Shadow Hunters RPG

Shadow Hunters

A tabletop roleplaying game about hunting mutants like yourself in a dystopian society.

Story – What Is Shadow Hunters the Roleplaying Game?

Shadow Hunters is a tabletop roleplaying game about extraordinary people hunting and being hunted because of who they are and how they could threaten the established world order.

Shadow Hunters is set in a grim near-future world where the dark things you hunt look a lot like you.

The game explores fear of “the different” in society and what that means for us and is inspired by Marvel’s X-Men, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and Witch Hunter Robin.

In recent years, murders and destruction by people have been increasing at an alarming rate, forcing governments to look for outside help. The strongest response came from the well-respected and funded research company, Aegis. Their report claimed that a genetic mutation is causing people to suddenly go mad and take it out on others. As of yet, no definitive cause has been discovered and there are cases of the mutation across the globe. Aegis’ recommendation was to institute a secret monitoring and capture program throughout international government police agencies. This program is called Tartarus and was granted active status within months following a successful three-week test run in the USA. Simultaneously, Aegis is working to create ways to reduce or inhibit the mutation’s effects in people.

All people with the gene mutation are logged in a world-wide master database. Those identified with the inactive mutations, called Shadowseeds face a life-long series of annual tests and watchers assigned to them. Those who have succumbed to the mutation and threaten others are labeled as Shadows and are captured and imprisoned far from civilized communities. And lastly, those who have an active mutation but who have not lost control, Shadowlings, are more closely monitored with weekly tests and screenings by agents. It’s also from this Shadowling cohort where about 5% of them are recruited and trained as agents of Aegis for Project Tartarus.

This is where you come in as an agent of Aegis, nicknamed Shadow Hunters you may serve in the field monitoring, screening, and capturing others affected by the mutation in order to protect the innocent and limit the damage caused by this unfortunate genetic condition. In return for your service, you are provided with housing, transportation, healthcare, education, professional training, a monthly stipend, retirement options, and a purpose during these unfortunate dark days.

TOP SECRET: The genetic anomaly allegedly grants affected persons unnatural abilities which often prove to be too powerful for most to handle and are usually responsible for heightened personal and property damage. Agents assigned to Aegis are provided resources and help to control and use their abilities for Project Tartarus, and for the good of humanity.

Urban Fantasy

Urban fantasy is a fantastic genre of English-language fiction, or a subgenre of fantasy, in which the narrative uses supernatural elements in an urban society. Works of urban fantasy may be set in the real world and introduce aspects of fantasy, or in a fantasy world with operating rules recognizably similar to ours.

In Shadow Hunters, players are Shadowlings—genetic anomaly patients who are trained as agents to help protect others from mutants like themselves in a grittier near-future modern world like our own.

As agents of Aegis, you are responsible for monitoring, screening, and capturing people suffering from the mutation for the good of society. As a trained Shadowling, hopefully, you’ll never become a Shadow, losing control and killing innocent people and destroying their communities; to then be hunted down and imprisoned in Tartarus with the other Shadows by your colleagues.

TOP SECRET: Maybe someday Aegis will create a cure and you’ll all be free of the drudgery and personal danger, or maybe Aegis will have other plans for its international empowered army?

Playing Shadow Hunters

Shadow Hunters is a tabletop roleplaying game for 3-5 players that takes about 3-4 hours to play. The game uses the Fantasy Flight Genesys system similar to their Star Wars and Android games where you add a Characteristic score to a Skill plus and roll the dice to help shape the narrative result.

Genotypes

The genotype you select for your character encompasses their character type, starting ability, skill, and talents. There are four species with the first three of them playable in the base game of Shadow Hunters:

  • Human: people without the genetic mutation. Most of the population that is slowly decreasing.
  • Shadowseed: people with the inactive genetic mutation. A small subset of the population that is slowly increasing.
  • Shadowling: people with the active genetic mutation who may or may not be an immediate threat to society; also potential or active agent of Aegis.
  • Shadows: creatures who may or may not have been human at one point and are now consumed with the genetic mutation effects; often shadowlings who become fully corrupted and require a response from Aegis—usually by agents who capture and turn the Shadows over to Project Tartarus.

The Twilit World

The world of Shadow Hunters is similar to our own in geography and history, though the technology is perhaps more advanced with forays into fringe science or paranormal connections native to or outside of the world. In particular, engineering and biosciences seem more capable with the potential to create hovercars, nanosuits, elixirs, chimeras, and other unusual products.

TOP SECRET: In order to prevent hysteria and hate-crimes targeting people with the genetic mutation, Aegis works with international governments to obscure the full nature of the problem facing the world.

The Territories

In Shadow Hunters, player characters work together through a secret organization called Aegis and are to district areas or territories across the globe. Each district territory serves the needs of Aegis in one of the following ways:

  • Xxx: xxx.
  • Xxx: xxx.
  • Xxx: xxx.
  • Xxx: xxx.
  • Xxx: xxx.

The Power of the Shadow

Xxx.

Abilities

Shadow Hunter Abilities default to the strength of their Characteristics plus any levels in Corruption as figured as follows.

Shadowling Characteristics

  • Sense [(Intellect + Cunning)/2 round down]: able to obtain information or experiences in new ways. You can spend points from this
  • Control [(Brawn + Agility)/2 round down]: able to affect oneself.
  • Alter [(Willpower + Presence)/2 round down]: able to influence others or the environment.

 

Example Character Characteristics: Brawn 3, Agility 2, Intellect 4, Cunning 2, Willpower 4, Presence 3

Intellect 4 + Cunning 2 = 6 / 2 = 3pts for Sense Shadow Characteristic and Sense Focus Ability points (max 3 to start in any 1)

  • Enhance Senses 1
  • Farseeing (Psychometry Specialty) 2

Brawn 3 + Agility 2 = 5 / 2 rounded down = 2pts for Control Shadow Characteristic and Control Focus Ability points (max 3 to start in any 1)

  • Adaptation 1
  • Battlebred (Defense Specialty) 1

Willpower 4 + Presence 3 = 7 / 2 rounded down = 3pts for Alter Shadow Characteristic and Alter Focus Ability points (max 3 to start in any 1)

  • Manipulate Source (Fire Specialty) 3

 

Shadowling Abilities by Focus Table (Talents and Special Abilities)

Abilities

Sense

Control

Alter

Description

Absorb Energy

X

Reduce the effects of energy, such as heat, electricity, and even lasers, possibly repurposing it. Choose a specialty.
Adaptation

X

Physical changes to survive exotic environments.
Astralgation

X

Intuitively feeling a course for travel through astralspace to the desired destination as well as perceiving astralspace while in the body.
Astral Projection

X

Going to and interacting on the astral plane / astralspace while leaving your body behind; allows for greater interaction, knowledge, and potential hazards.
Battlebred

X

Living in the moment during combat—gaining temporary adjustments for combat-related actions, such as improving defensive or offensive capabilities, or avoiding surprise, increasing initiative and meditating on tactics. See the Abilities Effects Table. Choose a specialty.
Empathy, Receptive

X

Feeling the surface emotions of other sentients.
Empathy, Projective

X

Actively sharing emotions with others. Distraction, Suggestion, Communication, Probing, or Conditioning. Choose a specialty.
Enhance Physical

X

Temporary increase in raw physical capabilities: Brawn and Agility using the Abilities Effects Table.
Enhance Senses

X

Become more attuned with the surroundings, heightening one’s natural perceptions for surprise.
Farseeing

X

Experiences events elsewhere. Choose a specialty: clairvoyance, psychometry, precognition, or postcognition.
Heal Others

X

Reducing Wounds in others. Once per day, per the Abilities Effects Table.
Heal Self

X

Reduce Wounds in self. Once per day, per the Abilities Effects Table.
Hibernation

X

Slowing one’s body to a coma-like trance in order to sustain it indefinitely (used for survival, poison, etc.).
Manipulate Source

X

Working with a specific available type or element source, such as water, insects, light, etc., often for attacks and defenses. Choose a specialty.
Shadow Sense

X

An ill-feeling perceived when near Shadows, often indicating a general direction and threat level.
Shadow Shape

X

Temporarily able to mimic the form and abilities of any contacted inhuman Shadow.
Telekinesis

X

Movement of objects, usually crudely and in one direction. More success allows for greater capacity and finesse.
Telepathy, Receptive

X

Reading the surface thoughts of other sentients.
Telepathy, Projective

X

Actively sharing thoughts with others. Distraction, Suggestion, Communication, Probing, or Conditioning. Choose a specialty.

 

Effects

An Effect of 1 means that something happens, though a Failure or Botched result may make it complicated. Besides signaling that an Ability has done something, Effects after the first can be spent to extend or enhance the result. For each additional Effect if appropriate you may:

  • Add or decrease an additional target
  • Increase or reduce the range, capacity, or time
  • Increase or decrease the difficulty or reward
  • Combining two or more allowed Ability Effects from ranked Abilities

 

Abilities Effects Table

Success

Effects

Botched

1

Failed

1

1 Success

1

2 Successes

2

3 Successes

3

4 Successes

4

5+ Successes

5

 

Combining Abilities

You can also spend Successes to use additional Abilities if it makes sense and with the following restrictions: you cannot spend equal to or more successes on additional Abilities than on the initial Ability for which the action was originally described. These additional Ability successes provide mechanical oomph to their narrative counterparts.

Countermeasures & Equipment

Xxx.

  • Gleamstone: a thumbnail-sized diamond containing a silvery fluid, worn as a necklace to protect Shadow Hunters from Shadow abilities.
  • Gleamshot: experimental (and expensive) ammunition containing Gleam for use against Shadows.
  • Comtat: a tattoo engraved on all Shadow Hunters which allows mental communication.
  • Cloak: a nanotech uniform that can adapt for disguise, environmental conditions, and protection.

Play Style

Shadow Hunters is a game of fast-action and intrigue. It can be played as a one-shot or over more sessions either with more character interaction or as a kind of Monster of the Week format. In either case, be sure to discuss this with the group to make sure everyone is in agreement. The characters fill roles on a district team—one of thousands around the world so it’s not unlikely to have transfers and side assignments in case of player absence or joining, or if you want to try a new character for a while. Each team will get assignments from Aegis through regional directors. Sometimes this will involve working with other teams and working with standard law enforcement agencies to coordinate resources and objectives.

Corruption

Corruption is what Aegis calls the loss of will and control over oneself due to the mutation. Once a person has been labeled as a Shadow they are considered a major threat and to be taken down, alive if possible, and handed over to Project Tartarus personnel to deal with. Supposedly, no one has ever made it back from being fully corrupted, though many hope for it for their loved ones.

TOP SECRET: With so many mutants being put away to protect the world, what does Aegis do for them or with them that isn’t being shared, and why won’t they let agents into Tartarus?

Armageddon Accelerated

Armageddon Accelerated

A tabletop roleplaying game about second-chance souls bonded to angelic bodies working to prevent the End Times.

Story – What Is Armageddon Accelerated the Roleplaying Game

You were recruited at Death’s Door. They said you had a choice. Serve a Higher Justice and get another shot at what you left behind, or get in line for Judgment Day and watch helplessly as The Adversary and others shift the balance in their favor. Why the Hell not?

Mythic Missions. Angel-Mech Action. Afterlife Drama. Armageddon Accelerated is a tabletop roleplaying game about pre-millennium cold war conspiracies and warfare between The Powers That Be and The Adversary. Both sides use agents in their game to advance agendas and to manipulate the Doomsday Clock towards or away from Armageddon.

The players take on roles as the Agents on the side of The Powers That Be. These agents are recruited at Death’s Door for an opportunity to help prevent Armageddon, AND to get another shot at resolving the life they left behind.

Over the course of one mission, these hand-selected agents may work to return stolen artifacts of sacred power from fiery pit demons in a long lost pyramid, prevent The Adversary from possessing the bodies of world leaders at a peace conference in time to prevent WWIII, and tussle with things 20,000 leagues under the sea and beyond the scope of the Book of Revelation via sacred weapons of mass destruction and their uplifted angelic Vessels.

If you enjoy the fast-paced descriptive narration of Fate Accelerated and eschatological-based fiction such as Spawn and Hellboy, get ready to ride the lightning and play out your favorite antihero story in Armageddon Accelerated. Armageddon Accelerated builds upon Fate Accelerated system used in Dresden Files Accelerated.

Preventing the End Times

In Armageddon Accelerated, players are characters given a second-chance at life by signing up to serve as agents to work for The Powers That Be. Their souls are bonded with retrofitted angelic bodies granting the agents supernatural abilities that allow them to deal with sin in their communities and to confront the minions of the Adversary. Every soul has unfinished business from their Old Life and all try to come to terms with it in their new existence in their After Life—with the hope of retirement and getting what they deserve, a chance at the Good Life. Others may abandon that to serve indefinitely with Halo.

Armageddon Accelerated is set in the pre-2000’s modern world where uncertainty and fear run rampant against the backdrop of paranormal phenomena and End Times conspiracies.

As agents of Halo, you are responsible for making a difference in the world, even if the will of The Powers That Be seems unknowable or beyond human comprehension in the lead up to a final confrontation between sides and their soldiers.

For agents like you, there’s more to it with a second chance to make things right with the people you left behind. It’s an opportunity worth the price to return and serve your benefactor.

Playing Armageddon Accelerated

Armageddon Accelerated is a tabletop roleplaying game for 3-5 players that takes about 3-4 hours to play. The game uses Fate Accelerated similar to the Dresden Files Accelerated ruleset, revolving around the creation and use of factions, assignments (inciting incidents), virtues (approaches), aspects, graces (stunts), stress and conditions, the use of mantles, and vessels (angel bodies). As you play and follow the fiction of the story, you look for when your character’s virtues or graces come into play while performing one of the four Basic Actions: Create an Advantage, Overcome, Attack, or Defend. Often situations will arise where you will spend Faith Points (Fate Points) and/or roll four-Fate Dice (4dF) and add the corresponding number from the approach, a grace, or an aspect.

Contrary Virtues (Approaches in Armageddon Accelerated)

Contrary Virtues are how agents of The Powers That Be approach situations both during and outside of work and they include both sides of the coin of Virtue and Vice. As in other Fate Accelerated games you will assign a number of modifying points (Mods) to the Approaches, called Virtues in Armageddon Accelerated (see example below).

Virtue Mods Vice
Respectfully +1 [_] [_]
Restraintfully –1 [_] [_]
Selflessly 0 [_] [_]
Carefully 0 [_] [_]
Tolerantly +3 [_] [_]
Thoughtfully +2 [_] [_]
Fairly +1 [_] [_]

 

In addition to that, should an agent wish to use the Vice version of their Virtue, they need only mark the box in that column. This acknowledges the use of the Vice and gives the agent a +3 to the result. Whenever an agent fills in all of the boxes for a specific Vice, add a point to Corruption and clear the Vice boxes. The Corruption Track measures how close an agent is to losing to the power of the Adversary.

Vice boxes can be cleared through atonement scenes, however, until cleared the number of boxes marked can be used against an agent in future conflicts and players should take marked Vice boxes as guides to roleplaying scenes.

Graces (Stunts in Armageddon Accelerated)

Stunts in Armageddon Accelerated are called Graces and they reflect specialized training, supernatural gifts, exotic equipment, access to special resources, or anything else granting a unique perk in a particular situation. A selection of graces is provided with each mantle, but you may also create your own as a facet of character creation.

Mantles

The mantle you select for your character encompasses their character type, general role in the game, and need defined by The Powers That Be. Each mantle comes with a package of stunts and conditions that help the character fulfill their role.

No restrictions exist on choosing mantles. Everyone may choose the same mantle if the scenario to be explored focuses on a single type of character (e.g., all hunters or rookies) or each character can have a different mantle so the group has a wide variety of concerns and agendas.

There are 7 mantles in the base game of Armageddon Accelerated, but we might be able to add more through stretch goals. The basic set includes:

  • Officers: experienced and ready to prove myself,” coordinates and prioritizes in the field.
  • Veterans: “experienced and wary,” counsels and support in the field.
  • Investigators: “obsessed and ready to save the day,” R&D and clues in the field.
  • Hunters: “obsessed and wary,” infiltration and support in the field.
  • Heroes: “cocky and ready to save the day,” streetwise and support in the field.
  • Mystics: “cocky and wary,” supernatural R&D and support in the field.
  • Rookies: “cocky and ready to prove myself,” backup and support in the field.

The Powers That Be

The Powers That Be are a group of high-powered individuals working to counter the Adversary and prevent Armageddon. They have created organizations such as Halo to prepare souls for the long fight against the minions of mayhem. The Powers That Be claim to be the last best hope for humankind.

To monitor threats on a celestial scale, The Powers That Be created a Doomsday Clock housed in the headquarters, the Cathedral. This clock monitors events across the world. When such events change or move humanity closer to midnight that means we are one step nearer Doom. Events perpetrated directly by agents of the Adversary are often the biggest contributor to this, but these are rare and often face immediate countermeasures. However, small events in communities affected by Sin are more prevalent and require intervention through embedded agents. Agents like you serve to deal with the proliferation of Sin and as watchers for the larger Doom events which The Powers That Be are more equipped to handle.

The Parish

In Armageddon Accelerated, player characters work together through a secret organization called Halo—and are assigned to areas called parishes to help the communities deal with threats foreign and domestic-related to Sin and the Adversary. Here are the types of threats one might encounter in a community:

  • Lust: acting forcibly with uncontrolled desire.
  • Gluttony: over-indulgence at the expense of others.
  • Avarice: working to acquire or possess more than one needs.
  • Sloth: ignoring care and unwilling to do the right thing.
  • Wrath: attacking the wrong or innocent, or with unnecessary force.
  • Envy: acting to remove or destroy the good in others’ lives.
  • Pride: acting as if better or more worthy than others.

The Power of the Angels

Messengers of God with supernatural abilities, angels represent an iconic form beyond humanity and yet they seem limited in capability of self-actualization or will at times—prisoners of their own creation perhaps. In Armageddon Accelerated The Powers That Be have made angels available for use for their agents who get to experience some of what angels may be like through their bonding with the forms known simply as vessels.

The Vessel

As a vessel the angel form is a mysterious construct of light and sound made flesh once bonded with a human’s soul. Once the process has passed the agent may learn to understand and grow into the vessel’s potential, including its different operational modes, or stages of ascension.

The Stages of Ascension: Once cleared for duty, agents are able to work with their vessels to harness their angelic abilities in each mode. There are three different modes of transformation are known as the Stages of Ascension.

  • Human: at this stage your vessel looks like a typical human and for the most part that’s the role of this mode to blend in with the mortal population and avoid detection from the Adversary. Your appearance in this mode is powered-down with meta-filters on high. Your vessel responds to harm much like a human would and assigned armaments also maintain this mode.
  • Guardian: in this stage the vessel is a hybrid which may include something noticeably angelic such as wings, flaming halo, etc. In this mode your vessel is obvious to those nearby or in line-of-sight that you are not completely human. Divine power is accessible at low to mid-level and meta-filters run medium giving the vessel the ability to act in a superhuman capacity.
  • Archangel: in this stage the vessel is full-on angelic, obviously not human with power mid to high and meta-filters off. Your power is obvious for one or more blocks surrounding you thanks to your aura—alerting the Adversary for sure and causing complications for your community. Your magnitude of divine ability is awesome and terrifying to all mortal who behold you for good or ill.

Long-Term Play

Armageddon Accelerated is meant to be played in an episodic format with characters entering and exiting as the story or players need. The characters are problem-solvers for the community and for each other. Some agents decide to retire from fieldwork; others don’t survive the toll of the job. For those who stay on with [the organization], they often take on new roles or transfer to other departments. For the few who make it through and can collect their pension from the deal, they are said to be living the good life without any memory of serving. Blessed are they.

Corruption

Working to prevent the End Times and corruption of humanity by the Adversary, along with trying to reconnect with family and friends from your Old Life is a tough way to go about your After Life, but it’s what you have to work with and sometimes maybe you cross the line and face corruption for the good of the world. At the beginning of play, characters choose one Sin they are vulnerable to; and as the game progresses and they make take on the Adversary, their humanity may slip, and they may edge closer to losing their soul for good. Without help from the other agents or loved one it’s all but certain.