I’ve been carrying this book, Horror Recognition Guide, around off and on over the last few months.  It wasn’t until recently that I really took a crack at it. It’s a fascinating read! I expected something analogous to Mysterious Places, a treatment of various phenomena accompanied with hints as to how to use them. It has the former, but the latter is conspicuously absent.

As it stands now, I’m nearly 100 pages in— more on that in a moment— and it doesn’t break character. It’s a collection of files, notes, journals, and ephemera detailing people’s encounters with the various nasties in this book. There’s nary a stat to be found and even the credits are at the back of the book rather than the front. Altogether, it’s 300 pages, covering 16 different phenomena. If you were to mistake this for a collection of short stories, you wouldn’t be far off the mark!

It’s definitely in a more Hunter-y context than any of the other games, a plain World of Darkness mortals game being one big possible exception. By that I mean that these stories are laid out more like mysteries than threats. So far, they’re fairly localized phenomena, though for at least a few of these horrors it’s obvious how you could increase their scope, at least to the point where they might give any of the other supernaturals cause for concern.

Anyway, it’s a real treat so far. It adds a lot to what might come to mind when you think about Hunter: the Vigil in particular and the sorts of things you’d see in World of Darkness in general.

All that said, I imagine you’ll get a bunch more more mileage out of it if you pick up Collection of Horrors. From what I can tell, it gives you something more concrete than a story, using the SAS system, various props (incl. audio) (!), and presumably statistics for some of the phenomena concerned. I’m intrigued, to the point where I’m considering buying the bundle. I like it when companies experiment like this, and I suspect these would be ideal for one-shots.

Since it’s evening when I’m writing this, I’m going to have at the rest of the book.

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