As we get closer to the public playtest for #iHunt, I wanted to share some of the core mechanical concepts, and some thinking behind them.
The first is an in-world concept, and then how we’ve answered it in the rules. This concept is front and center. It’s #iHunt to a T:
In a plain white room, all other things equal, when a monster and a hunter fight, the monster wins.
The thing about #iHunt is, it’s a game about killing monsters. But the monsters? They’re representative of the struggles necessary to get by as a millennial. Which is to say, when all things are “fair,” you lose. The system’s made to fuck you.
Try fist fighting with a moving car¹. I guarantee it’s not going to end well for you. So while the rules are about figuring out what happens, a lot of times we already know what happens. So really, what the rules are about is manipulating power differentials. Hunters don’t fight monsters—they kill monsters. Keep this in the back of your mind.
For this reason, we’ve got a rule called The Edge. The Edge determines who is currently in control of the situation. It doesn’t inherently determine who wins, but it sure as hell determines who has odds in their favor.
The Edge determines who is currently in control of the situation.
In #iHunt, this is really fucking important. It’s why this is the first mechanics blog. It’s the first thing you should determine any time it’s about to come to dice rolls. Generally everyone uses a handful of ten-sided dice for all their rolls, like 2-8 usually. We represent The Edge with another group of dice. Generally we use a different color for that, and you’ll want five of those because Edge goes from 1-5. Like, maybe you have your little collection of ten or so dice that are black. The table shares a set of five blue dice that act as Edge Dice. There’s an Edge pool that fluctuates in play, and everyone on the team with The Edge gets to use those dice on all their actions.
Consider that for a second. If you’re rolling like five dice normally, and you have five Edge dice, you have a hugely better chance to succeed. Monsters tend to have more dice than hunters where it matters, so Edge Dice are one of the single most important tools for winning—for turning a “fight” into a “murder.”
Fortune favors the bold in #iHunt. Traps, ambushes, secret weapons, tricks, these are all things hunters use to gain The Edge. Monsters also like to use cheap tricks, but they tend to be a little lazy because they’re inherently superior. If you can throw a car, who the fuck cares if your enemy knows you’re coming, right? Monsters get used to superiority, so most of them don’t even bother stacking the odds in their favor. Hunters rely on this fact and use any opening to exploit power differentials.
Now here’s the kicker: All things equal, monsters always start with The Edge. Every monster has a star rating. That determines the starting Edge, if you don’t do anything to even up the odds. So a three-star monster always starts with three Edge Dice unless someone intervenes.
All things equal, monsters always start with The Edge.
It gets a little more complex than that, but this should work for a foundation to get you thinking about the way the rules interact.
Later on, we’ll talk about Seizing the Edge, Tags, Hunter Lores, and how hunters turn the tables so they don’t start a fight without The Edge.
If you want to be part of the public playtest when it releases, please join the mailing list at this link. You’ll only get a handful of emails, just the stuff necessary to playtest, and probably an announcement once the game launches.
¹: Disclaimer: Don’t actually get into a fist fight with a moving car. I assure you the medical bills aren’t worth understanding a minor rhetorical point about a roleplaying game.