On the World of Darkness Twitch channel Outstar, the community manager interviewed Justin Achilli, the Brand Creative lead about Werewolf.
We got news about Hunter: The Reckoning.
In essence, and likely to avoid the rocky ride Vampire 5e had, the development team is cautious with Werewolf and wants more time.
Justin, however, is nearly finished with Hunter. He said;
Sure, sure. Yes, as you say the more we got into Werewolf the more we looked at you know, is this viable today and I have all of the drafts from all of the writers for Werewolf but we’re still basically baking it. That being the case, we wanted to bring to players an additional World of Darkness experience but Werewolf wasn’t quite ready to do that. So, one of the things that we do have on the back burner that we’ve been cooking for a while now is a new edition of Hunter the Reckoning.
Neither World of Darkness/Paradox or Renegade are giving dates yet, not in the middle of a shipping crisis. However, Justin Achilli suggested he was close with two Orgs to write up, some tissue to do, before it finishes with art direction and goes to a diversity reader. After that; it’ll go to Renegade for publishing.
Fan, xMaly28, provided a text transcript of the video for the Hunter parts and shared it with the World of Darkness Discord.
Outstar: So, sometime during this year during the development of Werewolf: The Apocalypse 5th edition, the decision was made that we need more time to work on Werewolf just because of course all the sensitivity issues in making sure that we make this edition the best possible, but also shifting focus to developing something else. Can you tell us a little bit about how this happened and what the reasoning was behind this?
Justin: Sure, sure. Yes, as you say the more we got into Werewolf the more we looked at you know, is this viable today and I have all of the drafts from all of the writers for Werewolf but we’re still basically baking it. That being the case, we wanted to bring to players an additional World of Darkness experience but Werewolf wasn’t quite ready to do that. So, one of the things that we do have on the back burner that we’ve been cooking for a while now is a new edition of Hunter the Reckoning. And I think this is a particularly resonant idea because the I– in vampire the notion that we’re in the time of the second inquisition is very strong and so vampires obviously see these hunters as primary antagonists but also the way we want it to look at Hunter to provide again new edition, a new experience is that for Hunter: the Reckoning we want players to be that kind of almost coterie style, you’re the young group of hunters, you’re the street-level group of hunters, the individual Hunters. You’re not special affairs division, you’re not information awareness office, you’re not project FIRSTLIGHT. All those groups actually have kind of their own agendas, you as an individual hunter or as a hunter who’s part of a part of a cell of hunters, you want to take the night back from these monsters right? And so these antagonists, these Orgs are trying to fight back the monsters but they’re doing it to impose their own social order. You know like obviously the SAD as a branch of the FBI, they’re very invested in the status quo, right? And so, the way we see the players/player in the world of darkness is always the agent of change, so you are this individual hunter going at it on their own and much as vampires see these big Orgs of hunters as the antagonists, they’re also kind-of your antagonists. You know, they’re willing to maybe write a contract and “we’ll work with this small group of freelance hunters”, and they’re going to use you like the Canary in the coal mine, right? Like, oh woah go over there, we think there’s vampires over there. So you’ve got this very tense relationship with the Orgs but also you’ve got to deal with the monsters up and front first and foremost, right? You’re got these primary monsters, you’ve got these secondary antagonists, so there’s this interesting conflict triangle of the hunters versus the monsters versus the Orgs that exist to enforce the status quo. If there’s one thing you don’t want as a hunter, it’s more status quo because the status quo equals these, you know, overbearing government agencies and also these extremely, monstrous antagonists. You’ve gotta fix that, right? And you do that one night at a time. One monster at a time. One conflict at a time.
Outstar: That’s amazing and when you’re coming to World of Darkness, let’s say starting from Vampire: the Masquerade 5th Edition, and you know about some vampire hunters existing within the SI, what can you expect from Hunter when you jump to it from Vampire?
Justin: That’s a great question, you know that these organisations are out there and this is one of the things I really enjoy about the kind of starting the-the, the initial level of play is that you don’t know a whole lot, so the game becomes very much an experience of learning. So it’s not necessarily you know, get in there and go fist-fight vampires, you know… It’s very much a: you think a vampire exists, you and this cell, this group of other weirdos, outsiders, people who know that vampires exist, you know because the rest of the world doesn’t, now you have to find out IS that a vampire? Okay it is a vampire, we know they’re drinking blood, we’ve seen them abducting people, etcetera, etcetera. Now you need to figure out more and more about this vampire so it’s not just necessary jump-in guns blazing, you can do that, it won’t necessarily be very successful, but its very much about the discovery of the monster about the learning and so you can play it to know as a high action setting, it’s really much designed to be focused on almost like a thriller where you’re learning more and more about this monster, maybe it turns out: oh my gosh that’s not a vampire, its a werewolf that’s abducting these people and doing these things, and so we break it out almost by ratio there’s literally a schematic in the book that I’m working with Thomas the art director on about how much of your time can you spend learning? How much of your time can you spend, you know, building your action? And then enacting your actual strategy is a small but extremely important part of the hunter experience. So you know it can do everything from you know, go fight ghouls immediately to oh my gosh we think there’s a vampire and in three months later we’re ready to do something about the vampire, and of course because it’s the World of Darkness everything comes at a cost right? There’s these moral costs, we don’t want to act against the vampire too early because we’re not sure about it but every night that goes by, maybe they’re taking another victim right? So there’s this risk, there’s this tension when do we go, when we go, and of course like I was saying earlier you’re after this vampire but also SAD has been watching this vampire or Society of St. Leopold is in there too, so are they using you to flush out the vampire, do they even know about you, you know? When you show up, is there this tense three-way standoff between you and the inquisitors, and the monster itself you know, there’s so much room for story to develop here.
Outstar: That’s a really cool trinity of powers in Hunters, but I’m wondering for — I feel like it’s much easier to describe for starting players why vampires are cool, or why werewolves are cool because hey they’re monsters, they have those supernatural powers. They have disciplines, clans, tribes, gifts. What about hunters? What’s so cool about the hunter that would make people want to play them?
Justin: Yeah, that’s great. That’s great. One of the things that we always like to do with the world of darkness is provide like a group that you can identify with and so we’ve borrowed a little bit from the previous editions of hunter for this. We’re not carrying over the idea of the Imbued themselves, but what we are carrying over however is the idea of these creeds, there are these outlooks that you take to the world, and so your creed might be based on your faith or it might be based on your ability to bring weapons to bear, or it might be based on the idea of you know vampires often move in these subcultures or monsters often move in these subcultures, so it’s kind of who you know and where you can move into subcultures, so all these kind of form the foundation of the idea of creeds. So players will have creeds that they choose and belong to, and also one of the things that players will have in terms of the “get shit done” abilities, we’re calling those again “edges” that we borrow from earlier edition, and edges is kind of — they’re not necessarily supernatural this time around, but they are the things that hunters have access to because of their creed, because of their drive, it gives them these little bits above your basic human competency things. This may be access to an arsenal, this may be something like true faith or some other, you know, otherworldly investments.It may be a pronounced amount of access, right? You may have, at one point, worked for one of these Orgs and so you still have backdoor access to their database, you can figure things out that way. So there’s a variety of kind-of — think of it as the kind of hunters toolkit, and when previously I said to hunters are all driven at one of the things that make hunters different from just a person with a gun who knows about vampires is their drive. There is some reason, there is some burning passion they have to take back the night from these monsters, and that drive represents, well we’ll start to share a little bit more of the mechanic in– mechanical insights of Hunter with the community very soon, but you know, every hunter is a hunter for a reason. They’re all driven to do it for something.
Outstar: That’s great, and can you share with us what is the current state of Hunter’s development?
Justin: At the end of this week — I am so close, I am so close — I have two more Org write-ups to finish to get done, I have some connective tissue to turn in, but we are ready to hand in the manuscript over to — Thomas has already been starting art direction on it, hopefully we can share some art from it soon. I need to turnover to next, I need to turn it over to our diversity reader next and then we can get book, it’s already in some amount of layout and then we can get it put together and sent off to our publishing partners at Renegade.
Outstar: That’s amazing, so of course we are not giving exact dates just yet because of the current ongoing global shipping crisis and some of these things may make these things a little bit longer but we hope to deliver hunter to people soon. And, I did confirm with Thomas, I can say it already that we are going to have some art to share just this month. — We are definitely going to share some more things with the community.
Hunter related Questions (Outstar throughout):
Will we also see the Imbued make an appearance in the Second Inquisition book for V5?
Both in Hunter and in general World of Darkness we’re not carrying on the idea of Imbued as of the current 5th edition. So, in Hunter: The Reckoning you’ll be able to see the organisations but not necessarily be a part of them at the character creation, basically the organisations do work not definitely in your favour. As Justin described, they are there to protect the status quo and as a Hunter you want to work against the status quo, and that’s not something you’d like to work with. So, some people may think: hey I will be able to play SI in Hunter: The Reckoning, but this is some kind of a different interpretation. You will be able to play a Hunter, a street-level Hunter that maybe has connections with the SI and maybe has connections with FIRSTLIGHT. But you’re not going to be necessarily a part of the — what Vampires say to be SI. And the idea of Imbued is not being carried over from the old reckoning game.
Will Vampire, Hunter, Werewolf splat 5th edition be interplayable? Vampires working with Hunters or Garou for certain stories?
I cannot tell you too much about this just now, because it’s a– there’s a lot that depends on the mechanics of each of the splats that we have not shared more information about just yet. The stories definitely are interchangeable in the way that you can already introduce Werewolves and maybe Hunters in a little bit of a different kind of a way to your Vampire stories. We do have stats for them, you are able to see exactly what kind of stats a werewolf would have in comparison to a vampire, but when it comes to the interplayable factor of this? We’d have to get a little bit more deeper into the mechanics, so I cannot answer this just yet.
What about the Fans of the Imbued? All three of ’em.
Not three of them, I’m sure there are more people who would like to play as Imbued, but the old editions are not going anywhere, they’re still there, you can still play with them, we encourage people to pick whichever edition fits best for your particular story, and yeah with new editions we basically want to take new directions and see what they’re going to bring us. I really hope that you’re going to enjoy what we are going to bring with the new HtR, or H5 as people are now calling it. Highfive.And we’re going to share more actual information about this, from in-the, in this month. In the month of darkness. So you’re actually going to see some fragments of the book, some directions we’re taking as well as artwork. So, I hope you’re going to enjoy it.
Will Hunter 5th edition focus on Humanity, or some sense of Sanity?
Hunter 5th edition is going to have a new kind of system, partially inspired of course by the other editions, but, it’s, we gotta’ get into details more once we get, things that I recall that Justin spoke in the interview today, I don’t want to overstep and say too much, there are going to be drives, there are going to be creeds — he didn’t say about the other things. I can’t say more about that right now.
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