So this weekend I wasn’t treated with just one but TWO nights of rolling the dice with my buddies. It’s feeling awesome to get back into the groove after getting to a point where it seemed our tabletop sessions were going to be scheduled annually. Friday nights have been the scene of a small World of Darkness/Hunter: The Vigil chronicle that my buddy Mercer has been running for a while. It had a rocky start but I think the chronicle is really starting to flesh out. A big problem was just getting back into the groove, not to mention it was a very whimsical idea at the beginning (I had bought The Vigil and hadn’t even owned it a night before Mercer snatched my copy and wanted to run a Hunter game.)
With the exception of a few Merits taken out of the book and the Hunter’s expanded rules on Willpower, it’s really just been like any other Mortal campaign aside the fact we’re all die-hards of The Vigil and trying to protect humanity from the hidden monsters. Still, the plot has begun to pick up in intensity and now our motley band of characters are faced with a Half-Demon Necromancer who leads a cult of devout Vampires and other horrors who are in search of some kind of temple/relic/item/person/thing to ascend his status to Full Demon, which in this chronicle would be the equivalent of letting loose a minor evil deity upon the planet. To make matters edgy, we received a specific date…our characters had approximately a week before the end of the world, and the clock was ticking.
Every moment spent at Denny’s was a moment we weren’t getting prepared.
When our characters first learned about the date of the big event coming up, I guess as players we didn’t really fully grasp the urgency of the situation. We figured surely at the rate we were going we could have them stopped and the world will be safe until the next big horrors arrive. Back to our meeting spot at Denny’s to discuss the next plan.
Only, it started to become clear how ill-prepared we were for the big showdown. Clues that other half-demons and lord knows what else will probably be arriving in our city for the big event, meshed in with a lot of big political and media related people had connections to this evil cult, the usualy “Oh shit Doomsday is coming and we’re outnumbered” experience. But then, the real drama of being a Mortal trying to wage the secret war came into effect. The phone rings, and the big Marine of the party gets word his sister’s psychotic ex-husband is back in town and she’s having a nervous break down. My character, a Parkour expert vagabond and former Ghoul, starts to suspect his stripper girlfriend is pregnant and suddenly realizes his actions as a Hunter could have consequences on others around him. And then there’s the case the wild party girl in our troupe can see the ghosts and spirits sent to spy on us, and she doesn’t know how to tell the other guys who actively seek out and hunt the paranormal that she, herself, is a psychic.
Our gaming session started at 6 days and counting down. We now know our friend’s “gifts” and we’re finally informed about our activities being watched. We’ve relocated the Marine’s sister to a safe house, and the session picks up with us tracking down a retired vet of the Vigil who runs a soup kitchen to enlist his aid in knowledge and lore about possible weaknesses or the nature of the upcoming events that are transpiring. We know the Cult is already digging and searching for a lost temple from ancient times in the area, and suddenly it dawns on us we’re on the final stretch and way over our heads. By the time we finish the episodic adventure of tracking down the Necromancer’s right-hand man, a vampire cult leader who captures and tortures children, it was already the evening of T-5. We meet at our spot in Denny’s to grab our daily meals and plan our next move…when the police show up. My character had become a prime suspect in the death of one of our former team members, a middle aged Doctor lady who wound up being the next meal of a Mambo Priestess vampire out in the Bayou (who is also part of this cult.)
The gaming session ends with my character realizing the clock is ticking too f ast for us to deal with things like criminal investigations. Chances are, he only became a suspect after constant direct mockery and antagonizing of the Necromancer after foiling his plans. My character responded the only way he knew how: Smashing the cop in the face and running like hell into the night, and using a combination of his Parkour skills and his Crowds specialization in his Stealth skill to evade the police and return to his Safe Haven. We end the session at T-4 days until the end of the world.
Needless to say, the use of the short time-line has definitely added an element of drama and suspense to the campaign. The very world we’re trying to save is against us, and now it’s clear the time of smoke and mirrors is over and in order for us to win our war, it’s time to burnout fast and loud.