I do love it when Bundle of Holding put out a World of Darkness or Chronicles of Darkness bundle. I love these games! I love these books! Oh, and by the way, so should you!
This bundle contains lots of goodies themed around the Chronicle of Darkness game, Hunter: The Vigil. This game is all about, well, hunters. These hunters might have powers, but often they do not. These hunters may act alone, in groups, or as part a sprawling organisation. Whatever their methods or organisation, hunters exist to kill the monsters that players play in the other Chronicles of Darkness game lines. Personally, I like it best when the hunters are very much normal, ordinary mortals up against incredible odds as they fight back the tide of supernatural horror. But hey, that’s just me!
On to the bundle! The first tier contains the core rules, of course. This book is brilliant. I actually have it on the shelf behind me as I type. I can feel it watching me. I can feel it judging me. Thing is, it’s actually not quite complete. Unlike the original World of Darkness, where each game line had a complete core rulebook, the Chronicles of Darkness has a single core book, with each game line’s book being essentially a really big, awesome supplement. To ensure that you have the essential rules, the bundle also includes the free Nightmare at Hill Manor book, which gives you what you need to get going with the game. Or you could, like, go get the core book. Go on. Seriously, go! In terms of the supplements in this tier, I particularly like how Block by Bloody Block helps you make a more convincing, living city for your games, fleshing out territories and webs of alliances and enmities. Of this tier, Bundle of Holding writes:
For just US$7.95 you get all four titles in our Starter Collection (retail value $38) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including the complete Hunter: The Vigil corebook (retail price $20), the organizations book Compacts and Conspiracies (retail $9), and the Block by Bloody Block campaign framework (retail $9). As a convenience to customers who don’t have the World of Darkness rulebook, we also include the 66-page adventure Nightmare at Hill Manor, released for Free RPG Day 2011, with all the rules you need to play Hunter: The Vigil.
The second tier of this bundle contains a further four Hunter: The Vigil supplements. All four of these supplements go into detail about hunting one of the types of supernatural beings described in the rest of the Chronicles of Darkness setting. Each one advises on how to incorporate your prey into a story and adds new compacts and conspiracies specialising in hunting these specific targets. Vampires, Werewolves (and spirits) and Mages get specific books (Night Stalkers, Spirit Slayers and Witch Finders, respectively) whilst Prometheans, Changelings, Geists, Mummies and Demons are all covered in Mortal Remains. It’s worth mentioning that the Mages covered in Witch Finders are very much of a low-key version of Mage: The Awakening – that game has such a power curve, that it would have to be! Collectively, these are the books that facilitate crossovers and variety in your games. Bundle of Holding describes this tier:
And if you pay more than the threshold price of $22.26, you’ll gain Practical Experience and also get our entire Bonus Collection with four more titles (worth an additional $76), including four Chronicles sourcebooks about hunting vampires (Night Stalkers, retail $20), werewolves and spirits (Spirit Slayers, retail $19), mages (Witch Finders, retail $20), and just about every other supernatural creature (Mortal Remains Revised, retail $17). Think of these books as toolkits from which the Storyteller chooses the right elements to build a chronicle.
All in all, a really good bundle. What’s great about this one is that there actually weren’t that many books released for Hunter: The Vigil, and this bundle actually gives you the entire range. The only two books I would look to add to this set are the Chronicles of Darkness core book and the Slasher book, which deals with supernatural serial killers. Slasher is actually a book in the core range, but it deal with hunters who take things too far and descend into madness, becoming murderers. It feels like a Hunter book, and many treat it as such.
The charity that benefits from this bundle is the Roleplaying Game Creators Relief Fund. This is a group that supports game creators who suffer medical emergencies, injuries and other horrible circumstances that they may be unable to handle financially.
To visit the page for this bundle and buy it (and you should buy it), you can click here!