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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.

I can’t lie to you, blog. I’ve got the World of Darkness on the brain lately.

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We have the new subtitle for Geist now. The full name for the game is Geist: the Sin-Eaters. This, of course, raises more questions than it answers. It’s a pretty safe bet that with the name Geist, Wraith is this game’s antecedent. Oh, man. Wraith.

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Holy crap out of butts, this book is huge! I thought at first that I might’ve been ignorant, not having read the page count in the catalog entry. I don’t see it in there, though. It’s about 254 pages, and roughly on par with some of the core books in terms of size. 

On the way home with it, I joked that it had must have character creation rules for playing a murderer. (“Step 1: Attributes … Step 7: kill somebody. Step 8: don’t get caught.”) I was intrigued enough to start flipping through it. This is quite a bit more thorough than I expected. 

For starters, it looks like they’re almost a splat in their own right. They’re much like  hunters, in that they have a bunch of specific tactics and merits that set them apart from regular people, mechanically and stylistically. Enumerated herein are also a bunch of archetypes, called “undertakings.” I must say that I appreciate that choice of word.

I’ll confess that I was expecting something more along the lines of the other supplements to annual games, and this surprised me. Good times.

Oh, I’ve also got my hands on Mekhet. More on that later.

Also, look for a post on Monday about, of all things, gnomes.

This? This is amazing. And it’s due to come out this month, even. Remind me to talk to my FLGS guy about this— he’ll be tickled pink if he doesn’t know about it already.

While I’m at it, I might as well mention that tomorrow I’ll be picking up Mekhet and Slasher.

So far, the new clanbooks have been a real treat, and I suspect that Mekhet won’t be the exception. I’ll admit that in this case I am buying Slashers because I am a horrible completist when it comes to nWoD stuff, despite the fact that I’m still quite strongly on a D&D kick.

In part, I think this is because I find it a lot easier to run D&D. My expectations are generally lower, it’s more lighthearted, and if nothing else, we can roll dice and kill monsters in an entertaining way. Fantasy is also a bit more of an escape for me. I’m not sure if that’s just because of the current geopolitical scene, or if extremely shitty things happening is just not my speed right now.

Hope you all have interesting plans for the weekend! I aim to have something more interesting up tomorrow or the day after, perhaps about the slew of new classes we’ve had coming up. (Dwarves sure have gotten a lot of top tier love lately!)

I spent the last week, including part of this week, out of town and working longer hours than usual, so of course my blogging suffers as a result. I didn’t slack off completely, though: I’ve been reading many of the books in my backlog!

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Anyone seen this?

Essentially, a pair of ladies, who were also identical twins, moved to a suburb of LA in 2002. At some point, they started feeding wild rats they found living near their house. Rats, as you might know, breed quite rapidly. Hilarity ensues as some neighbors who just move in notice a truly absurd number of rats in the area.

You can read the original LA Weekly article here. Here’s an excerpt:

The number of wild rats the Barthels bred in one year— if they began with a single male and a single female — is, by the association’s calculations, 2,258. That number of rats would be capable of devouring 10,931 pounds of food and excreting 56,400 rat droppings.

But the sisters fed the rats for much longer than a year. They did so from the time they returned from Santa Ynez in 2002 until late 2007 — not to mention possible rat-feeding during the decades that Margaret continued teaching in Redondo to support their refuge in Santa Ynez.

Theoretically, during a second year, 2,258 rats in the Palisades could grow “a thousand-fold,” to more than two million rats, says Greg Baumann of the association. That’s only a mathematical figure, because the food needed to sustain two million rats would be impossibly huge, and cats were in the area.

But, estimating conservatively, the two sisters added tens of thousands of rats to L.A.’s tony Westside. And perhaps far, far more.

Can we talk about this? Let’s look at some big “creepy” markers:

  • Identical twins
  • Thousands and thousands of rats

Of course, my first thought was about how I’d use this in a World of Darkness game. Beyond the obvious beshilu-type connections, this offers all sorts of interesting possibilities.

A hive mind composed of rats, who perhaps share a mind with these ladies? Women who’re made of rats? Rat-spirits gathering in advance of some event? Post-apocalyptic food supply for some messed up people? Eventual carriers of an as-yet unknown plague? An animal-based spy ring for some bizarre or sinister purpose?

Shit, this is one of those plot hooks that just writes itself.

On Friday, I secured myself a copy of Hunter: the Vigil. (It turns out that they weren’t lying after all!) I didn’t get a chance to spend much time with it until yesterday afternoon, and by this point I’m about halfway through.

You know what that means: first impressions!

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I realized today that I hadn’t actually published the posts that I finished. They’re up now! What follows is bonus miscellanea for my own benefit as well as those of you who’re bored enough to read my shit.

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On the topic of Hunter: the Vigil, I will almost certainly buy it. I’m caught up with the previews, and I like what I’ve read so far. This is mainly because so far, they appear to be utterly mundane.

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