"Oh cool... So you're STILL working on this?" -- A guy at GenCon

"If I see Drah-koo-lah, I will. kick. him. in. the eye!!!" -- My 4 (almost 5) year old daughter. She GETS it!

"Meatpie Forever!" -- A playtester at GenCon 2013

Thursday, May 10, 2012

He May Be A Monster, But He’s OUR Monster: Part II

Continuing from Part I yesterday, I'm finishing up with some text from the Transylvanian Grimoire that deals directly with the Half-Breed's worldview and place in society. This is something to consider in terms of the Half-Breed's relationship to the party and the world at large. And the Half-Breed's alignment plays the greatest role in defining it. Here's a snippet from the book:

Having lived outside of human society for most of their lives, Half-Breeds often exhibit an unhealthy ignorance or disregard for its mores and laws. But Half-Breeds are not necessarily malign. In fact, it’s rare for Half-Breeds to fully embrace their dark side.
  • Lawful Half-Breeds are those who were found and raised in seclusion. Generally in a monastic order of some sort. By nature, Half-Breeds are uncomfortable around religious iconography but some religious sects have successfully trained them to be monster-killing machines.
  • Neutral Half-Breeds comprise the majority of their kind. These Half-Breeds usually find themselves left to survive in the wild at a perilously young age. Some are found in the forest by hermits raised as sons and daughters. Others might be raised by wolves or bears. Of all the alignments, Neutral Half-Breeds are the most adrift. They are the ones most likely to question the nature of their bloodline and explore what it means to be human to the greatest extent.
  • Chaotic Half-Breeds were raised by mad Sorcerers, Witches or Warlocks to harness and align with the forces of darkness instead of fight them. These Half-Breeds were taught to have no regard for the oppressive laws of a human world of which they were never a part. At some point, however, their education backfired. Something within the Chaotic Half-Breed caused him to rebel against his mentor. While Chaotic Half-Breeds always have that kernel of contempt for the mortal world, they recognize that they can only be safe and self-sufficient by increasing their power. And they can only grow more powerful -- and thwart being hunted by powerful mortals -- by destroying monsters themselves.

Hammer Don't Hurt Them

The second part of Zdanman's question concerned how plausible a Half-Breed would be in a Hammer-inspired setting. The answer, while a bit of a cop out, is they are as plausible as the group wants them to be. The idea of a half-human/half-something monster-hunter is a fairly recent genre trope and there aren't any solid examples to lean on in Gothic fiction (at least what I've been able to read) or in Hammer's films.

But I think we could draw adequate inspiration from contemporary examples such as Blade from the Tomb of Dracula comic books, Vampire Hunter D from the book series and films and Alucard from the Hellsing anime. Even the Castlevania video game series featured a Half-Breed character.

If a group is leaning towards a hard-line, kill-all-monsters mindset, then the Half-Breed may not be the best fit. It's easy to leave the class out if that is the case. The same is true with the Theorist. A lot depends on the group. But I think that can be said about most roleplaying games.

We're finishing up with Powers and Upgrades for the Half-Breed tomorrow...

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