fail to see what purpose this serves other than as an attempt to try to stir up animosity and hatred during a period when tensions and anxieties are already far too high.
                      We call that Bait these days


                      • #12
                        As much as I love a good well-written essay, given the World of Darkness was built on a progressive platform and the nature of conspiracy culture's current danger, I'm going to be closing this thread.

                        Please don't take it personally.

                        Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

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