So you have a setting where non-human beings exist, and their nature makes living among humans difficult. Maybe they suffer from a Horror Hunger
, live forever
(and it sucks
), have customs that don't endear them to locals (such as rampant kleptomania
and throwing around Curses
like it's going out of style) and/or the stress of keeping up the Masquerade
is just brutal. Well, there's a support group of reformed/reforming monsters
that is out to help those among them who want to live closer to humanity. Possibly even to regain some of that humanity if they were human once. They may even help convince a newly turned member
he isn't human at all.
The status of this group in monster society can vary. They may be a bunch of Defectors From Decadence
and Pro Human Transhumans
who are actively hated by their society at large, a fairly neutrally viewed group, or they may even be top dogs and are enforcing the Masquerade
via these groups as a form of positive self-policing (with another group in charge of chasing down those who "relapse"). You often get groups of Friendly Neighborhood Vampires
forming these kinds of groups, though a group of Fully Embraced Fiends
may form such a group to help fledgling Vampire Refugees
adjust without going all Hunter of His Own Kind
They'll typically help each other deal with mundane and magical matters, like how to ensure their Undead Tax Exemption
, keep their Horror Hunger
at bay, mask the smell of brimstone/rotting flesh
, how to fool human social customs, etc. That said, it's also possible for these groups to focus on blending in not for humane reasons (no pun intended), but to better prey on humans, in which case "disposing of bodies" is usually also on the list of things they help each other do.
This trope is usually at the "acceptance" phase in the Stages of Monster Grief
Subtrope of Tropaholics Anonymous
. Contrast Fully-Embraced Fiend
Anime and Manga:
- In Rosario + Vampire, Yokai Academy teaches monster children to hide themselves from humans, and helps them live alongside muggles by remaining in human form and attending a school designed to resemble a human boarding school.
- The living fairy tales in the comic Fables establish a regimented and regulated community to prevent their discovery while living in New York city.
- The real movie monsters of Screamland are a twisted version of this.
- The Buffy the Vampire Slayer spinoff comic miniseries Spike: Asylum takes it further with Mosaic Wellness Center, a mental hospital/rehabilitation center for supernatural creatures to get help. Subverted in that it's actually a prison to keep supernatural beings locked up. Spike, who is taken there against his will, meets Beck who is there because she had controlling her powers; with the help of other inmates overthrow and change the system so that Mosaic becomes what it was masquerading as.
- In the Angel: After The Fall spinoff Spike, Drusilla (after breaking out of a regular mental hospital) agrees to let Willow admit her to Mosaic in hopes that it will actually help her.
- The Black Ribboners on the Discworld are a strong example of the Friendly Neighborhood Vampire type.
- Also, in Reaper Man Windle Poons attends a group on Elm Street of reformed undead who are trying to lead a normal existence.
- In Fevre Dream by George R. R. Martin, there's a vampire who's found a way of surviving without drinking blood, and he's travelling around gathering up other vampires and persuading them to make the same lifestyle change.
- In Twilight, Carlisle develops one of these over the years with his "family". He never tries to convince anyone outside the family to avoid feeding on humans, but everyone who is brought into the family is strongly encouraged to go "vegetarian" like the rest of them.
- Mitchell in Being Human very explicitly uses the Support Group strategy to convince all the vampires in the city to stop drinking human blood (and killing to keep it quiet) and go clean. (In this setting, vampires don't need to drink blood, but abstaining causes incredible hunger pains akin to drug withdrawal until they can psychologically adjust). Amazingly, it works! Of course, some Vampire Hunters decide it's a good time to bomb their celebratory party.
- In the NBC show Grimm Monroe, Nick's monster friend, has gone through a "program" so as not to be a Big Bad Wolf anymore. He had at least one friend we've met who went through the program with him.
- There's also a council of Wesen (as the non-human creatures such as Monroe are generally known) that acts as a governing body to enforce the Masquerade, to keep Wesen from being wiped out. The Salem Witch Trials are cited as one event resulting from the Masquerade being breached.
- In The Middleman, Roxy Wasserman is a reformed succubus who runs a halfway house for not-quite-reformed succubi, disguised as a fashion boutique.
- The RPG Nightlife has the Commune, a multi-species alliance of monstrous creatures that work to live in relative peace with humanity.
- Although every The World of Darkness series gameline has shades of this, it's most notable in Vampire: The Masquerade, Werewolf: The Apocalypse, Promethean: The Created and Changeling: The Lost.
- The d20 Modern Urban Arcana setting has a number of such organizations for the Shadowkind (the setting's term for beings and creatures brought to our world from a Dungeons & Dragons type realm):
- The Church of Pelor: offers more than just religious services, as they are involved with various charitable efforts (soup kitchens, shelters, healing spells), and generally helping bridge some of the cultural divides between Shadowkind and mundanes.
- Department-7: the default employer of the Player Characters, D-7 works for the common good of both Shadow and mundane. Or so they claim.
- The Displaced: offers various services primarily geared at helping new "immigrants" from the Shadow get acclimated to the 21st century world. They offer rehab programs, help with obtaining ID, clinics that know how to treat monster physiology, job placement assistance, and even help direct Shadowkind to places that cater to their unique culture, like info about restaurants that serve "old world" recipes.
- International Guild of Laborers: basically a big trade union to help Shadowkind not get taken advantage of in the workforce.
- St. Cuthbert's House: A charitable Shadowkind organization that runs shelters, food banks, clinics, and vigilante neighborhood patrols in poverty-stricken areas, and has become quite popular even with the mundane communities.
- The Family in Fall Out 3 look and act like a clan of blooddrinkers. They're a cannibal support group who drink blood to keep under control their urge to kill and eat people. If offered a cooperative alternative to raiding for blood, they will accept peacefully.
- The Department of Integration on Ugly Americans, a government agency that prepares monsters (and human immigrants) for life in New York City. The main character, Mark Lilly, is a human social worker employed by the Department; his co-worker Leonard is a wizard, and his superiors are demons.
- The web sitcom Monsters Anonymous is pretty much the embodiment of this trope.