I'm glad I bought the complete Compacts and Conspiracies even though I would only play two or three of the twelve factions. In fact the one time I played Hunter I chose a Tier 0 unaffiliated character. There’s some great content here, though. The Ashwood Abbey for instance I find to be completely reprehensible reprobates but they'd make great villains in a Hunter, Requiem or Forsaken game.
What you get here is six pages expanding on the history and operations of each Hunter group along with a little bit of crunch. The profiles in the Hunter core rulebook just wasn’t quite enough because they had to fit in so many rules in the form of Professions, Tactics, Endowments and the like. I often found nagging questions answered. Null Mysteriis for instance left me dumbstruck until I read this supplement. They were my least favorite. Finally I understand what their deal is, as a kind of proto-Technocracy from Ascension. Clearly they know they are dealing with hunting supernatural creatures but their original profile claimed they didn’t believe in the supernatural (WTF)? This chapter explains what drives them. Each unexplained phenomenon they research, test, and explain though the scientific method takes a little bit of the supernatural out of the world and gives them a bit of power like learning its true name. Author Chuck Wendig also added some factional politics into the compact plus an awesome endowment called I’m Doing Science that has a lot of nifty effects. In fact, it could mean actual advances in the World of Darkness field of Science.
My two favorite compacts received fine treatment. Loyalists of Thule have a nifty recruitment tactic involving guilt and emotional blackmail as fitting their origin. They seek out people who have had a brush with the supernatural (and cocked it up somehow) and karmically draft then into their members. We also get the names and locations of the last three living founders.
I like Network Zero because they are the opposite of Loyalists of Thule or Aegis Kai Doru. A Thule explorer would like nothing else than to get their hands on an ancient text containing some spell or enchantment. A Network Zero member would react “Let me get this straight. You’re all excited because you have this thing that was written on reeds that grew on the banks of the Nile five thousand year ago? It’s got the names of how many daemons written on it? It’s not searchable and you have to translate each character by hand? Man, my phone has my entire library, plus when I record video it all gets geotaged and streams right to the web plus gets automatically stored and encrypted in two archive sites.” Network Zero gets a fine offering too in Compacts and Conspiracies.
There wasn’t space for any new Tactics in this volume but it answered a lot of my questions and gives ample story seeds and campaign inspiration.
[5 of 5 Stars!]