|Year of the Hunter|
|Written by Jim Estes|
|Cover Art: William O'Connor|
[$12.00] [Jul-95] 96 pages (Year of the Hunter)
While young vampires may scoff at the mortals who hunt them, their elders remember a time when robed monks rode from haven to haven, using the twin weapons of fire and their faith to destroy the undead. But the Inquisition did not die in those dark ages. Its soldiers still roam the Earth, and the Damned fear it more than any other group of mortals. This supplement includes ways to integrate Inquisitors into any chronicle, either as character or enemy, new information on Faith, and rules for torturing vampires - what fun.
Mini-Review: "The Inquisition - Whatta show!"
Once upon a time, I really really wanted to write a book for White Wolf. It would have been a simple tome about the Church, and it would have tried to alleviate much of the negative PR levelled at it by all the previous White Wolf products.
I was told at the time by Andrew Greenberg, then Vampire developer, that such a tome was under development. Ha! I laughed. Fools! They'll screw it up and once again, I'll be left holding the bag.
Now modern RPGs are NOT kind to the RCC. I'm not really sure why, since there's some wonderful material in there. Here you have an organization that ADVOCATES belief in the fantastical. I'll take two of those, please. I had no reason to expect anything good from the festering iconoclastic hole called Stone Mountain.
It feels good to be wrong. The Inquisition is perhaps the scariest WW product I have ever read. It talks about such serious matters as torture and murder with such zeal and passion, that you do being to see their point. Of course, chances are you'll be abhorred once you put it down, but the book is a wonderful bit of atmosphere.
Inside this deceptively small tome is everything you need to know to run a group of Inquisitors. Rules for faith, taken from the Hunters Hunted, have been expounded upon. Everything has been reworked into a setting consistent enough to base a chronicle on. In short, this is the strongest entry in the Year of the Hunter, no mean feat considering the strengths of Project Twilight.
The strength of the book is its retelling of history. Make no bones, the Inquisition was built on unstable grounds, to hunt heretics who now thrive in the streets today. Estes, the author, goes through an exhaustive history of the Order of Leopold, whose agents hunt vampires around the world. There's so much in here to use on both sides of the table, in terms of details and characters. The history is an ugly one, and Estes does little to "prettify" their past. He ultimtely points out, "These guys have a _point._" Despite their fanatacism, they are the single greatests weapon humanity possesses.
There are other things, such as new church specific Hedge Magick (which borders on Satanic, according to some agents), and actual rules for torture (and no, they're not pretty. I had no idea the water torture was that disgusting.
I'm surprised by the strength of the year of the Hunter books. They've really been outstanding, and that makes me wonder. How's about, in a year, the good people at Clarkston combine all the hunter stuff into one thick Tome, and include crossover information. Such a work would stand alone as its own game, and would be highly impressive.