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Homebrew Compact Endowment Brainstorms

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  • Homebrew Compact Endowment Brainstorms

    This is an idea I've been working on for hunter compacts, either as a replacement or supplement (or lack thereof) to their given Endowments. This is also meant to give compacts incentive to work together on occasion or when they want to accomplish a specific task. I don't have any hard mechanics outlined for any of these, and I've only considered a few compacts so far.

    "Hunters are light and fire... a candle held aloft for lost friends and family, or an oil lamp poised over a fraying piece of parchment or gilded medallion plucked from the heart chambers of some desiccated mummy...They have experienced the horror or the mystery and it compels them on this path." (10, Hunter: The Vigil)

    History is filled with tales of unearthly beasts who wreaked havoc before meeting their match in mortal men: Grendel and Beowulf, the hydra and Heracles, Humbaba and Gilgamesh. The heroes who felled these monsters were divinely touched – sometimes demigods themselves, at least according to legend. But what if the heroes weren't themselves unearthly? What if their very presence grounded and weakened the monsters they faced, to the point that mere mortal men could defeat them?

    While some hunters are supernatural, many are simply mortal. They are not skeptics who deny the darkness is there – they are believers who reject its presence in their world of light. By moving through the shadows, many supernatural creatures have learned how to dim the lights of the world and make it more hospitable for themselves, but hunters are too alert for such manipulation. They take up the Vigil, stir their fires, and make the darkness fade and scatter before them.

    Mortal hunters, with each other's support, become adept at protecting themselves and each other from supernatural influence. Conspiracies focus this phenomenon into singular channels: their Endowments. Having honed their Endowments, conspiracies learn to rely on the admittedly significant resources at their disposal. In a way, those resources become a crutch, especially if their artifacts or abilities are derived from supernatural means.

    Compacts may be less organized, less historical, but they have their own power. Their raw zeal for the hunt is the very thing that brings and holds them together, and it remains almost untouched by the sorts of elaborate rites which conspiracy members study. Rather than honing their light into a tool, compacts consolidate and focus it into the hunt itself, illuminating the way forward over their preferred paths to dampen the power of any dark creatures who try to face them head on. And they may not even realize they're doing it.

    The Union:
    While other hunters choose to ignite and carry torches out into the darkness, those in The Union stay near to their home fires and have its full strength at their disposal. They are the keepers of the hearth, tending to the flame and guarding it against encroachment.

    Safe Places used by Union members are a bane to supernatural beings. Any creature attempting to use supernatural abilities on such a haven find it more difficult to tap into their power and will achieve weakened results. This effect is amplified within the boundaries of the haven, where using supernatural abilities also drains their users of energy more quickly than usual. Furthermore, anyone suffering from supernatural abilities or damage may recover more quickly inside a Union member's Safe Place. Even conditions which have a tendency to linger in some cases, such as forms of mental or emotional control, may eventually be dispelled with enough time in their Safe Place (and in some cases with "encouragement" from the Union hunters who may be keeping you there).

    Union havens are countered by supernatural safe places, those powered by mortal cults/herds/etc. Union members may try to bring their light into such a haven of darkness and claim it for their own, but their own havens are likewise vulnerable to the effects of mortal cults.

    The Loyalists of Thule:
    Information is power, and an enlightened mind glows more brightly. The strength of these hunters comes from studying the different beings of darkness and where each is most vulnerable. Where other hunters radiate the light of their Vigil in all directions, the Loyalists know how to focus and direct a beam with all the finesse of a surgeon holding a scalpel.

    Any hunter may arm himself with information provided by the Loyalists (e.g. a particular type of vampire has strict feeding restrictions and will suffer if he tries to feed outside of them), assuming they can get the Loyalists to share. If the informed hunter can determine positively that he is facing the foe described (e.g. this vampire feeds exclusively on certain types of people), he will be able to exploit the being's weakness to greater effect than usual.

    Unfortunately, knowledge is a tool of strategy, not a weapon of action. It's generally up to the hunters themselves to manipulate their foe into an opportune position from which they may strike. Hunters can only attune a single piece of knowledge at a time.

    Habibti Ma:
    Some hunters go forth into the darkness to hunt the predators hiding there. The activists of Habibti Ma go forth to find those innocents who became lost within it, to bring them back to the light. These hunters are adept at following not the tracks of creatures unnatural, but those of their own kind, and at retracing a safe path back to the home fires.

    Hunters in this compact develop an uncanny awareness of mortals who are under supernatural influence, feeling keenly when something "just isn't right" with someone. Tragically, that influence is most often of mortal making, such as the unusual effects that cults have on their members. The larger or more powerful the cult, the more pungent its effects feel to a hunter of this compact.

    Just because they can sense supernatural influence, though, doesn't mean they understand its source. Habibti Ma may rescue a cult member carrying a strong influence, but she may be part of a large group in service to a dormant mummy, or she may be the favored ghoul of a powerful vampire who's wondering where she disappeared to.

    Network Zero:
    Too many hunters rely on their light to reveal any creatures of darkness before they get too close. Hunters of the Network take it upon themselves to hone their other senses instead, becoming sensitive to more subtle cues that mean something is present in the shadows. They are the canaries in the coal mine, but instead of collapsing, they cry out to alert all who are with them to the danger.

    Many groups of supernatural beings have adapted to the new age of technology; they've learned to exploit it for their own ends, even if only to pass messages and stay in touch more easily. Members of the Network have an uncanny eye for the strange and are drawn to those faint threads of authenticity hiding in a sea of anonymity. Sometimes it almost seems like the information finds them, for even when they're out in the field, they have an amazing ability to stumble upon the supernatural.

    Network members may be able to find instances of "supernatural talk," images, and videos, but the real question is whether they can decipher what they're looking at. Hoping to catch up with ghostwalkers for an interview is all well and good, but not if you stumble into a group of malicious spirits when you check out the meeting place they mentioned online.

    Null Mysteriis:
    Tragically, some people like to call themselves hunters while refusing to acknowledge the realities of what they hunt. They move through the darkness like blind men feeling an elephant and insisting it must be a wall.

    Some people don't want to know what's out there. They either turn away from the darkness altogether or maintain that it must simply be a different type of light. The skeptics of Null Mysteriis fall in the latter category – they have no light of their own, because to carry a light is to acknowledge that the darkness exists, and that it is different from everything they understand.