I understand that Chronicles of Darkness stuff is broadly cross-compatible, though not necessarily intended to be used that way by default. So, in theory, you can always just pull up the Werewolf book add a werewolf to your Vampire game, &c.

However, each separate line book is rather heavy — all the subtypes with their unique shticks, various tiers of special powers, unique behavioral requirements and resource economies add up to a lot of reading just to throw in a monster as a strange new threat. Rules like "Frenzy" and "Lash Out" make sense for detailed inter-vampire conflicts, for instance, but it'd be hard to keep them all in your head if you were just suddenly trying to bring a vampire NPC into a game about sin-eaters.

Is there a simpler alternative? A quicker, NPC-focused way to represent classic "supernatural" antagonists outside the particular game line you're playing? (The particular examples in the title are just some examples; this question is equally applicable to vampires wanting to diablerize an angel or whatever.) Ideally something that's both easy on extra subsystems and doesn't require a lot of additional books?


1 Answer 1


Hunter: The Vigil / "Horrors" from CoD Core

Because of the expectations that Hunters run into all kinds of preternatural threats, the Hunter books features "Monsters" as antagonists, which come in various flavors: "witches (Mages)", "vampires", etc.

Essentially, they all use the same template, with "Dread Powers" in place of Contracts, Affinities, innate abilities, etc. Dread Powers are fueled by Willpower, rather than Aether, Plasm, etc.

Note that a second edition of HtV is still under development; however, amongst the 1st edition core book and several of its supplements (most notably Mortal Remains, which details some 2nd edition content like Demon: the Descent) there's a good variety of "monsters of the week" that can be used for NPC cameos - and, if the NPCs are "flat enough", the edition differences won't be very jarring.

Note: while the Antagonists chapter helps emulate many creature types, it (logically) doesn't elaborate on ersatz Hunters. However, aside from Tactics - unique teamwork actions groups of Hunters can partake in, most of the other benefits of Hunters come from their Endowments. Ironically, because Hunters can take Dread Powers as "custom" Endowments, this means that Dread Powers can be used for them as well.

Dread Powers and the "Horrors" that wield them were explicitly enumerated in the Chronicles of Darkness core rule book; starting on page 140.

Still, the Hunter supplements will have a bevy of Dread Powers that haven't been included in this section (possibly for reasons of balance or simplicity, YMMV)

I actually happened across them while I was looking for the super-simplified non-combatant NPC guidelines; one dimensional characters whose sheets reads something like "Timid librarian; Research: 6 dice; Hide 5 dice; Recognize poetry 5 dice"

The context of your question makes it sound like you aren't looking for something quite so stripped down, but I figured acknowledging them would be more thorough.

That being said, bear in mind what works for the troupe. For example, building a "fairy" may involve just picking a good Monster/Horror; making them speak in rhyme may be more enjoyable for the troupe, even without making it be a Frailty.

Similarly, having a "bloodsucker" not suffer insults lightly might suffice; having them roll Resolve + Compromise when angry is more accurate; figuring out the dice penalty based on the last time they fed is more accurate yet.

Ultimately, the approximations can end up so accurate you might as well bring out the core book. Practical advice would be to build cameos as Monsters/Horrors, and incorporate only the details that enrich the experience for the troupe relative to their "screen time".

  • \$\begingroup\$ Based on this answer, I was able to find Hunter "Witch Finders," which has a pretty solid concise system for witches-as-mini-mages, as well as a bunch of useful things in the "Night Horrors" line. \$\endgroup\$
    – Alex P
    Sep 26, 2018 at 1:47

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