Hunter: The Reckoning is a tabletop role-playing game (TTRPG) set in a dark reflection of the modern world, where players assume the roles of Hunters – mortals who have been made aware of supernatural creatures that are otherwise unknown to humanity.
The basic concept of Hunter: The Reckoning revolves around the titular Hunters – mortals who have discovered the existence of supernatural creatures around them, and decided to do something with it.
The main difference in between regular humans and Hunters is their Drive – main reason they partake in research, pursuit and/or fight against the supernatural. Most Hunters are forced to live double lives, with their families and friends unaware of the monsters they seek.
Their enemies – called quarries – are tough, and success isn’t promised in a Hunt; there’s always a chance their next Hunt will be their last. Unforeseen accidents that lead to tragedies are not uncommon, driving Hunters to desperation in their never-ending pursuit.
Hunter: The Reckoning is a game of difficult choices, and sometimes also a lack of “good” choices or endings, with player-made decisions often having direct consequences in the chronicle’s story. For example, a cell (closely tied group of Hunters) working on a case may have to choose in between letting the quarry escape and letting innocents get hurt, or may pin the blame on an unknowing mortal, believing them to be the monster.
Mistakes are not avoidable when attempting to track down the quarry, especially with little knowledge available on the nature of hunted creatures. In this game, Hunters do not only face supernatural monsters – mortals may pose threat to the cell as well, from those who work directly in support of the quarry to rival monster hunting organizations that may have a different idea on what is needed to be done with the creature, sometimes attempting to use the Hunters to their own gain.
Hunters may also face the law enforcement for breaking into a building they were investigating, or stumble upon other people who turn into obstacles in their pursuit.
Hunter: The Reckoning is based on the Storyteller System and uses a number of specific mechanics and tools to simulate the Hunter’s experience:
Desperation, a mechanic introduced in the 5th edition, is used to increase the drama of the Hunter’s determination when chasing after a quarry. Desperation works in conjunction with the characters Drive, which is their personal reason for the Hunt, and may be used as a fuel to increase the chance of Hunter’s success in tasks related to their Creed.
However, Desperation has its darker side, and desperate actions may increase the Danger of the Hunt, or put Hunters into a state of Despair, unable to tap into their Drive’s motivations until they find a solid reason to continue (redemption).
Danger, a flexible scale (usually 1-5) changing as the cell takes actions, is used to represent the stakes of the story. How aware the enemy might be of the Hunters on their tail, how security might tighten, and how likely the quarry is to strike back against the Hunters.
Creeds are the types of Hunters presented in the game. Entrepreneurial takes on the supernatural using experiments and innovations. Faithful hunt through their belief in a higher power. Inquisitive operate through knowledge both from ancient texts and from cutting-edge technology. Martial fight the supernatural with their strength or knowledge of combat and weaponry.
Underground uses guile and subterfuge to talk to the right people until they eventually come face-to-face with their quarry. This list serves as a base for Storytellers, who can come up with different or altered creeds to expand on characters’ unique predispositions during the Hunt.
Edges, the things that put these mortal Hunters above regular people, are what the Hunters use to their advantage when following a Hunt. They come in a wide variety, from physical items and tools to those that are more supernatural or magical in nature.