I have been giving some thought to a possible hack for the Old World, where the players are all Witch Hunters. Witch Hunter tasks could easily be quantified into duties and there would be plenty of available twists like cultists, skaven, more cultists and greenskins.
I was doing okay until I realized (after reading a post by the author) that the Nature of the Witch Hunter’s needed be in opposition of the duties they were performing.
My original descriptors for Nature (Witch Hunter) were: Unrelenting, Zealot, and Apathy.
Unrelenting pursuit of the minions of chaos, done so by fanatically serving the God Sigmar and Apathy… to burn someone at the stake over and over, you need be fairly disconnected from feeling for the souls are condemning.
The idea here being that a 0 Nature would be someone that had gone over the edge as far as hunting for mutants and cults is concerned. He would completely lack in human nature, being unable to identify any longer with mankind. While a 7 Nature would represent a character that would have lost most of his desire to keep pursuing the enemy’s of the Empire and had developed too much empathy to be of use. If you read the Witch Hunter trilogy by C.L. Werner, you see him start moving towards this point in many places.
I’ve been giving this a lot more thought. While I do agree that mankind’s nature should be something like Gullible, Corruptible and Fearful, they don’t really reflect the training or the kind of person that becomes a Witch Hunter, for the most part at least. I do understand now that Natures, in a true Mouse Guard hack need to be at force odds with the deeds that the characters are performing, what about a hack that focused on the players trying to keep their character’s natures somewhere in the middle of the spectrum. If a Witch Hunter’s nature was Unrelenting, Zealot, Apathetic, then the extreme of that nature would make for one scary unplayable character. Going to Nature 0 would mean losing all the aspects of your training that made you able to deal with fighting the minions of chaos on daily basis. So the game would then focus on the player’s trying to compromise between being totally unfeeling bastards and embracing their more human nature. Sure, they’d be really good at fighting Skaven and Witches and Demons, but when they are about to torch a village its possible they might let a few of the children escape to the nearest town. I could see players bringing their characters to the brink of Nature 7 and then having to find your humanity again.
Nature in MG highlights the struggle between a Guardsmouse duty to the Guard and their mouselike nature. The two extremes represent exactly that, polar opposites along that spectrum. A player is free to play towards the middle, or towards one end or the other.
For a Witch Hunter, I would say the more one does witch hunter things, the less human they become. Less gullible, fearful and corruptible. The more human one behaves, the harder it is to perform as a zealous, unrelenting and apathetic witch hunter. So, a straight hack of Nature seems to do what you want it to do.