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Who exactly knows about the supernatural in the WoD

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  • Who exactly knows about the supernatural in the WoD

    basically, who do you belive might know about what exactly is going on in the WoD?
    me and one of my player's were talking about a few ideas we had. we believe that theres some 911 calls that cops don't answer to because they might have a slight clue of whats going on. Same with Paramedics or Fast Response Units.

    Based on what happend in New Dijon, im pretty sure that the canadian military has some knowledge of the supernatural. same with the soldiers who survived Bangladesh.

    the FBI might have a clue thanks to Project Twilight

    but is it any goverment sort of aware of whats going on?


    Forum's Official's Joker and Trickster. Pardon my bad english, aint my first language (I Speak Spanish).
    ST: DtF, HtR, WtO, MtA
    Signature Chars: Crowley (hakalu), Joe The Nuwisha (WtA)
    Changelings: be afraid of the Technocracian High Five of Doom

  • #2
    It depends on what you define as supernatural. In my games, large corporations and major governments use Technological Numina, but they just consider it to be a form of advanced science. When it comes to major supernatural creatures though, they do not believe in them except for a few groups like DNA and SAD (and a few individuals in every group that are open-minded).

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Aya Tari View Post
      It depends on what you define as supernatural. In my games, large corporations and major governments use Technological Numina, but they just consider it to be a form of advanced science. When it comes to major supernatural creatures though, they do not believe in them except for a few groups like DNA and SAD (and a few individuals in every group that are open-minded).
      SAD? never hear of them. but i meant more like knowing about vampires, garous, mages, wraiths and so on


      Forum's Official's Joker and Trickster. Pardon my bad english, aint my first language (I Speak Spanish).
      ST: DtF, HtR, WtO, MtA
      Signature Chars: Crowley (hakalu), Joe The Nuwisha (WtA)
      Changelings: be afraid of the Technocracian High Five of Doom

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      • #4
        SAD is the Special Affairs Department of the FBI. Yes, other than groups like DNA and SAD, major governments and large corporations do not believe in supernatural entities.

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        • #5
          Everyone does. They just pretend not to in order to be polite.


          What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
          Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Crowley View Post
            me and one of my player's were talking about a few ideas we had. we believe that theres some 911 calls that cops don't answer to because they might have a slight clue of whats going on. Same with Paramedics or Fast Response Units.
            These calls might be mostly handled by the Technocracy, friendly neighborhood Vampire's Ghouls, Glass Walkers (or their Kinfolk), or those working for Pentex etc. Even in cases when an unaware response team in sent to the wrong place, after the event they might have the event re-defined by Technocrats, Dominate, or the Weaver's Reassurances Drones. (who have outright spirit powers to make people think nothing unusual happened)
            But I guess some slip through the cracks and it's like you said; other groups that might know a tiny bit are gang members ("What do you mean we can't mess with those girls? They don't have anything going on for them, I checked.."), drug dealers, street prostitutes, private eyes, nosy reporters, and shady landlords.
            Last edited by Muad'Dib; 02-13-2017, 04:07 AM.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Muad'Dib View Post
              But I guess some slip through the cracks and it's like you said; other groups that might know a tiny bit are gang members ("What do you mean we can't mess with those girls? They don't have anything going on for them, I checked.."), drug dealers, street prostitutes, private eyes, nosy reporters, and shady landlords.
              Not to nitpick, but most of those sound like individuals rather than groups or organizations. The odd private eye or hooker might see something, sure, but that is pretty different from the local Bloods chapter suspecting vampires exist.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by No One of Consequence View Post
                Everyone does. They just pretend not to in order to be polite.
                Basically. Here's my take:

                Vampires and weres: It's less that people don't know and more that they don’t understand. People have been trying to understand and fight back for centuries, but nothing has worked. The predators have been at it for just as long and with a clearer view of history. No one can stop humans from knowing they might get eaten by monsters if they go out at night, or from figuring out that there's more than meets the eye to crime families like the Giovanni, the Lasombra, and the Shadow Lords. Spreading misinformation is a lot easier.

                Over the millennia, communities figured out that feigning ignorance was better for business than any alternative. By the present, anyone could find out the truth if they wanted to, but most tacitly understand that knowing about certain things is more dangerous than not knowing. Asking why people haven't just caught on and gotten rid of the vampires yet is like asking why people still join cults and have wars.

                Mages, spirits, and other miscellanea: I adopt the Stranger Things take on this. I loved how in that show, the umbra analog was pop science a high school science teacher would know about in theory, he just wouldn't have any more to do with it than the Large Hadron Collider.

                Also, Ghostbusters. Any major university will have a Parapsychology department. You can go to a normal college and major in Parapsychology in my WoD, it will just get you more odd looks than Anthropology or Classics without getting you laid as much. There are banishers in every city. Some exterminators even provide both services. People just don't like to talk about spirits any more than they would like telling guests about their rat problem, if the rats were also the previous tenant who shot himself.

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                • #9
                  When I first started playing in the WoD, my assumption was that few people really know about the existence of the supernatural. After so many years of gaming and learning more about the setting, I've revised my opinion - I am pretty confidant that major elements of all world governments and some businesses know that the supernatural is real. This doesn't mean that the President in the White House knows. But significant people in the FBI, CIA, CDC, etc. know it exists. They've seen the proof with their own eyes. Now, that evidence collected is NOT sufficient enough to convince people at large about the truth. There is too much disbelief in the general population, and too much active supernatural influence to suppress it. Nevertheless, lots of people know. I now take the level of knowledge governments know about the Cthulhu Mythos in the Delta Green as my starting point.

                  A major reason for this to be in the game is that of course there is great material to mine for all sorts of secret government projects, experiments, etc. (and sometimes corporate business and NGO) involving the supernatural. That can make great plots and stories, and it would be a bad excuse to not include them.

                  And of course there are factions which absolutely know the supernatural is real. The Arcanum absolutely knows what is going on. Major religious organizations also know what is going on. The average Catholic priest may not know the supernatural is real, but there are plenty of people in the Vatican who know as well as those groups within the church that serve as hunters. Lots of other smaller organizations too, some of which may be obvious (anything dedicated to learning about the supernatural) and others not (like the bio-sciences company DNA).

                  If we are going to the low route - paramedics, first responders, and such - I imagine there are more than enough urban legends combined with weird first hand experience that makes a lot of them "know" in the sense that they act as if it is real, even if they have very limited concrete proof themselves. But they've learned to keep quiet because people who are too vocal about it tend to have weird things happen to them (mysterious deaths, they get the mind control whammy that changes their memory, they become corrupted by one of the supernatural factions, etc.).

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by The Laughing Stranger View Post

                    Not to nitpick, but most of those sound like individuals rather than groups or organizations. The odd private eye or hooker might see something, sure, but that is pretty different from the local Bloods chapter suspecting vampires exist.
                    If we are talking about a united World of Darkness (which, if you go by Mage, is the case - the Syndicate is involved with the Pentex since their first Convention Book; and the Baali are twice mentioned as connected to the Nephandi) then this might indeed be the case. Not every chapter of Bloods might know about Cainites, but one might, and another has seen a Fomor or two. They might have no inkling about a society of Vampires or the ramifications of humans being possessed, but they know very well that weird and scary things happen during the night. Werewolf has Wyrmish cults being pretty well organized and offering becoming Fomori to their members. Also, if you go by Hunter:the Reckoning, World of Darkness has an increased amount of Risen and walking dead since the Sixth Great Maelstorm.
                    Last edited by Muad'Dib; 02-14-2017, 08:30 AM.

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                    • #11
                      Yeah, I think the Sixth Great Maelstrom largely lets the cat out of the bag what with hordes of ghosts being blown across the Shroud and anchored to random objects or making corpses pop up out of their graves like really smelly jack-in-the-boxes. None of the systems in place for keeping the supernatural mostly backstage (the Masquerade, the Veil, Technocracy propaganda) would be prepared to cope with the sheer volume of incidents that would have happened worldwide in 1999 if you have the Year of the Reckoning play out as published.

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                      • #12
                        I suspect many individuals know at least something about the supernatural. The problems are that they:
                        1) Don't have more than a shallow understanding
                        2) Usually only know about a particular phenomenon (not even whole splats, but specific subsets of splats, like Sewer-dwelling Vampires or Inbred Backwoods Mutant Fomori Families or Weird Neighborhood Inventors Who Root Through Dumpsters For Spare Parts)
                        3) Do not compare notes with each other, because no one wants to sound crazy, and searching for others with such knowledge is a huge time investment ain't nobody got time for.

                        There's likely a goldmine of untapped Occult knowledge out there, sitting unused in people's heads or on undeveloped film or saved on cell phone cameras. Knowledge that is ultimately for naught, because many forces incentivize people not to talk about what they've seen. Various governmental and corporate entities would love to get their hands on that raw case data...were it possible to know where to find it. And were it possible to sort the legitimate info from the delusions, conspiracy theories, cases of mistaken identity, and simple hoaxes. As it stands, those with any significant body of supernatural lore must amass that lore themselves.

                        As the internet grows, we'd likely see a greater ability for individuals to get in touch with others who know, and to do so with a degree of anonymity. Except the Internet also creates the problem of a wealth of false information, and the ability for those groups with a vested interest in maintaining secrecy to find those with incriminating knowledge. I suspect entire coteries of Nosferatu and whole Constructs of Technocrats are devoted just to trawling through forums and websites, looking for problem spots and working to cut them off.


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                        • #13
                          Or to supply them with disinformation.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Crowley View Post
                            basically, who do you belive might know about what exactly is going on in the WoD?
                            me and one of my player's were talking about a few ideas we had. we believe that theres some 911 calls that cops don't answer to because they might have a slight clue of whats going on. Same with Paramedics or Fast Response Units.

                            Based on what happend in New Dijon, im pretty sure that the canadian military has some knowledge of the supernatural. same with the soldiers who survived Bangladesh.

                            the FBI might have a clue thanks to Project Twilight

                            but is it any goverment sort of aware of whats going on?
                            The entire world knows save for twelve random people. It's just that they don't t know that many people know the supernatural exists. That's why they all freak out in reveal chronicles, they don't realize that virtually everyone else knows too.

                            But in all seriousness, part of it depends on the game line you're using, what books you're using and how deep into the metaplot you're going. The Bangladesh Incident is entirely pointless if you aren't using the Week of Nightmares in your game's setting because no Week of Nightmares means that it never happened. And depending on the game line you're using, certain groups have elements in governments and intelligence agencies. I've heard people make jokes about the FBI/CIA/whatever agency is one part Camarilla pawn, one part NWO agent and one part X-Files style anti-supernatural hunters, all on the verge finding out about the others and sparking a departmental war.

                            Then there's Orpheus, where you play as a company that specializes in dealing with ghosts, openly advertising that they do that.

                            It can be a mess when dealing with a unified WoD. Hence the joke that everybody but twelve people know they exist.

                            Honestly when I run a game, I tend not to deal with that kind of stuff. There may be the odd NPC from the police, government, whatever that knows or a Technocrat amalgam that works publicly as an FBI team but generally I avoid that kind of stuff.

                            There was one VtM game where one of the players had a contact on the police and the NPC revealed that the rumor mill of police and other first responders had areas that they were reluctant to go, especially after dark and stories of bizarre incidents over the years. None of them outright knew it was supernatural but they did have an inkling that something strange and dangerous going on.

                            And generally that's how I treat the government and supernaturals. If they haven't been directly co-oped by the supernaturals, discovered it for themselves and becoming hunters, they only hear stories and rumors and believe whatever they want to believe.


                            Homo sapiens. What an inventive, invincible species. It's only a few million years since they crawled up out of the mud and learned to walk. Puny, defenceless bipeds. They've survived flood, famine and plague. They've survived cosmic wars and holocausts. And now, here they are, out among the stars, waiting to begin a new life. Ready to outsit eternity. They're indomitable. Indomitable.

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                            • #15
                              See, the reason for my take is this: What percentage of the population IRL actually doesn't believe in the supernatural? I'm talking, doesn't believe in miracles, no good luck charms, has never "seen a ghost" and wouldn’t believe you if you said you had, doesn't think aliens have visited Earth, the works? How many people are total skeptics?

                              I feel like I'm from a pretty secular crowd and I think I'm one of about two people I currently know who fall into that category.

                              I find it implausible that folks in the World of Darkness are aggressively skeptical compared to folks IRL. It makes more sense if you remember that science is just another magical paradigm. The Technocracy's enforcement of that paradigm is so tenuous that even the Technocracy hosts agents of every major world religion (that much is canon). There are more mages outside the Technocracy than in it, and I bet unawakened beliefs mostly reflect that. If there's a discrepancy, it can't be that much bigger than what can be accounted for by public school and television.

                              The Technocracy mostly has money and power. They can spread misinformation, they can set the party line that's permissible in polite company, but there were no winners in the Ascension War.

                              After the Week of Nightmares, the Technocracy gave up on the idea that strengthening the Gauntlet, the Shroud and Banality and eradicating other paradigms was going to solve everything. Either vampires are somehow outside the purview of concensus, or they had too strong a foothold to be wished away before they kill everyone.
                              Last edited by Mr. Sluagh; 02-17-2017, 02:09 PM.

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