With the release of Nightwatch – Blood and Bone around the corner, I wanted to cover the basics of monster hunters, their specializations, and gear.
One Player – One Hunter
A cooperative game, in Blood and Bone each player controls one Hunter. This is their emissary, their avatar, on the tabletop. Traditionally part of a larger crew composed of several other Hunters plus a few Hired Hands and Animal Companions, your party embarks on a journey to find and eliminate a particular malignant creature.
Guild and Guild Focus
There are four Hunter Guilds, each with their own distinct lore, methods, and techniques. Similar to a distinguished academy or university, each was founded to train a specific type of Hunter.
- Guild of Blades
- Guild of Trackers
- Guild of Alchemists
- Guild of Mancers
Each Guild is further divided into two specializations, a Guild Focus, each with their own particular capabilities.
Blades are melee-oriented fighters that can be either Warriors or Rogues. Warriors tackle problems head-on and receive a bonus for their attacks. Rogues have no problem invading your personal space, but are tougher to hit. They receive their bonus when defending against attacks.
Trackers prefer ranged combat. They can be either a Ranger or a Skirmisher. The Ranger is the traditional hunter or marksman. The Skirmisher is also partial to killing from a distance, but they can get up close as well. Like the Rogue, they are experts in avoiding damage.
Alchemists carry powerful potions and a variety of specialized munitions. They can be a Sapper or a Sage. A Sapper has a thing for explosives, while the Sage tends to load up on strange and bitter elixirs that will benefit them and their allies. Alchemists get their bonus when handling grenadoes and potions.
Mancers channel arcane power. A War Mage prefers to deal damage while a Shaman takes a support role. Each gets a slight benefit for their respective type of magic, and both receive a bonus when casting spells.
Weapons, Armor, and Belt Items
In an open-miniature game, mix-n-match menus are essential to helping players use (almost) any mini they want. They allow you to generate distinct characters and fighting styles. Want a Cleric-type spellcaster with heavy armor and a massive mace? Can do. An Alchemist with dual-wielding flintlock pistols? Go for it.
Once the Guild and Guild Focus are set, players select from a broad category of melee and ranged weapons, both light and heavy, each with their own particular benefits. Any Hunter can access any kind of weapon, and once equipped, the benefits apply automatically, regardless of Guild.
The same goes for Armor. Available to all Guilds, Light affords minimal protection but grants a Move bonus. Medium provides decent defense without hindering speed. Heavy Armor is the sturdiest but slows a Hunter down. Shields can be equipped with any One-Hand weapon and grant a re-roll against enemy hits.
Belt Items run the gamut from health potions and magic scrolls to throwing knives and stun grenadoes. Handy, single use items that can be accessed in the heat of battle.
Kit out your hunter however you want and give them every possible advantage. Just remember: no one Hunter can take down the quarry alone.
Guild Hunters operate as a team, a crew of hardened warriors with complimentary skills and singular determination. Known as a Pact, they embark on a series of missions to track and destroy a specific malevolent creature that is the cause of an outbreak of unnatural misery and destruction. On the way, the Hunters face waves of increasingly dangerous minions, moving ever closer to their ultimate quarry.
It’s essential the players work together if they want to survive, let alone succeed, against the evil that festers in the dark. More on that, later…
For now, keep your blades sharp and your powder dry.
Have an excellent day.