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💀 Necro [CofD/Hunter 2E] Ashwood Abbey Open Development

Aegypto

Treelicious
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Slashers was pretty popular at the time of its release, from what I remember.

I still think it's an odd choice to place the spotlight on them, mind, because while Slashers may work as a sort of evil parallel to Hunters, they don't strike me as natural targets for them (more like targets of opportunity or self-policing) unless we consider specialized cases like VASCU. Furthermore, evil parallels are more effectively when you already have established characters to mirror, so you can highlight the ways they could cross the boundaries, stray away from the path. Or to use an example from TV, Faith works as a dark mirror for Buffy largely because by the point Faith appears we already are familiar with Buffy as a character and have a pretty clear idea of what a Slayer does and what should not be doing. And even then, Buffy still spends far more time hunting vampires and other monsters rather than rogue Slayers.

But I admit I haven't been following the development of 2e, either.
 

Leliel

SJ Road Warrior
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Slashers was pretty popular at the time of its release, from what I remember.

I still think it's an odd choice to place the spotlight on them, mind, because while Slashers may work as a sort of evil parallel to Hunters, they don't strike me as natural targets for them (more like targets of opportunity or self-policing) unless we consider specialized cases like VASCU. Furthermore, evil parallels are more effectively when you already have established characters to mirror, so you can highlight the ways they could cross the boundaries, stray away from the path. Or to use an example from TV, Faith works as a dark mirror for Buffy largely because by the point Faith appears we already are familiar with Buffy as a character and have a pretty clear idea of what a Slayer does and what should not be doing. And even then, Buffy still spends far more time hunting vampires and other monsters rather than rogue Slayers.

But I admit I haven't been following the development of 2e, either.
I have. The main thrust of the Slasher Chronicles is that slashers have become...way, way more common. Way more common than should be natural. Something's happening that makes it so that serial killers develop the traits of a slasher easily, and hunters who were already heading that way become slashers more often. That's not at all a good thing, and pretty much everyone's freaked out about it.

Also, the thing about slashers being a parallel is that when it comes down to it, a slasher is a hunter of sorts. They just use their occult knowledge and sharpened skills to kill mortals, usually because they blame the mortals for things going wrong. Frequently, a hunter is the only person who notices the slasher; nobody wants to think monsters exist, and especially nobody wants to think a human could be a monster. Often, a hunter is the only person who actively tries to flip the movie script, and take the initiative in taking them out rather than as self-defense. Which makes it all the more terrifying when your inner murderer is waiting at the bottom of the Integrity meter, all too happy to catch you.
 

Heavy Arms

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It's also worth noting that the books are including major antagonist chapters to help alleviate the problem in the 1e of many people coming away from the core book without know what to do. They're antagonists you can build a chronicle around, not necessarily your character's 'normal' enemy.

I mean, so far the G-M is a massive comsic horror that you can't really do anything but survive, the Strix are things that prey on vampires, the Idigam are big bad spirits that take huge efforts to deal with rather than normal everyday werewolf foes, the Fallen World and Firestorms are more natural disasters than antagonists, and the Huntsmen are again antagonists that go after the Lost not the other way around.

These are all about giving you ideas for a bigger game, not just the daily grind of life for the characters.
 

Black Flag

Dweller on the Threshold
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I have. The main thrust of the Slasher Chronicles is that slashers have become...way, way more common. Way more common than should be natural. Something's happening that makes it so that serial killers develop the traits of a slasher easily, and hunters who were already heading that way become slashers more often. That's not at all a good thing, and pretty much everyone's freaked out about it.
This I like the sound of. Also helps make Hunter more than just an expansion of the other games.
 

Miss Atomic Bomb

Welcome to your life. There's no turning back.
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Ashwood Abbey were very nearly an enemy faction in the 1e core. The team considered them about on the level of slashers.
 

Morty

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My stance on the Ashwood Abbey is that it might be possible to write them in a way that's applicable to more than a certain fringe category of games, but I'd rather the resources were spent on something easier to integrate and without all the associated baggage.
 

Black Flag

Dweller on the Threshold
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I’ve used them quite effectively as antagonists in a Werewolf game. The players loved to hate them but would not have loved to play them.
 

Kettlehelm

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Ashwood Abby offers something that most WoD often ignores, fun. They are the Deadpool Corp of WoD if it was a Superhero game, a chance to have fun in a setting which takes itself so seriously it disappears up its own arse.
Some people pick Union because they want to fight Vampires and such as normal-people trying to survive WoD, some people play Abby Hunters because they know that the game is about having fun while playing a Hunter with their own set of arse-kicking anti-monster powers and not grousing on in self-pity like every other line.
Every other line has its creepy weirdos who are sidelined by a playerbase who clearly want to play squeaky-clean "conflicted" splats, as if they were just transferring their D&D characters into a Modern-Fantasy game.
It's the same thought process that turned Geist: the Sin-Eater from a "Sugar-Skull" themed game about solving dead people's problems as a spirit returned, into a bad knock-off of Wraith, which they were trying to get away from to begin with. Where the theme is "Fight the Man" like every other recent WoD game the two companies have put out, except now with massive delays and Kickstarter begging.
 

Black Flag

Dweller on the Threshold
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Whereas I rather like how the new Geist turned out, so... okay, then.

Also not sure how fighting the Man is grousing in self-pity. Would seem rather the opposite to me.
 

Killer300

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My own thoughts on the Abbey I think are basically in two camps,

1. I do think some of the supplements took things too far, as yeah, them being rapey is a bit too far. More than that, the Hunt Club... complicates things.

2. On the flip side, I actually do think a pleasure cult makes sense as a hunter group, especially as a Compact. And I say pleasure cult specifically because I'm thinking of like, Cult of Diosynsus type groups here, where there's lots of drugs, (consensual), sex, and the violence is done in an extremely flashy way. If anything, it would probably pay up its cult aspects more, but I think this archetype, of a pleasure cult, is really old, and I don't think its too much an extension for it to hunt monsters.

So basically, Ashwood Abbey I'd argue is fulfilling an important niche, as there are going to be people who hunt for the fun of it, not to protect people around them, and that isn't captured by another Compact or Conspiracy. Well, okay, there is the Lodge, but that's a very... hedged in version of what I'm thinking of. The Lodge wouldn't say, lock someone in a room with hallucinogens to complete a ritual for a God of Madness and Alcohol, whereas Ashwood Abbey would definitely be down with that.

I actually think making them a proper Cult of Diosynsus, maybe even having their backstory being that they're the same Mystery Cult from literally thousands of years ago, could fix a lot of their issues. They wouldn't have the rape aspects, they could have a reason to have both rich and poor members, along with having members from a variety of states. In addition, I imagine the Cult of Diosynsus in Chronicles of Darkness had a rather interesting time, and hearing more about that could be really cool.


On a side note, here's a thread with more about this: https://forum.rpg.net/index.php?threads/history-pack-more-on-greek-cults.847845/
 
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