Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Hunter: LGBTQ Chronicle

So, a while back, I had an idea for a Hunter campaign. One of the defining traits of Hunter is "Defending Your Community", and one of the hallmarks of White Wolf games is a (as compared to most other games, and probably one of the reasons for its early "Goth RPG" appeal) very LGBT-friendly atmosphere and themes. From Exalted right through to the World of Darkness, themes of defining yourself and acceptance have ran as a strong undercurrent, counterpointed by openly-gay NPCs as major players within their respective worlds without their sexuality being the be-all and end-all of their characterisation.

So, why not combine the two - the player's Cell has sprung from the local gay community, in response to the threat of both the Supernatural and altogether less exotic threats of prejudice and hatred.

Now, before I go on, I should point out - of the somewhat rotating groups of players I have, something like 40% are "somewhere over the rainbow", myself included. When I posted this idea up on, a lot of people raised concerns over possible stereotyping and offence that might be caused - but this is a LGBT chronicle for people in the community, and as such there shouldn't be too many problems.

I liked the idea because it gives the players a chance to explore the themes of alternate sexuality and society - there are surprisingly few games that support such things, and while you could try it with other systems, it would feel shoehorned in (who cares about who you want to have sex with when there's loot!). Whereas, not only can the players play characters with sexuality as a central part of their backstory/characterisation, but it will actually mean something within the framework of the game.

Note that this doesn't mean "straight" characters or players aren't welcome - I know plenty of people who are merely friends of the community, or have a partner who is part of it. And, really, part of Hunter (which I wanted to explore) is that Hunting is an inclusive activity - it's about the community as a whole, not just your little section of it. People from all walks of life might take up the Vigil, and I wanted to reflect that in the choice of characters - while some might know each other already, you might also have a local police officer, who has spent a lot of time dealing with hate crimes, and wishes to help out, or a gang member who has been accepted into the fold after her own traumatic experience with the Occult. Inclusion and lack of barriers are both big themes that I wanted to explore, and fit perfectly with the setup I had in mind.

But I need to figure out antagonists and threats that aren't just "Homophobic Werewolves and Gaybashing Vampires". So, here goes:
  • A Vampire (or group thereof) who prowl the scene, looking for young gay runaways (preferably from other cities/countries, come to make a new life) to feed from/ghoul into servitude. I like the idea that the Vampire isn't gay, but preys on people who are more vulnerable and lost - and in the city, he finds that these runaways are just perfect. Or maybe he's picked up a taste for them, and does so out of habit more than choice.
  • A team of rival Hunters, based off some of the Westboro Baptist Church's stances (they will reluctantly work with the PCs, but think they are doomed to the same Hell as the rest of the monsters - they Kick Arse For The Lord!). How long will it be before they stop hunting monsters, and start turning on your community?
  • A young pre-op Mage, who is attempting to find a way to deal with her desire to change sex through magic, and running into problems with Paradox.
  • Your classic Neo-Nazi group, with the twist that they are using daemonic rituals to gain a little extra power to commit their crimes - not that they do anything particularly groundbreaking. They're still just your average group of pricks, except with a little extra "oomph". Take it away, and you might break their spirit.
Another enemy I wanted to use for ages was Father Anders. A quiet young preist, Anders was interested in some of the more esoteric mysteries of the faith, and would research them with great fervour. He was known as a great confidant, a highly empathetic man, and something of a pillar of the community. Until he met with Cardinal Thomas.

Thomas had been looking into The Holy Fire - the flame that touched the Disciples, a show of God's power. He researched old forbidden texts, alchemical journals, even heretical books of witchcraft. Finally, he figured out how he could channel this Fire into a living being - to make them a receptacle for the Splendour of God Himself, a walking Fist of God's Rage to use in a battle against Sin.

But, he never quite cottoned on to what was happening. Those who've read Promethean: The Created will draw a lot of parallels between Holy Fire and Azoth - the animating force behind the Prometheans. Cardinal Thomas had found a way to infuse Azoth into a living being, and the results were... not as planned.

Where he was once quiet, he is now silent. Once a small, caring man, he is a veritable juggernaut, full of hatred and vigour. And the Cardinal's been using him to clean the streets of "sinners". Until some small part of the old Anders realised what he had become - a living sin, a walking representation of Wrath. Enraged by the betrayal he felt, he murdered Cardinal Thomas - and now he's loose, still "programmed" to clear the streets of sinners - thieves, murderers, prostitutes and Sodomites will feel his wrath. And it's down to those in the know to put a stop to him.

Problem being, I don't want religion to be a strong factor in the LGBTQ Chronicle - there's enough heavy stuff here without heavy-handedly throwing in some "Religion is EVIL" as well.

I'll look over it, and see how it can be modified for the game, but I'll persevere with the idea for now.

No comments:

Post a Comment