Monday, August 4, 2014

A fun look at Aspects: Hunter

Part two of a seven-part series in which I'll talk about how I see each aspect and some design philosophy behind them!

Reminder
Most Heroes don't display only one aspect. A Hero is a good blend of a couple/several aspects. Someone with only one Aspect would be like Q from the James Bond movies, Yoda from the original Star Wars, or the Mountain from Game of Thrones. They definitely are still characters, but they aren't "the Hero", and one of the reasons for that is that characters with minimal skillsets are less interesting over long periods of time. They're definitely not uninteresting, per se, but hard to follow and write for for long periods of time. For this series though, when I look at pop culture figures, I'll be highlighting characters who are exemplary at their Aspect, whether or not they are successful at other Aspects as well. Also, remember that I'm not as eloquent as my better half... by like leaps and bounds.

This week we'll be exploring the Hunter Aspect. Its three Talents are Tracking, Pursuit, and Naturalism, and its "passive" is Mettle.

(I'm switching to the pronoun she for this week and then I'll just rotate. English really needs a gender neutral pronoun.)

Definition
The Hunter is the main character of a never-ending chase. The Hunter is the lion stalking you in the jungle, and she's also the one stalking the lion. She knows where you've been and where you're headed... and she's going to beat you there. She might even arrive riding the elephant she befriended on one of the many breaks she was able to take because you're so slow. She is an expert at finding sustenance in the wild and can spend long periods of time living alone, or helping her compatriots live in the wilderness.

Problems
The Hunter Aspect brings up a lot of problems, and most of them revolve around giving them enough to do. At first glance, their Talents seem similar and to have the same kinds of ideas to draw from. That continues for the second and third glance.
Can Tracking really be a whole stat to itself? The Hunter is a valid heroic character type, but will this be something that enough people would want to use? If you aren't a naturalist-type, can you just avoid Hunter and not worry about it? Mettle is also a tough balancing act to walk between too necessary (characters can't function without tons of it) and ignorable (it's not really affecting most characters' lives).

Solutions
We've talked before about what each talent does, but to summarize the differences here:

Tracking doesn't just include tracking prey, but also all kinds of information-gathering at a scene. When the tracker comes upon a crime scene, or even a dinner party, she's able to find the who, what, where, when, and maybe even the why.

Pursuit is definitely not just chasing people. We've made it the de facto speed stat - when you need to go somewhere in a hurry, Pursuit is usually what you need to accomplish that. In addition to chasing people it covers all/most movement that isn't done with a vehicle. Sprinting short distances, running across town, and getting your group safely across a desert in the nick of time all fall under this Talent.

We are pretty sure that the combination of speed, information-gathering, survival tools, animal interaction and Mettle will make the hunter a very attractive aspect. It has applications to many different characters, even ones that seldom ever venture into the great outdoors.

We're still having a tough time with Mettle. We've liked it where it is, but sometimes the urge to make it apply to another thing comes up. But we think we have it at a sweet spot right now where everyone will want/need some, but the Hunter will have a lot to do with their extra.

Powers
Same generic warning about releasing powers early as before ;) But it applies even more so here. Hunter is in the middle of a fairly large overhaul, as you've heard in Cam's blogs.

Trailrunning (Tracking)
Labor: Chapter
Roll: None
Speed: Instant
The Hero with this Blessing is a born traveler, able to continue in spite of the physical needs of less hardy mortals or follow a trail long beyond the point where another hunter would drop. By using this Blessing, the Hero need only spend a point of Mettle to ignore the need for food, water or rest once every two days for the remainder of the Chapter, enabling them to carry on for superhuman lengths of time with far fewer need for rest or recovery.

Voyager (Pursuit)
Labor: Chapter
Roll: Pursuit
Speed: Dedicated
When called upon to travel far afield, a Hero with this Blessing may dramatically reduce the amount of time required for the journey, covering far more ground than mere mortal travelers could hope to do. For every five successes at mortal, 10 at immortal, and 20 at Divine, the Hero gains on their roll, they may subtract one Travel Episode from the total time required to reach their destination, down to a minimum of one. This Blessing only allows the Hero to speed up their own travel, and does not extend to other Heroes who may be accompanying them.

Characters
Hunters tend to be pretty awesome.

Boba Fett: Star Wars
San: Princess Mononoke
Kraven the Hunter: Marvel Comics
The Flash: DC Comics
Radegast: The Lord of the Rings
Katniss Everdeen: The Hunger Games series

Moments

A silly tribute vid to the Flash. He's doin' all the things.


Sherlock doing all the Tracking! Check your volume before you hit this. It was a bit loud for me.


Disney Princess-ing is a way to use Naturalism that I think many will enjoy.


Part of Pursuit/Tracking is making sure others can't follow you.


Katniss!! Being a badass Pursuit master and fighting off pain by spending some Mettle.