Masquerade related problems:
Also known as Katz
Come to think of it, a scientist discovering that one single good-luck charm actually works would be a great idea for a story. *Writes it down*
@ Leradny: Okay, maybe I didn't phrase it right but if you make something obey everyday rules it becomes mundane (then again I might just be ticked off about spending the last few years jumping through pointless hoops). Plus I haven't a blind clue about how to write a police proceedural, and the police where the story is set couldn't find their arse with both hands half the time as it is (alas, this is based on real life). @jewelleddragon: Here's some food for thought. I went to the newsagents today and among all the other magazines were at least three that were dedicated to supernatural phenomenon. The internet is teeming with reports and sightings of weird crap, there's stuff about it on TV and/or in the news on a semi-regular basis and ghost sightings are so common that some universities have departments dedicated to studying them. Yet the last time I mentioned that I saw a ghost once, I had someone telling me it was a figment of my imagination. As for the 'kill them all' thing, given that humanity has repeatedly wiped out entire species because of an assumption that they were a threat to livestock, what do you think we'd do if there was something which we saw as a threat to us personally, particuarly back in the days when we were superstitious and paranoid as hell. Hell, even in the twentieth century there was at least one case of some yahoos with rifles setting out to 'kill a ghost'(the stupid, it burns).
Also known as Katz
People have tried to wipe other people out many times throughout history because they considered another sort of people a threat. What they haven't tried to do is go en masse into hiding to prevent that. The Tutsis didn't go off and form a secret civilization to avoid the Rwandan genocide of '94, for instance—the logistics would have been mind-boggling. How do you make sure that everyone in your group gets the memo, and no one in the other group? How do you make sure no one tells anyone? How do you move a million people without anyone noticing? Who's in charge of coordinating? How do you ensure that everyone follows his/her authority? How do you convince a million people of all ages and personalities to follow the rules necessary to stay hidden, how do you enforce the rules, how do you even communicate the rules? And that's the tip of the iceberg.
Welcome, traveller, welcome to Omsk
Very good points all.
It does not matter who I am. What matters is, who will you become? - motto of Omsk Bird
A lot of those problems are dependent on when the mass exodus of magical critters took plsce, and a lot of the others can be filed under 'magic'. Communicating exclusively to your people is easier when you have techniques the outsiders don't. If you pulled the old time-travel cliche of giving the Romans radio, the Ostrogoths aren't going to be intercepting their communications short of stealing a radio (not possible in this case, since Muggles by definition don't have magic) or torturing it out of some poor bugger (possible, but might not help if the magic types are in invisible cities or behind probability barriers created by weaponised good luck charms or whatever) And if the seoaration happened far enough back, the dissenters would, in all likelihood, have long since been hunted down and messily killed. Which would tend to prevent the rise of new dissenters :-/ Coordination could be as simple as whoever made the hiding possible in the first place saying 'we're getting butchered out there, here's a refuge, here's the rules if you want in'. Moving a million+ people... again, if it happened far enough in the past, it wouldn't matter as much. Modern archaeologists might find some traces of weird, but likely nothing conclusive (nomadic societies just don't leave all that much behind). That and the world is simply a lot bigger than most people think; I mean, it's not physically larger or anything like that, but there's a hell of a lot more empty space than most people realize.
edited 14th Mar '12 12:17:14 PM by TeChameleon
The future of warfare in UC.
Then you get to infiltrate all the satellite imagery companies and intelligence agencies and somehow keep explorers away during the 1800s and... Most empty places are empty because they won't support humans in their current state. Changing this will cause leakage to the surrounding area. Then we get into the fun stuff, like radar recon satellites or infrared goggles, wavelengths which the mages would not even be aware existed and which they wouldn't know to defend against. Magic ain't that impressive anymore, if we're honest. Also if the separation happened that far back, then you end up with a different problem: you can't pass the word very far at all. You get a tiny little population who doesn't have access to most of the things that make the planet able to support billions of people, like modern agriculture, transportation, medicine, etc. And if they want it they're going to have to buy it from the outside world because they're not large enough to support a domestic market for the things. And then we have a paper trail and... Masquerades are ugly, ugly things.
edited 14th Mar '12 12:30:16 PM by Night
Nous restons ici.
Agreed, especially the 'active' variety which is why I want to avoid them. I was thinking of more of a situation where most things could either pass for human (eg, the Runner in the Woods when they're not laying on the eldritch, and ghouls, although they aren't as good at it), were invisible to normals (ghosts), or were suffiently low key to avoid featuring in anything other then the 'weird news' section and weren't actively hiding so much as just not advertising it. After all, we don't go around telling everyone that you're human, so why would they tell people that they weren't? So, to use ghouls as an example, on one hand they tend to keep to themselves and try to avoid people finding out about their eating habits since they'd just freak out and disrupt the supply, but on the other the more human looking ones hold down jobs (usually ones that give them access to 'food') and live openly in normal neighborhoods (the freakier looking ones have to be a bit sneakier, which these days generally involves scarves, hoodies and assorted other loose, bulky clothing), and they're no more threat then other humans are, they just have a really disgusting diet. Basically, the 'resident' weirdness has more or less 'gone native' and quite happily blends into human society. The general public just don't know that they're there, well, beyond the previously mentioned 'weird news' articles anyway.
edited 14th Mar '12 6:34:22 PM by Weaver
Eh. While I quite readily concede that the Masquerade is vastly more difficult than the average book makes it out to be, I don't think it's quite as impossible as you seem to think, particularly if those that are hiding from the rest of the world have access to things that qualify as 'magic'. At least, the old-school types of magic where it's less 'miniaturized invisible flamethrowers' and more 'tell the universe to bend over and yawn'. Probability manipulation, violating the laws of physics, and generally putting the fabric of reality through a wringer, not necessarily in flamboyant ways, but that funny 'fate' stuff. Even if not... eh. You'd be amazed how many people really don't pay all that much attention to the world around them, and, more importantly, wouldn't care if they did notice. Yeah, you'd have fringe loonies ranting about it, but we've already got those. *shrug* I don't know. Maybe I'm just cynical.
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