One of the initial questions to the hunter is:

What terrible thing have you done to yourself to help even the playing field?

Is that something that hunters usually do? They cripple themselves if they notice that the hunting is not fair to the prey?


3 Answers 3


The question is referring to the hunter doing something to themselves to give them an edge against the supernatural.

Such as forgoing human comforts to train harder. Or killing their own sense of empathy via violence against the weak to make them harder to mind control. Or implanting their body with silver studs that will slowly give them necrosis and bone fatigue to give them an edge against certain kinds of monsters.

The question is poorly worded for its intended goal, and assumes that every single hunter is a tortured antihero - which is white wolf's basic theme and bleeds out into the text far too often.

  • \$\begingroup\$ This is the best answer, the tipping point for me was understanding that by "something terrible you did yourself" they mean improvement, not crippling \$\endgroup\$
    – javirs
    Nov 9, 2022 at 14:24
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    \$\begingroup\$ I don't understand the reference to White Wolf here; this is about the playbook from Urban Shadows, not either of the Hunter games in the World or Chronicles of Darkness line. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jadasc
    Nov 12, 2022 at 2:02

When Galadriel said she would be "beautiful and terrible as the dawn", she wasn't calling the dawn extremely bad.

Fundamentally, the Hunter is an underdog, an agent of Mortality trying to physically struggle against the Wild, the Night, and the Power behind the city. The fundamental tension of their Corruption is not whether they've become too weak but rather whether they've become too dangerous, hurting other mortals in pursuit of their prey.

As such, it doesn't make sense to read "terrible" in its most common modern sense of "extremely bad" - an occurrence that obviously and greatly weakens the Hunter. Consider instead:


Hunters are mere mortals, unlike much of their prey

No, hunters are not crippling themselves. They are mortals in a world filled with supernaturals who have a natural advantage over them. See the description on the Hunter sheet:

Determined and fearless, the Hunter is a mortal who has taken up a cause against the darkness around them, perhaps because they were trained to stalk the night or because they were born with the power to protect their people. They carry a heavy burden, one that would eventually crush anyone. How long can they keep from becoming what they hunt?

Compare to the Vamp:

Strong, fast, eternal in age, and insatiable in hunger, the vampire is a pure, unadulterated predator. They are a monster, a twisted reflection of the person they once were, doomed to walk the earth and feed their hungers. Keep your distance.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I'm not familiar with this system, but it seems that you're suggesting that hunters might need to do Something (TM) to grant themselves sufficient power to even the playing field. And Something (TM) is probably not too ethical and may in fact be terrible. You may want to state that more directly. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 8, 2022 at 16:37

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