Monday, November 19, 2012

The Hunt: Vampire / Hunter Solo Game

During my halcyon days running a Vampire: the Requiem LARP I encountered many weird and wonderful PCs and generated some interesting NPCs of my own.  When the numbers of the LARPers started dwindling after two years due to natural selection (jobs, other interests, lack of time, etc.) and there just weren't enough new players to keep the numbers up, I had to consider whether I should turn it into tabletop or create a new campaign.  While the tabletop idea was interesting, the 6 or 7 players that turned up (normally about 5 during any particular session) didn't have characters that would work well together at all.  There was no central theme to make them hang out.

A couple years later, I figured out a way to do it in my Shadows Campaign but by then it was too late.  We'd already switched to a new genre (Demon) and a new player wasn't too keen on having to play a campaign where everyone else knew so much more than he did.  There was also the small issues of me having to play other people's PCs (*shudder* I'm no good at impressions) and everyone's experience points levels being quite different to each other.

Anywho, one of the characters from the LARP just didn't work as well as the others.  My fiance had three characters: Vinnie Celino (a tough Carthian Brujah with more reason and dignity than most of his bloodline who ended up prince), Seamus O'Baoill (a wild-eyed Ordo Dracul Kogaian and Vedma who alternately seemed mad due to his extra information and wise), and James Tyler (an Invictus Daeva vampire who hunted monsters in his spare time, was infiltrating the Invictus to make his prior nomadic lifestyle cushier and who belonged to a prestigious bloodline known as House Tyler which was basically my adaptation of the Zelany bloodline).

Guess which one didn't work in a LARP?

Funnily enough, James Tyler.  A lot of what made him fun (vigilante-style hunting) really clashed against the political court stuff (turning a blind eye) and much of his character complexity was washed out behind his carefully honed veneer that he kept up around court kindred.  While you could certainly get enough mileage out of the idea, it just didn't work as well as it might have done and the player considered retiring him at a few points.

I, however, was a fan of the concept.  I'm a big fan of X-Files, Supernatural and that old television series involving a vampire policeman who hunted folk down at night (can't remember what it was called) AND I'd had plenty of sociopathic WoD vampires for the time being.  I was willing to be a bit more flexible with the vampiric curse (it dampens your emotionality but doesn't remove all sincerity so long as you were careful) and the Tyler / Zelany weakness (spend a Willpower to enter a home uninvited for 10 minutes - making Daeva spend Willpower is fun) to reflect the investigative angle I was going for.

So after a few aborted attempts to lift off a solo game, I finally put one together that worked.

Enter The Hunt.  A game about a fledgling Daeva going on some wild journeys with his enigmatic sire, Peter Walsh, to clash with various supernaturals and perhaps take down some good old-fashioned human monsters in his spare time.  It begins in 1949 (one year after his Embrace) when he sets down in America and each adventure passes it forward an additional year.  I won't do write ups for all of his adventures or else this blog will end up all Actual Plays (well, it will if I write up Shaitan, The Hunt, Dystopic, Flashpoint, Harry Potter, and this new Tennja Bansho Zero campaign I'm in).

If you guys end up really keen I'll do up a few more than I usually would, however, as if I'm going to do Actual Plays they might as well be ones you're keen to read.

I'll do up an article later that shows the campaign summary (mostly dot points) and I'll link to that any particular Actual Plays I do as without a full set it might get confusing otherwise if I just rely on a label.


  1. Sounds pretty interesting. It helps that I'm a big fan of one-on-one gaming, and love getting to read APs of solo games. They just have so much more imersion than group games, you know?

    1. Generally, yes. Far less out of character chit chat and the increased spotlight and flexibility means the character can certainly grow more than they otherwise would.