Hunter Review: The Reckoning 5th Edition — Return to the World of Darkness

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Hunter: The Reckoning 5th Edition is the latest game in the World of Darkness series, which includes numerous games over several decades. For those who are not familiar, Hunters are literally monster hunters who not only have to fight a range of enemies such as werewolves and ghouls, but also have to fight a number of organizations (organizations) that exist with various motives. In the 5th edition of Hunter: The Reckoning, there are elements of sci-fi noir mixed with elements of gothic punk, which can offer a lot to fans of the series, as well as interesting game mechanics and narration that should appeal to beginners as well.

Players are Hunters, and they can customize characters with Creeds, Drives, etc. Players can be a club promoter or an associate professor — a smuggler or a mole. Characters can also choose from a range of desires and ambitions, and Touchstones serve as the people the Hunter fights for. They can also affect a number of characteristics, such as Dexterity and Intelligence. “Firearms”, “Driving” and “Stealing” offer several more unique aspects of gameplay for the characters of Hunter: The Reckoning, and also help to distinguish it from many fantastic TTRPGS.

The basic Hunter: The Reckoning 5th Edition rulebook includes all this information, as well as a lot of details regarding storytelling — what a game master or storyteller needs to know in order to have an adventure. There are also sections dedicated to “Supernatural Threats”, which detail the types of monsters that Hunters may encounter, and “Rival Organizations” that can also act as antagonists during the campaign. The target audience here is an adult audience, but the apps also have a good section on “Tips for Careful Play” that will help storytellers deal with controversial or sensitive topics. The game also includes “Chronicle Arguments”, which prevent player characters from using other people and insulting them.

In terms of the supernatural, Hunter: The Reckoning has a lot of terrible opponents that players can face, but the game really shines with its rundown corporations and dubious religious sects, proving that sometimes the biggest monsters are still people. However, the downside of this may be for those who want to use TTRPG as pure escapism — the gloominess of Hunter: The Reckoning may alienate some players who prefer their games to be more carefree. However, this is only a small caveat, since probably most people who want to check out the latest edition of Hunter: The Reckoning are either already familiar with the World of Darkness series, or are fans of dystopian/horror role-playing games.

The Hunter: The Reckoning game cycle may seem deceptively simple, but there’s a lot you can do with it as a Storyteller or a Hunter. Players must first find out who their Prey is, and then they must learn how to deal with them. From here, players have to deal with a Career, and there are several options for the development of events. This kind of strategy can affect several outcomes, so the Narrator should be prepared for this.

Admittedly, it’s nice to see Hunter: The Reckoning returning in the 5th edition. The newest basic rule book seems very accessible, and its systems are easy to learn, but not too simple. As a tabletop role-playing game in the horror genre, Hunter: The Reckoning is a good combination of action and world-building, which will certainly keep players on their toes as they navigate various monsters in the World of Darkness.