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Hunter: Mortal Remains $16.99
Average Rating:4.4 / 5
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Hunter: Mortal Remains
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Hunter: Mortal Remains
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Alexander P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/15/2015 20:05:51

Hunter: the Vigil is one of my favorite nWoD lines, and after the stellar quality of Night Stalkers, Slasher, and Witch Finders, I had high hopes for this book.

Which is why Mortal Remains is such a letdown.

While previous monster books presented a canon-agnostic approach to their chosen monsters (i.e. vampires didn't have to be the Kindred of Vampire: the Masquerade), Mortal Remains' tackles Prometheans, Changelings, Sin-Eaters, Mummies, and Demons as strictly what those supernaturals are in the context of their own lines. It's a disappointment after how great prior books were in this regard, as this material is practically reprinted (individual Promethean lineages are discussed, for example, rather than covering a grab-bag of reanimated and artificial humans) from the parent games.

Where the book shines is in the actual game material. Guidelines for building any monster you could imagine are included (along with a host of new Dread Powers), along with four new organizations (two Compacts, two Conspiracies; one of each for Mummies and Demons) and a rough rules update for H:tV in the nWoD Second Edition.

The organizations really shine, and are the highlight of the book for me - Middle Eastern cult deprogrammers, a tech startup that wants to build a utopia with occult technology, a fanatical brotherhood of those who eat the flesh of monsters to gain their power, and a gang of truckers, bounty hunters, and roadies, all empowered by angelic tattoos. It's a fun bunch that really encapsulates the best of the original thinking that makes the rest of the Hunter line so great; the only shame is that we didn't get similar groups for the other monster types in the book.

Buy it if you're a die-hard Hunter fan like me, but don't get your hopes up. Take it as a toolkit of stuff you can use elsewhere and you'll come away satisfied.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Hunter: Mortal Remains
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Michael B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/11/2015 05:00:01

Mortal Remains is useful, but far from brilliant.

The Appendix, updating Hunter the Vigil to conform with The God-Machine Chronicle rule update, is really the prime reason to buy this book. There's a chapter providing a variety of Dread Powers, which can also come in handy when depicting one of the monster types in the book, or when creating a new one. But the bulk of the book is a review of Promethen, Changeling, Geist, Mummy and Demon through the Hunter lens. And it is here where the book feels weak.

The Promethean feels the most fleshed out. The chapter spends sometime about the challenges of identifying a Promethean and curiously focuses on Demiurges as the catalyst of confrontation between Hunters and Prometheans. The rest of the material is informative but uninspired. Changeling similarly feels very "by the numbers" with various compacts and conspiracies adopting "fey" terminology. I found this disappointing, since even the Changeling core book played out the similarities to modern "Alien Abduction" stories. And Hunters trying to identify Changelings along those lines could have been far more intriguing. the idea of Fetches almost invites dis-information about these creatures and their motives. Rather, the chapter presents little to no confusion and misidentification about what changelings are, with some Hunter organizations even recognizing the True Fae as the greater threat. I feel a bit ill-equipped to comment about the Geist chapter, since this is the one core book I haven't read. The chapter seem to struggle to present Sin-Eaters as something inhuman. Mummy was a relatively strong chapter. It focused mainly on Hunter interaction with cults in service of the mummies. The chapter focused on the theme of "the unknown" to great effect, depicting Mummies as a threat Hunters only encounter after tearing down a vast conspiracy, if all. The Aegis Kai Doru's response to Mummies is justifiably much more detailed then any of the other organisations. The Demon Chapter suffers from obvious lack of space. It tries to tackle both the Vice driven demons depicted in Inferno and the Bio-mechanical quantum state Demons and Angels of Demon the Descent. Again, like changeling, Hunters seem to recognize Demons as Demons despite the fact that they differ significantly from popular myths. The book fails to address how difficult it is to identify and corner the Unchained and only pays lip-service to the idea that these entities can easily infiltrate or found any of the Hunter Conspiracies or Compacts. The two Demon specific conspiracies provide some interesting ideas.

In my opinion the problem is not the limited word count but the lack of focus. More could have been done with the same space. If each chapter would have chosen a singular theme to focus on (like the Mummy chapter) and chosen three to five Conspiracies to flesh out each chapter (rather then all of them every chapter), the book would have benefited from it. Beyond these technical issues, the writing is just not as inspiering as I would have liked. And the ideas presented are quite banal.

By no means a bad resource. But one that is much more useful then inspiring.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Hunter: Mortal Remains
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Kyle M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/29/2014 13:41:13

A great supplement that brings Hunter: The Vigil into the GMC. I just wished that it was a stand alone instead of an add-on to the Hunter book.

But the new and updated dread powers with the antagonist quick start are well worth the price.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Hunter: Mortal Remains
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Aaron D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/19/2014 10:45:50

Great update for the Hunter: The Vigil line. Mortal Remains does a fantastic job of summarizing the various new foes the Hunters have encountered since the last Hunter line and some great story-lines in which to use them.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hunter: Mortal Remains
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Shelby B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/07/2014 10:48:35

It's a grab-bag, trying to cover five different monster types, and do so with a limited word count. And then it adds some new mechanics and bits on top of that. But is it good? Depends on what you want.

We start with Prometheans, and it's decent enough. Given the rarity (and uniqueness) of the "Created", there aren't any dedicated groups focused around them, which makes sense. We then get a lot of material on how the existing compacts try to view Created, and what tools and records the Conspiracies have. Actually, a lot of it is more how -Prometheans- see these groups, rather than the other way around. And the tools are more "generic" in their usefulness, rather than specific to fighting Tammuz and Golems. There's also some sample Created, using HtV mechanics, along with story hooks and ideas for how to handle things at different tiers. Probably one of the best chapters of the book to be honest.

Next up is a chapter on Changelings that... I'll be blunt, the rest of the chapters on monsters are actually pretty worthless. There's some good bits and pieces to be sure, but they're all rather uninspired, brief, and largely redundant. To some extent I blame this on two factors: first is that this book is trying to replace the need for relevant works (i.e. you can use the chapter on Mummies, rather than buying Mummy: the Curse), which will make things redundant to people who already have the relevant (and more developed) books; the second is the limited word count. Each of the entries (Prometheans, Changelings, Geists, Arisen, Demons) could get their own book potentially, much as vampires mages and serial killers already did. Heck, a two-part series where each faction got twice the page count could've helped.

Some things I'd have liked to have seen....

Changelings - A compact or Conspiracy could've been interesting. A group of people who investigate strange cases of abductions-and-returns, possibly backed by Privateers or Loyalists, could work nicely. Also, some guidelines on how Hunters would actually interact with these creatures (what does the Cheiron Group actually know about Fae containment, or how does the Long Night fight a Troll, for example).

Geist - I'll be honest, Sin-Eaters always struck me as a pumped up, specialized Hunter Conspiracy to begin with. I'd have liked more exploration of how the global Sin-Eater cell structure dealt with the assorted Compacts and Conspiracies. Because of all the different "monsters", Sin-Eaters seem to have the most social interactions with Hunter factions, and really feel like they should hammer home the idea that the C&C don't exist in a vacuum in regards to one another.

Arisen - I like the story hooks peppered throughout the text, and I find the idea of a Compact in Egypt to be interesting (if a bit too localized for my use). The Conspiracy in this chapter is also interesting (a group that eats monsters to gain supernatural powers), but I was left wondering how/why they got powers and the gourmets of the Ashwood Abbey didn't. I also found the side-paragraph discussing gender identification to be... unnecessary. Maybe it's because I'm enlightened in my indifference (i.e. I didn't find it jarring/exciting/aggravating), but it seems like the relevant NPC description could've been explained with a single sentence ("Jess chooses to present as neither male nor female." which is a quote from the sidebar, and sums it up nicely). I mention this because in a book already struggling with page count and content issues, it seems like wasted space that could be better spent elsewhere. Anyway, after reading this chapter I wasn't sure what mummies do beyond gather cults and magical relics and sleep.

Demon - Honestly, it wasn't bad. It does suffer from the problem of Demons in the world of Darkness being more akin to rogue programs escaping from Thomas Ligotti's word processor than anything with a basis in actual myth, while the Hunters just kind of go along with the discrepancy and just accept it all ("God isn't a white, bearded man on a throne. He's that gore-caked clockwork mechanism down in my basement. Duh!"). That said, I did enjoy the Utopia Now Compact: a group of anarcho-libertarian businessmen who seek to "lobotomize" demons and use them as a source of power for their dream of a new free state.

Wrapping up the book are new rules for new (and revised) Dread Powers, along with updated mechanics for use with new World of Darkness God-Machine update. Tactics and Practical Experience (now Practical beats) are reworked for the better, but honestly the GM update part should probably be part of a free download. Still no update on my main gripe though (namely, why you need to spend anything to learn how to drive a truck into a werewolf or pull out a vampire's fangs with a pair of pliers).

Anyway, in summation: the book ranges from bland to quite good, depending on what you want or need. But the more other books you own, the less useful this one becomes.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Hunter: Mortal Remains
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Michael J. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/27/2014 08:41:27

Loved this book. It is a great addition to the Hunter the vigil line.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hunter: Mortal Remains
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Zach B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/09/2014 15:46:37

Pretty solid book. It provides a wealth of information about some of the lesser-talked about Splats and how Hunters handled them. Helped set the setting for them too, made me want to even run those games as well as Hunter. The Promethean part especially was great—always nice seeing some information about the best game you've never played. All in all a solid book, especially for the price.

Some of the inclusive elements were a bit hamfisted, however.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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