White Wolf’s Hunter: the Vigil RPG lets you take on the roles of mortals fighting against the encroachment of the supernatural in the World of Darkness. But after reading the Horror Recognition Guide, you might want to pick a safer career path.
The theme of Hunter: the Vigil seems somewhat obvious: it’s basically the X-Files, writ large. The supernatural exists, but most people don’t know about it. Those who do (the eponymous Hunters) fight it in their own way. One of Hunter’s most interesting aspects is the varying motivations of the Hunters. Some are fundamentalist Christians, while others treat monster fighting like base jumping – the ultimate thrill. Other groups seek scientific proof, and some just seek revenge.
Based on the title, you might think the Horror Recognition Guide is a Monster Manual for Hunter Storytellers, but that is not the case at all. In fact, you won’t find a single game rule or stat block in the book. It’s essentially a book of short horror stories set in the World of Darkness, told from the point of view of a particular Hunter cell. There are those who demand their game supplements be chock full of crunchy new rules. This book is probably not for them. However, you could take the plots and villains from these 16 creepy tales and apply them to just about any horror RPG with a modern setting, and many could probably be easily adapted to other settings as well.
The stories aren’t just fodder for Storytellers’ fertile imaginations, however. Each one comes with a series of easily printable handouts, like newspaper clippings, hand-written letters or annotated case files. All Game Masters know the power of a good handout, and these will make the feelings of ominous terror all the more vivid.