Hunting demons are relatively weak monsters, although I wouldn’t underestimate them unless I was playing a seriously martial playbook like the Veteran or the Sellsword (or the Raider, with my gang covering my ass). The annoying thing about Hunting demons: they can be raised from corpses, even random pieces of dead meat assembling together and coming to life fueled by the dark force of sorcery. Sometimes, they appear as an animated statue or an empty armor. So, basically, they can appear almost anywhere, without notice.
They are evoked by the GM by spending points on the Taint Tracker; which is increased by characters taking -1 to Spirit. For a brief comment about Spirit, see +Michael Sands quick and cool review here on G+.
Having a more detailed look at the characters, I really like the interaction with Spirit and the Tainted condition.
In brief, Spirit is kind of your moral/humane health. Each class has a couple of conditions where they will lose some (e.g. the barber if they ignore a person in need of healing). If you lose too much you mark a condition, either Tainted (by evil magic) or Infamous (due to your callous murdering).
Now the thing about the Tainted condition, is that everyone has a bunch of moves that say "If you are Tainted, you are more effective in such-and-such a way". Nicely tempting!
I also note that a very efficient way to recover Spirit is for everyone to get stoned with a Priest of Judas :)
When you invoke with the Taint Tracker, as GM, you act as the Hell Prince himself: you know how to find your targets (including the character!). This is really a pain in the ass for my players (in a good way).
One of my best players (say hello to Tom, everybody) plays a Sorcerer.
His first encounter with a Hunting demon (in the form of an empty armor coming to life) was within a tower, while he was sleeping. He had no time to prepare a spell, so he just went for his mace (he’s got quite an attitude, combining spells and furious mace swings). He made it out of the room, while the Raider and his gang came to his aid, blocking the demon inside the room while the sorcerer ran out.
Then the Barber stepped in, got hurt, and the Sorcerer got mad. They finally burned the bastard after breaking the armor into pieces.
The next time, in the desert, the Sorcerer (I have a soft spot for him, I know…) was on duty watching the camp, and was attacked by another Hunting demon (this time a collection of pieces of – mostly – human corpses, with dogs heads instead of hands). He had a big fire next to him, and managed to use his elementals powers to get rid of the beast.
Now, after a third encounter with a Hunting demon, our Sorcerer is gaining a strange reputation among the ranks of the Iron Fist.
He’s already quite a peculiar subject, with a nasty attitude (and dresses like a scarecrow basically). Add to that, that now he demands to have always a big fire lit in his room at night (remember, we’re in quite a warm climate), or several buckets of water always at his disposal (he likes to use water to confuse enemies and then strike with the mace). He needs the fire or the water to cast his spells fast enough to be able to fight the next Hunting demon.
I am inclined to let the mercenaries of the Iron Fist think he’s a paranoid, crazy bastard. And then to bring up a Hunting demon just so that he can go all smug on them with his “I told you so”.
What’d you think? :-)