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Hunter 2ED: The Code

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  • The Kings Raven
    started a topic Hunter 2ED: The Code

    Hunter 2ED: The Code

    Monica asked that all discussion on The Code be moved to a different thread, so I thought someone should create one. With that in mind here's what I'd like to see changed about the Code from the playtest draft.

    1) No in setting universal morality. Simply put put it breaks my suspension of disbelief. If you want to have a default code that Compacts/Conspiracies modify I could see that working but please make it clear that it's a game mechanic and not something that exists inside the setting.

    2) don't make "monsters don't deserve to exist" the default. There's definitely room for that, but looking at the corebook alone I don't think: the Long Night, Network Zero, Null Mysteries, the Loyalists of Thule, the Ascending Ones, or the Lucifuge will agree with that view. And the MM would make an exception for angels and god. That's over half the groups.

    More than that, in many respects Hunters are justified. Monsters do prey on humanity, standing up for the oppressed is laudable. So to say that standing up against monstrous oppression turns you into a Nazi-ish monster who dehumanises anyone with supernatural power is a message that alienates me.

    I'm not saying there's any moral obligation to avoid a problematic message. Fiction doesn't have to fit anyone's morality, least of all mine. (and there's definitely room for hunters like Chiron who are as bad or worse than their prey) All I'm saying is that this is the message the "call a spade a spade" sidebar is saying to me and since I doubt that's the intent perhaps it needs revising until the message matches the intent.

    3) The code should be flexible enough to ensure behaving like a typical member of your organisation will not trigger Breaking Points. A Member of Les Mysteries should be able to create a Code that says they can: learn Rites, make bargains with spirits that involve acting against a human's interests, refuse to aid or oppose hunters who've hunting spirits, ignore monsters they consider outside their purvew, (and hunt spirits who're misbehaving) without a Breaking Point.

    I'm not saying that they have to be psychologically healthy. Someone who willingly let's spirits possess them is, at least by modern western standards, questionable at best. What I am saying is that breaking points are the wrong mechanic to represent the drawbacks of any kind of questionable behaviour that's encouraged by your Compact or Conspiracy. A Breaking Point should represent a significant moment in your charachter's charachter development. For business as normal, something like Tells or Vampires Banes would work better.

    (Building on from point 2. It should be possible to play that Les Mysteries as a Tier 1 independent Hunter. You could do it reasonably without access to an Endowment by using the Medium Merit from the Chronicle of Darkness core book.)

    4) Building on from point 2. A bit more naunce in the social relationships between groups please. A VASCU hunter who barely has a Code and acts like a normal if psychic FBI agent should get a much friendlier reception from The Union that a surgically modified Cheriton Hunter even though both would have modified their code from the default. (Assuming there is still a default).

    And now I'm off to the airport I'll see if I'm able to reply from abroad or not.
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    Last edited by The Kings Raven; 10-30-2017, 02:54 AM.

  • SunlessNick
    replied
    Originally posted by tasti man LH View Post
    For me, it sounds like people are coming from the perspective that what we've of the 2E Code is somehow the most complete and final version of the system, and are immediately assuming that HtV2e is going to be dead on arrival due to this iteration not living up to the themes on what made people like about HtV1e.
    I don't think there's a single person in this thread who thinks it's going to be "dead on arrival."

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  • tasti man LH
    replied
    Originally posted by Ruger View Post
    I haven't had a lot of time lately, and have been sick all morning and thus really fell behind on this thread >_>.

    As a final note, we should all remember that 1E Morality was much more limited then the current Code and Integrity system even taking into account the 1E Code and the optional "Monsters Don't Count" rule. I find it hard to believe that the 2E code- a flexible system- would be unable to do some of the same things the inflexible 1E system. In fact, most of the complaints relate to how similar it is is to 1E in many respects- such as "applying the same ideology to everyone". There is no way that the current code would reduce ideological diversity compared to 1E.
    ...yeaaaa honestly that's been my main issue with some of the views in this thread.

    For me, it sounds like people are coming from the perspective that what we've of the 2E Code is somehow the most complete and final version of the system, and are immediately assuming that HtV2e is going to be dead on arrival due to this iteration not living up to the themes on what made people like about HtV1e.

    Which I personally don't think so.

    I think what we've got right now is a deliberately bare-bones version of the Code that is still a work in progress. That Monica, via the playtest, just wanted to see how the most basic form of the Code would work in play, take in feedback and fix any issues that might have cropped up, and THEN start layering on more advanced rules and other complexities on the basic system. Which would include stuff like Compact and Conspiracy-exclusive Codes and breaking points.

    Can't have a good gameplay system unless if you're sure you have a strong foundation in place.

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  • Ruger
    replied
    I haven't had a lot of time lately, and have been sick all morning and thus really fell behind on this thread >_>.

    As a final note, we should all remember that 1E Morality was much more limited then the current Code and Integrity system even taking into account the 1E Code and the optional "Monsters Don't Count" rule. I find it hard to believe that the 2E code- a flexible system- would be unable to do some of the same things the inflexible 1E system. In fact, most of the complaints relate to how similar it is is to 1E in many respects- such as "applying the same ideology to everyone". There is no way that the current code would reduce ideological diversity compared to 1E.

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  • The Kings Raven
    replied
    Originally posted by ElvesofZion View Post
    "How humans that have chosen to protect humanity in the face of the supernatural go about doing so, what that actually entails and how it affects them and their loved ones." That story is then told through the lens' of the various compacts and conspiracies to provide specific versions of the story.
    And I think that in order to tell that story Hunter will need more flexibility in it's mechanics and it will definitely need more flexibility in it's fluff (the Spade Sidebar). Werewolves are fictional, so you can say "the wolf must hunt" and players' suspension of disbelief will accept the idea that hunting is a universal psychological need for Werewolves.

    But Hunter's are human, and in the real world we know that humans have extremely diverse reactions to being put in identical situations. The game needs to be able to support all those different reactions if it's to tell the story of how the vigil affects Hunters and those they care about.
    Last edited by The Kings Raven; 11-10-2017, 07:24 AM.

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  • Darinas
    replied
    The reason I think it might be Cheiron that gets demoted is because the developers of Deviant want it for one of their conspiracies (though I don't know if Monica will sign off on that).
    A reasonable assumption, I'll give you that.

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  • SunlessNick
    replied
    Originally posted by Darinas View Post
    Thank you Lostlight^^ Well, if none of the groups are gonna be removed from continuity, I am slightly less upset. There's at least still a chance they will be fleshed out in supplements.
    Monica has said that every hunter group released so far - not just those in the Hunter line, but those from Dark Eras too - will get some sort of write-up. I'd forgotten that Ashwood Abbey was getting swapped out as well - after being reminded, I think the compact replacing it is an existing one rather than a new one - if memory serves, there was a brief "hope it's" subthread (Maiden's Blood Sisterhood or Barrett Commission in my case, though the Bear Lodge would be a logical option, since they have similar motives to the Abbey).

    The reason I think it might be Cheiron that gets demoted is because the developers of Deviant want it for one of their conspiracies (though I don't know if Monica will sign off on that).

    The reason I think it might be Aegis kai Doru is that they've been somewhat overtaken by the rest of the ChroD in terms of what they best tie to - they make more sense as a Mummy-specific group now. Also, relics can be used by anyone, and are the Endowment most logical to find its way into the hands of multiple other groups - which diminishes Aegis's distinctiveness.

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  • Darinas
    replied
    The Ashwood Abbey was confirmed to not get a full writeup in the Core, but they would have a short writeup (as is every group which is not a part of the core). They will not be presented as Slashers. The Council of Bones is the temporary name of a conspiracy of mediums and necromancers which speak with the dead, either helping them to move on or using them to find the monsters who killed them (I think- I don't remember the exact details). As for which of the groups is being removed from a full writeup (they should still get a short writeup), Monica has never clarified about the subject, but it is clear that if that is the case, it won't be a compact that they are removing. If I remember correctly, VASCU and another new Compact would be presented in the Slasher chapter, together with the Hunt Club as antagonists, and the Ashwood Abbey's place as "core" group would be replaced by another, new compact.
    Thank you Lostlight^^ Well, if none of the groups are gonna be removed from continuity, I am slightly less upset. There's at least still a chance they will be fleshed out in supplements.

    I think that might be changing in 2e (the 2e lines have generally been about refocusing and refining the games already). It seems to me that the story that Hunter 2e is telling (generally) is "How humans that have chosen to protect humanity in the face of the supernatural go about doing so, what that actually entails and how it affects them and their loved ones." That story is then told through the lens' of the various compacts and conspiracies to provide specific versions of the story.
    Yeah, I get that's what you think, and I still think it's not a good idea, because you lose the previously mentioned diversity then. I agree that the other 2e games have been refining the stories, but in this case, you'd really lost something to do it.
    Last edited by Darinas; 11-08-2017, 02:20 PM.

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  • ElvesofZion
    replied
    Originally posted by The Kings Raven View Post

    In short, I want to tell lots of different kinds of story. So I want the rules to be flexible. Increasing the maximum changes provides that flexibility.

    Originally posted by Darinas View Post
    So, yeah, that game was never meant to tell a single type of Hunter story. Again, diversity is its strongest point.
    I think that might be changing in 2e (the 2e lines have generally been about refocusing and refining the games already). It seems to me that the story that Hunter 2e is telling (generally) is "How humans that have chosen to protect humanity in the face of the supernatural go about doing so, what that actually entails and how it affects them and their loved ones." That story is then told through the lens' of the various compacts and conspiracies to provide specific versions of the story.

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  • LostLight
    replied
    The Ashwood Abbey was confirmed to not get a full writeup in the Core, but they would have a short writeup (as is every group which is not a part of the core). They will not be presented as Slashers. The Council of Bones is the temporary name of a conspiracy of mediums and necromancers which speak with the dead, either helping them to move on or using them to find the monsters who killed them (I think- I don't remember the exact details). As for which of the groups is being removed from a full writeup (they should still get a short writeup), Monica has never clarified about the subject, but it is clear that if that is the case, it won't be a compact that they are removing. If I remember correctly, VASCU and another new Compact would be presented in the Slasher chapter, together with the Hunt Club as antagonists, and the Ashwood Abbey's place as "core" group would be replaced by another, new compact.

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  • Darinas
    replied
    The core 12 minus one of the conspiracies,* plus Council of Bones, VASCU, and another compact.

    * We don't know which one, though my guess is either the Cheiron Group or Aegis kai Doru.
    Oh? I didn't know about that.

    I sure as hell hope not, I absolutely love the Cheiron Group, and while the Aegis Kai Doru isn't my favourite per say, I do really like them conceptually. Then again, I pretty much love all of the 1e Conspiracies, so I guess no matter what, I'll be sad with the result. Are you sure it's not the Ashwood Abbey they are removing? They did say they were considering making them slashers.

    Also who are the Council of Bones?
    Last edited by Darinas; 11-08-2017, 11:55 AM.

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  • SunlessNick
    replied
    Originally posted by Darinas View Post
    Don't think it is. As established sooner, the 12 core Conspiracies and Compacts will be the only ones listed in the 2E corebooks, so it's a bit early too start the supplemental ones.
    The core 12 minus one of the conspiracies,* plus Council of Bones, VASCU, and another compact.

    * We don't know which one, though my guess is either the Cheiron Group or Aegis kai Doru.

    Originally posted by ElvesofZion View Post
    This point in particular is what struck me. Just because someone has agreed to be a Lucifuge does not mean that they are fully prepared for what that means in the long-term. In this case, despite the fact that getting powers from demonic sources is a core part of the Lucifuge, that doesn't mean that all members should immediately swap out the Breaking Point for a different one. It is good for the character and story that they continue to face this Breaking Point. Being a member of a Compact or Conspiracy is not a binary, one and done decision; it is something that the Hunter will have to deal with for their rest of their lives.

    As another example: Network 0. It has been said that they would HAVE to swap out the Breaking Point for 'causing a person to experience a breaking point for witnessing the supernatural', but I think that it is better to not swap it out and have the character come face to face with the realization that their ideology ("we must expose the supernatural so people can be safe") is quite at odds with the reality of what doing those steps actually entails.
    That's a good argument, but its logical upshot is that hunter groups shouldn't modify Code breaking points at all, since there will be no modifications that make more sense than those central to the group's mission.

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  • Darinas
    replied
    There is also to take into account that the variable hunter groups can all make for different kinds of stories individually. Task Force VALKYRIE allows you to do Men in Black/X-Files scifi stories. VASCU is for FBI/polar stories about agents hunting serial killers. The Cheiron Group if you wanna make stories à la Resident Evil. And so on. And that's not even getting in what you can do with Cells including agents from multiple compacts and conspiracies.

    So, yeah, that game was never meant to tell a single type of Hunter story. Again, diversity is its strongest point.
    Last edited by Darinas; 11-08-2017, 05:03 AM.

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  • The Kings Raven
    replied
    Originally posted by ElvesofZion View Post
    As another example: Network 0. It has been said that they would HAVE to swap out the Breaking Point for 'causing a person to experience a breaking point for witnessing the supernatural', but I think that it is better to not swap it out and have the character come face to face with the realization that their ideology ("we must expose the supernatural so people can be safe") is quite at odds with the reality of what doing those steps actually entails.
    To me that sounds like a character who's arc is supposed to result in them leaving Net0 (or becomes a reformer) because of moral differences. A perfectly good character, but I think anyone talking about Net0 characters in this thread had something very different in mind: A character who believes in and agrees with the Net0 ideology.

    Certainly, when I said it's a matter of principal that a Net0 character changes that breaking point I was doing so in the context of an Army of Truth hardliner, so someone who's already deep into Net0 and has already made up their mind about the ideology.

    The point I was making was mostly that you should change the parts of the code most at odds with your character's Compact backed ideology, not make the most mechanically optimal change. Not that all Net0 must do X.

    Originally posted by ElvesofZion View Post
    I don't think specific numbers were discussed much. And once you agree that a limit makes sense at all, then it becomes a matter of figuring out what the limit should be based on what the stories you want the system to tell are and how much game complication you think can be handled for that.
    They have been, the reason we went through all the core 12 too see which parts of the code we think they would change is to estimate a number. Personally I'd say 3 to 5. Though I've stated my support for a Bane/Tell drawback and would be ok with having no cap beyond the drawbacks building up.

    You said "what stories you want to tell". To me Hunter doesn't have a central theme, each org has it's own theme, but the closest to a central theme would be that through numbers and teamwork mortals can play the same game as the supernatural.

    The loyalists of thule or the AKD can investigate the same mysteries as Mages. The Barret Commission can be as predatory as any Vampire. Les Mysteries have their own philosophy on flesh and spirit which they can argue for on equal terms to Werewolves.

    Your Net0 example works fine with 3 or 5 or unlimited changes, because he can choose not to modify his Code. But if you want the Code to accurately reflect, E.G. a typical Les Mysteries Hunter's mindset 1 change is not enough.

    In short, I want to tell lots of different kinds of story. So I want the rules to be flexible. Increasing the maximum changes provides that flexibility.
    Last edited by The Kings Raven; 11-07-2017, 09:41 PM.

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  • Darinas
    replied
    Okay, now I do get your point. Thanks for clarifying^^

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