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đź’€ Necro [CofD/Hunter 2E] Ashwood Abbey Open Development

Leliel

SJ Road Warrior
Validated User
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.
Literally every bit of this post is wrong.

1) A player who takes the Abbey at face value for "fun", without alteration, is legitimately the kind of person who doesn't understand them or seriously skeeves me out. The Abbey as presented in the core is the kind of group Deadpool is paid to shoot.

2) The Abbey doesn't have any powers, they're a Compact, if you wanted to play superheroes out of the core you'd play something like Task Force: VALKYRIE or particularly sanguine Lucifuge.

3) If you're playing straight heroes out of a Compact that is literally described as a club for depraved socialites who desperately need stimulation to feel alive, that's not exactly a D&D group.

4) Yes, the "bad knock-off of Wraith" where you play as a spirit returned who solves dead people's problems, delve the ultimate dungeon, punch cannibal liches in the face, fight corrupt ghost cops, team up with other returned spirits in teams to seek Justice, and in one endgame outlined in the appendix kick Hades in the dick so hard that you turn the Underworld into a utopia. Truly, the most angsty and conflicted of games that has no sugar skulls at all, apart from all the ones your New Orleans-themed krewe has. Not a single bit of potential for superheroics. Batman? Ghost Rider? Who're they?

5) "The Man" is best represented in comics by Wilson Fisk, Norman Osborn, and Lex Luthor. In D&D, the entire alignment of Lawful Evil exists to model villainous authority figures. Grim Fandango from Lucas Arts has an otherwise serviceable afterlife system corrupted by an authority that wants to pervert it in order to make a lot of money, and it's a Lucas Arts adventure game, the whole point is being humorous. How "Fight the Man" cannot be "no-internal-conflict-jokey-action" is a thought process that makes absolutely no sense.
 

Heavy Arms

Registered User
Validated User
It's also worth reiterating:

The Abbey is not about hunting monsters of fun.

It's about doing it for thrill-seeking.

They might be close to a niche the other detailed groups aren't occupying, but they're not actually doing it either.
 

Kettlehelm

Registered User
Validated User
The Union consists of the sort of Zimmerman-like neighborhood watch groups who prowl around trying to find and eliminate the Other from their communities or collusion between gangs to murdering drug-dealers, and yet people like to hold them up as what Hunters compacts should be.
 

SunlessNick

Mildly Darkened One
Validated User
I thought slashers were originally supposed to be a failure state for hunters, if they got to like the killing too much and stopped being meaningfully distinguishable from monsters, but that was never really developed the first time around.
That was just a subset of slashers.
As for Ashwood Abbey, I don’t think they need to be heroic exactly (a number of hunter groups are not particularly), but there were some aspects of AA from 1e that didn’t really work for playable protagonists, and that’s what the original poll was about.
There was a compact in the Werewolf-related supplement who hunted to prove they were badass hunters (they specialised in werewolves mainly because of where they originated and what they knew about). The thing I liked best about them was that while many hunters, even destroy-all-monsters types would regard that as a contemptible motivation, many werewolves would consider it perfectly reasonable.
 

Heavy Arms

Registered User
Validated User
The Union consists of the sort of Zimmerman-like neighborhood watch groups who prowl around trying to find and eliminate the Other from their communities or collusion between gangs to murdering drug-dealers, and yet people like to hold them up as what Hunters compacts should be.
The Union is what Hunters organizations should be in general: morally dubious. They should have enough appeal to see why people would join them and still think of themselves as good people, and do enough shitty things that they're not "The Good Guys" because it's the Chronicles of Darkness. They might be better for your average human to have around than any of the supernaturals, but that's a pretty low bar.

Also... is there any chance you can tone some of this back a bit? You're making a lot of declarations about other people in very broad generalized terms that's fairly off putting to having a decent conversation about things.
 

wryfool

Registered User
Validated User
I'm surprised they didn't try to downplay the rape-tourism aspects of the Abbey, and instead focus on a different angle; namely that the Abbey are the protectors of the 1%. The Abbey hunt those who target the most important people in the world and protect them. Why doesn't someone just kill the Koch Brothers? The Abbey keeps an eye on them. And its not because they're the good guys. They can still be elitist assholes (and many of them are hunters because they are bored), but they are also the ones making sure that the common monster can't get close to their friends without being very careful.
 

EndlessKng

An Innocent Bystander
RPGnet Member
Validated User
That was just a subset of slashers.
There was a compact in the Werewolf-related supplement who hunted to prove they were badass hunters (they specialised in werewolves mainly because of where they originated and what they knew about). The thing I liked best about them was that while many hunters, even destroy-all-monsters types would regard that as a contemptible motivation, many werewolves would consider it perfectly reasonable.
Damn... hadn't thought about the Bear Lodge in that light (admittedly Spirit Slayers is probably the 1e book I have the least experience with), but you're right. Especially in 2e with the refocus onto the Hunt as a Forsaken theme, and the Blood Talons focusing on other werewolves... I can see them viewing the Bear Lodge as somewhat hopeless but respectable (and even bringing in members as human elements in their pack).

The Union is what Hunters organizations should be in general: morally dubious. They should have enough appeal to see why people would join them and still think of themselves as good people, and do enough shitty things that they're not "The Good Guys" because it's the Chronicles of Darkness. They might be better for your average human to have around than any of the supernaturals, but that's a pretty low bar.
Also it's important to remember that the Union isn't JUST hunting monsters. It's also about building the community they live in, helping others out, being a part of the world around them. They, like most other groups, can have different faces - some are NIMBY hunters who don't want the Other, while others are focused on just keeping people who live near them safe from things that clearly aren't human (and who may even be okay with some of the monsters who live there as long as they aren't preying on others) and who bake cookies for church before going out to hunt. They are, in a word, complex, which is to say they are human. In my opinion, they get held up as an example because in the game lore we are given, they are one of the few groups that go beyond the hunt, beyond the monsters, and consider the impact of these things on the world around them in human terms, and also try to deal with the human condition at the same time. Even the various psychological/psychiatric groups end up focusing on their theories and models and don't actually extend beyond to help the general public all that much outside their focus.
 
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Leliel

SJ Road Warrior
Validated User
There was a compact in the Werewolf-related supplement who hunted to prove they were badass hunters (they specialised in werewolves mainly because of where they originated and what they knew about). The thing I liked best about them was that while many hunters, even destroy-all-monsters types would regard that as a contemptible motivation, many werewolves would consider it perfectly reasonable.
Oh yeah, the Bear Lodge! I love those guys. They are in it for the thrill of the hunt, but they recognize they're hunting sentient beings; if they encounter a werewolf who seems to be minding her own business and doesn't kill humans, their policy is still to hunt - to say "got you!" before slinking off, both for the fun of it and to remind the werewolf of a sense of perspective. In 2E, they're even more viable, because I can honestly see Iron Masters regarding them as worthy rivals and excellent ways to teach the newly Changed humility and respect for humanity. Hence, the werewolves themselves are actually keeping the Bear Lodge safe.

The Union consists of the sort of Zimmerman-like neighborhood watch groups who prowl around trying to find and eliminate the Other from their communities or collusion between gangs to murdering drug-dealers, and yet people like to hold them up as what Hunters compacts should be.
OK. That's wrong, by the core, since the Union is an organization that explicitly holds "innocent until proven guilty" as a criteria for hunting, and when the monster isn't around they are literally just a labor union, not to mention the Other, here, consists of entities that literally must physically assault others to continue life (blood doesn't grow on trees), but okay.

The Ashwood Abbey consists of the sort of depraved upper-class trash who use a web of mutual blackmail and money to avoid any and all consequences for personal misbehavior and turn violently repressive when their victims strike back. So by this logic, no matter who you're playing, you're playing the alt-right and their enablers.

Problem is, the core Abbey seems to consist of these people as working as intended, instead of a dark side. It got less in later supplements, but unlike everyone else, they never quite escaped their initial portrayal. So while I like the Abbey as the love-to-hate Compact, at the same time, I don't think they're something that can show up and not be disruptive. They need a massive rejiggering or removal as a core book group. Possibly both.
 

SunlessNick

Mildly Darkened One
Validated User
They need a massive rejiggering or removal as a core book group.
I think they're getting kicked from the main twelve, but I'm not sure what's replacing them. One of the conspiracies is too, replaced by the Council of Bones, but I don't know which one. (If I had to guess, it would Aegis kai Doru, or less likely, the Cheiron Group).

Oh yeah, the Bear Lodge! I love those guys.
Spirit Slayers was good at moral kinks. The Lucifuge are their usual case-by-case selves, but werewolves take one look at them and say "Children of the Maeljin - exterminate." The Loyalists remember Nazi experiments on captured werewolves, and are therefore prone to letting them go even in cases where they maybe shouldn't. The Talbot Group think of werewolves as possession victims like the Ridden, and try to help them.
 
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