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A Matter of Conviction - Final (Witch Hunter RPG)

A Matter of Conviction - Final (Witch Hunter RPG)

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Published by Daniel M. Perez
A new set of rules for Convictions, for the Witch Hunter: The Invisible World RPG.
A new set of rules for Convictions, for the Witch Hunter: The Invisible World RPG.

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Published by: Daniel M. Perez on Dec 07, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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A Matter of Conviction
 A story-focused mechanic for your Witch Hunter: The Invisible World game.
By Daniel M. Perez  The creation of a good story is at the heart of any game of 
Witch Hunter: The Invisible World 
, and fortunately, thesystem already contains a number of bits that help bringthis aspect to the forefront. From the choice of Backgrounds, Talents and Orders, to (most notably)Virtues and Vices, these pieces all serve to create a pictureof 
the Witch Hunter is beyond the numeric stats onthe character sheet (which serve to define what she can do).Convictions present a new way to bring sharp focus on thepersonal story of each character in order to drive conflictsthat will produce meaningful roleplaying which enhancesthe individual and collective narrative. Witch Hunter is a game where the cadre is supposed to work together to overcome thesupernatural threats preying on humanity, a world about heroes, possessed of “a strong undertoneof morality” (Core Book pg 88). Characters, though flawed, are all fighting on the side of righteousness, and ultimately (except for those who fall irrevocably) should experienceredemption through their actions. The introduction of Convictions to a game may affect some of these traits of the game. Some Convictions will bring inter-party conflict as disparate, andsometimes opposed beliefs and agendas clash in the open. Likewise, some Convictions may testthe characters’ righteousness by putting choices they would normally not think about right in thespotlight.Lastly, though Witch Hunters may come from different religious or spiritual backgrounds, partof the conceit of the game is that they put aside their differences in order to work togethertowards the greater goal of overthrowing the Adversary. Convictions may cause this basic conceitof the game to be put to the test and divergent religions/spiritual paths collide with one another. The entire group should discuss beforehand the addition of Convictions to their game, and thepossible side-effects their inclusion could have. None of the above caveats are game-breakers inand of themselves, but they require the group be consciously aware of them in order to know how to deal with a situation should it arise.
Beyond the mundane barrage of thoughts andactions we mindlessly go through every day,everyone believes in something, everyone has anagenda, and everyone has behaviors no one willever change. There are unshakable truths with which, and for which, we live and die; these aremore than beliefs, these are Convictions. While most ordinary people may go throughlife consciously aware of maybe one of their drivingconditions, Witch Hunters are far from ordinary. The same keen insight that gives them that extraedge in the fight against the minions of theAdversary also allows them to see clear as day what that which makes them tick on a variety of levels. Much like Virtues and Vices, these Convictions that the Witch Hunter is so well aware of are hot buttons that can dictate the great moments of victory as well as the darkest moments of defeat. Throughout their lives, they may even reach milestones of being in which their coreConvictions may experience a change, though whether for the better or for the worse alwaysremains to be seen. After all, rare is the belief that is inherently and thoroughly good or evil.
Choosing a Conviction
Convictions are, ideally, short, powerful sentences, though short phrases or catch phrases are alsopossible. When choosing a statement to be a conviction, be bold and decisive; remember theseare axioms by which you live. While some vagueness can be fine, no one is willing to die forsomething in which they do not believe 100%. The more specific you are in choosing yourConviction, the better the picture it paints about who the character is, that which motivates her,and is important, nay vital, to her. Well-chosen Convictions serve as flags to the Grand Master about what is important to thischaracter’s story, what elements you as the player want to tackle, what kind of conflicts you areseeking to meet head-on.
Number of Convictions
 Witch Hunter already has a number of flags embedded into its core system (backgrounds,Virtues and Vices, etc.) and the addition of extra pieces of information may make it daunting forthe Grand Master to keep track of it all. The group must first decide how many Convictionseach character may have. It can be as little as one Conviction or as many as four, chosen from thetypes described below. It is suggested that when Convictions are first added to a game, eachcharacter have only one and all of the same type, allowing the new mechanic to be added inslowly so its effects can be measured and considered. As the story evolves and both GM and
Designer’s Notes: I have been reading and playing alot of the games to have come out of the “indie” designmovement, games like Spirit of the Century, Burning Wheel and Primetime Adventures. These games share a trait: the narrative is given mechanical weight viarules that create flags for the GM to know what isimportant to the characters and to the players, and rules that drive conflicts in areas where the character has a personal stake, as defined by the flags. WitchHunter, because it already has a narrative-drivenatmosphere as well as some story-focused mechanical bits, seemed like a perfect choice to try to bring a more  formalized system of player/character flags.Convictions is the result of that idea and realization.
players get used to the mechanic, further Convictions could be added at appropriate moments inthe story.
Types of Convictions
 There are four types of Convictions that a Witch Hunter player character could possess:Conviction of Spirit, Conviction of Thought, Conviction of Speech, and Conviction of Action.Following are the definitions of the types of Convictions, as well as examples of each.
Convictions of Spirit deal with the Witch Hunter’s relationship and connection to that which isgreater than herself, be it the belief in the Lord, Allah, the Great Spirit, Mother Nature, orperhaps something more vague, as the nature of Good and Evil. All Witch Hunters have aconnection to something greater, and this Conviction defines a very essential way in how they connect, understand and relate to that greater being/concept.
The Pope must be obeyed at all times. All [Insert Religious Group Here] are dead wrong in their belief. Nothing is free, not even redemption.
Convictions of Thought deal with the way the Witch Hunter thinks and perceives either the world or himself. Convictions of Thought do not always lead to Action, but they always colorsit; as such, this Convictions tend to reflect something very inherent to the personality of thecharacter, whether a perceived strength or flaw. This type of Conviction may be constructedusing “I think” as an opener, though it is not necessary.
I think I am worthless. All Englishmen are ignorant asses. I have a lot to make up for.
Convictions of Speech deal with the way the Witch Hunter speaks, whether it is her mannerism,or what she actually says. In many ways, this Conviction defines how a character relates to othersaround her, at least in a non-physical manner, and while it can be influenced by the Convictionsof Thought and Spirit, it isn’t ruled by it.
I always speak the truth; always. I never initiate a conversation.People often respond to what they are told rather than what is suggested to them.

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