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Old 01-06-2019, 10:04 AM   #41
Icelander
 
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Default Asylums for Victims of the Supernatural (or Perpetrators)

If you're fighting the occult and supernatural in secret, you have a problem if you rescue someone traumatized by the supernatural or if the perpetrators turn out to be human, in which case you might not want to execute them out of hand.

Assuming that the PCs will not be cartoonishly callous death squad Murder Hobo Monster Hunters, there will be any number of survivors who both Know Too Much and require expert psychological care with people who won't either dismiss them as being delusional or decide to believe them and arrest the PCs for vigilante activity.

Fortunately, the PCs have a long-established and extremely influential Patron for this sort of thing. Indeed, J.R. Kessler is sure to have solved this problem to his satisfaction at some point between 1990 or so and the modern day.

So, if Kessler has contacts with mental health professionals and perhaps even finances an entire charitable institution which deals with the worst cases of supernaturally traumatized people, both victims and perpetrators, does anyone have thoughts on that?

Any suggestions for real-world institutions, hospitals, asylums or psychology departments in academic institutions where Kessler might have spent years establishing influence, buying support and installing his own people?

It would be cool if there was any such place near Galveston or New Orleans, probably in addition to an even less-regulated private facility established on St. Lucia in the Caribbean.
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Old 01-06-2019, 10:13 PM   #42
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Default Re: [MH] Caribbean by Night

You may want to base the sanitarium facility somewhere outside of the U.S. I've heard (don't know how reliable this is) that many asylums either down sized or were shut down over time, which has the effect of having more people on the streets who lack good long term care help.

Perhaps a facility on an Island? If salt has any effect on spirits of magic, it could act as a dampening effect? It isolated the inmates from modern society, as well as helps with keeping them contained.

Just out of curiosity, might not the Catholic church run parallel facilities of their own, as they've been around for centuries, and likely have records going back far enough to establish oddities that otherwise gets swept under the rug? The question then would be, why doesn't the Church want knowledge of this nature more common if it gives people incentive to depend on the Church more?
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Old 01-07-2019, 12:30 AM   #43
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Default Re: [MH] Caribbean by Night

Quote:
Originally Posted by hal View Post
You may want to base the sanitarium facility somewhere outside of the U.S. I've heard (don't know how reliable this is) that many asylums either down sized or were shut down over time, which has the effect of having more people on the streets who lack good long term care help.
I'm assuming that smuggling victims out of the continental US will not always be practical or desirable. On the other hand, as the Patron of the PCs is vastly wealthy and influential in the several Gulf Coast cities in the US where the PCs expect they might face this problem, it's not unreasonable to imagine that the Patron already has relationships with a number of mental health professionals.

Having victims legally committed through the intervention of a friendly psychiatrist might be easier and less risky than trying to spirit them away from the police and transport out of the country. Especially if the victims truly are exhibiting symptoms of total mental collapse, combining classic signs of acute PTSD with delusions and various derangements.

Any number of victims, as well as perhaps the less culpable perpetrators, will have failed Fright Checks, usually badly, and will have seen things that officially don't exist, as well as suffering trauma and loss at the hands of these things. The Facade (from the Pyramid article 'Mask of Humanity' by Cristopher R. Rice) means they'll try to rationalize away their encounter with the supernatural, but their denial won't cure PTSD and mental trauma, let alone do anything to help repair damage to victims' or perpetrators' psyches caused by evil spirits or otherwordly beings that have supernatural powers that cause Corruption, derangement or other mind-destroying effects.

The offical explanation for supernatural events will often involve assuming that the lone survivor of a massacre was responsible for it. If a whole family is killed by a playful fae, before the shattered mother manages to impale it with a steel kitchen knife, causing its death because of the iron, and the body of the fae fades away as otherwordly material, the responding police might rationalise the problematic crime scene and impossible story away by assuming that she was a madwoman who killed her family.

The Facade means that prosecutors and courts will be eager to believe any alternative explanation over accepting the supernatural and unconsciously manipulating evidence, let alone its interpretation, is hardly beyond them. So a lot of victims will be assumed by society at large to be murderers and madmen, whether or not things go as far as a trial. Mostly, prosecutors will probably agree to having the assumed perpetrator committed to a psychiatric facility for an indefinite period, which most people know really means for life, more or less.

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Originally Posted by hal View Post
Perhaps a facility on an Island? If salt has any effect on spirits of magic, it could act as a dampening effect? It isolated the inmates from modern society, as well as helps with keeping them contained.
Just so.

I was considering having J.R. Kessler entirely control a secret facility on the Caribbean island of St. Lucia. It's already been established in play that Kessler owns an impregnable compound there, with some of his most trusted employees, past and present, having bought (with his assistence) adjoining plots of land to his house there and built bungalows, for a retreat or to retire in.

It's also been established that the commander of the local police force, for one reason or another, has been prepared to sign paperwork allowing the employees of a private security company owned (through a complex structure of offshore shell companies) by Kessler to carry a wide variety of military weapons, some of which officially belong to the local SWAT and are formally on loan.

That facility is clearly where Kessler arranges to have any irrevocably insane and extremely dangerous people taken, if he can manage it. Which he will not always be able to do. Yes, the PCs will often be operating outside the US, in various areas of the Caribbean, but not always. And once victims or perpetrators become part of the paperwork in any significant criminal investigation or other proceedings in the United States, it becomes unlikely that they can be secretly interned in another country.

So, how do his operatives handle it when they've captured someone in the US, who might or might not be wanted for murder, and who might or might not be irrevocably insane from having touched the consciousness of Something truly awful. Not to mention her two accomplishes, whom the PCs didn't capture, but were arrested by the Galveston PD.

Clearly, the police is going to ignore any truly relevant evidence, that the PCs need to find out more about any information about connections these people might have with the occult underworld, not to mention whether they were merely a small cabal of crazies or belong to any kind of organised cult.

As the PCs decide what to do, it's it's crucial that they have a good overview of their options. And it would be plausible, as well as interesting in a dramatic sense, for Kessler to be the sponsor of a charitable institution, in Galveston or close by, concerned with mental health issues, friendly with the police and willing to provide support to criminal investigations at highly favorable rates. Favorable enough to make it unlikely that the county of Galveston would want to contract with any other medical facility for when they need official psychiatric evaluations.

I'm hoping there is some real-world building, hospital or facility on or near Galveston that I could traduce in my campaign by casting them in a sinister, conspirational light, in violation of all professional standards and relevant laws, even if it is ultimately rationalized as doing the best that can be done in an imperfect situation, as well as for the greater good of saving the world.

I'll try to research the University of Texas Medical Branch on Galveston, as Kessler is already established as a major donor there. Do they have any treatment facility connected to their psychiatric program?

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Originally Posted by hal View Post
Just out of curiosity, might not the Catholic church run parallel facilities of their own, as they've been around for centuries, and likely have records going back far enough to establish oddities that otherwise gets swept under the rug?
Exactly right.

I had wondered whether to have Kessler and his people closely enough allied to the Vatican, uneasily or not, so that they might rely on their vastly greater resources and influence for this sort of thing. Ultimately, I decided that Kessler could never trust any human institution with as much power as the Vatican enough to make such an allegiance practical. Kessler is aware that agents of the Holy See likely share his goals in the majority of cases of supernatural incursions, but that doesn't mean that he is willing to enter any formal allegiance which would ultimately result in the church having access to all his secrets and weaknesses.

Not when Kessler can't rule out that the hierarchy of the church, as with any mortal hierarchy, might be infiltrated and influenced by Things that come from other worlds, through the Vile Vortices, and whose ultimate goals are incompatible with human life on Earth, at least as we know it.

When it comes to cooperation with the Catholic Church on a more limited basis, Lucien Lacoste (PC), one of Kessler's prized new operatives, is a devout Catholic who in his younger days seriously considered whether he might have a vocation as a priest, and who still has very good contacts with many priests around New Orleans, as well as the Jesuits who educated him.

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The question then would be, why doesn't the Church want knowledge of this nature more common if it gives people incentive to depend on the Church more?
The official position of the Catholic Church is and always has been that Evil exists as a tangible force, that its agents walk the Earth and the the Church exists as a bulwark to protect the faithful.

As for why the Church keeps the specifics hidden, that is, in setting, something that Lucien Lacoste, the Jesuit-educated former detective, also struggles with. His mentor and friend, Father Xavier Rousseau, SJ, Professor Emeritus of Loyola University New Orleans, has told him that the response of the church is founded on a series of secret papal bulls and that suppression of certain lore is by direct decree of the Holy See.

Furthermore, that this is not a political move or calculated worldly policy, which they both know not even the church can always rise above, but is in furtherance of a divine vision, vouchsafed unto the Vicar of God on Earth. They must simply have faith, and in absence of the comforting discipline of vows, including the vow of obedience, that Lucien ultimately did not feel called to take, Lucien must make up his mind whether to trust that the Church is more than merely the fallible human institution they can see, that there is a Plan and that the Church is central to that Plan.

However, while Father Xavier is deeply committed to his Church and his vows, he has undoubtedly hinted at much more about secret Vatican business than he is allowed to tell anyone not bound by church discipline, no matter how faithful, and Father Xavier obviously trusts Lucien to make up his own mind on the issue of secrecy. He also seems to believe that while Lucien would always be welcomed as a Soldier of God should he feel called to take vows, perhaps Lucien's refusal to do so and his alternate path to protect the innocent combat Evil are also part of God's Plan.
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Old 01-07-2019, 07:47 AM   #44
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Default Asylum for Victims of the Supernatural (or Perpetrators)

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As the PCs decide what to do, it's it's crucial that they have a good overview of their options. And it would be plausible, as well as interesting in a dramatic sense, for Kessler to be the sponsor of a charitable institution, in Galveston or close by, concerned with mental health issues, friendly with the police and willing to provide support to criminal investigations at highly favorable rates. Favorable enough to make it unlikely that the county of Galveston would want to contract with any other medical facility for when they need official psychiatric evaluations.

I'm hoping there is some real-world building, hospital or facility on or near Galveston that I could traduce in my campaign by casting them in a sinister, conspirational light, in violation of all professional standards and relevant laws, even if it is ultimately rationalized as doing the best that can be done in an imperfect situation, as well as for the greater good of saving the world.

I'll try to research the University of Texas Medical Branch on Galveston, as Kessler is already established as a major donor there. Do they have any treatment facility connected to their psychiatric program?
Are you effing kidding me!?

Things I had already established in play:

1) Kessler has some mysterious connection to the University of Texas Medical Branch, among other things financing a laboratory connected to, but distinct from the Galveston National Laboratory, which not only has similarly hush-hush research goals, but also experiences enough mysterious electronic failures and unexplained health issues among the staff for there to be constant suggestions to relocate the laboratories, something which the main financial contributor strongly opposes.

2) The PCs were sent there the day after their experiences with villainous sorcerers and unearthly energies, to have a battery of poorly explained tests performed, ostensibly because Dr. Dao Van Sang, the doctor about the Penemue, was concerned about possible long-term health effects, specifically noting that Ms. Talbot had been exposed to an unknown pathogen and that her vital signs were troubling, with suggestions of low levels of function in nearly every important measurable indicator.

3) The PCs were assured that any records would be copied to Mr. Kessler and his trusted staff exclusively and that the specific people at UTMB they would meet would never place these records in any official data banks at hospitals or the university, nor indeed admit their existence to the police, if pressed.

Things I found out when I Googled whether UTMB had a psychiatric department and/or any linked psychiatric care facilities:

4) "UTMB also has a major contract with the Texas Department of Corrections to provide medical care to inmates at all TDC sites in the eastern portion of Texas. UTMB also has similar contracts with local governments needing inmate medical care." (Wikipedia)

5) This means that any psychiatrists called to interview the villainous kidnapper in Galveston PD custody would be from UTMB if this happened in real life, and in my setting, it was about 100% that any such psychiatrists were either influenced or flat-out owned by Kessler.

6) And yes, the UTMB did have a psychiatric care facility. "In 1996, UTMB purchased the adjacent 128-year-old St. Mary's Hospital, the first catholic hospital in Texas. The building was converted into the Rebecca Sealy Psychiatric Hospital." (Wikipedia)

Are you effing kidding me!?

The UTMB certainly has a psychiatric care facility. It was founded in 1996, the year after Kessler lost a whole field team to the Vile Vortex at the Bermuda Triangle and his organisation would have required an unprecedented amount of psychological and grief counseling for their friends and families, making it plausible that the decision to launch it was influenced by this need.

And for some reason, the UTMB didn't build a new facility. They bought the historic St. Mary's from the Congregation of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word, of Galveston Hurricane fame.

Kessler is not, as far as the PCs know, a Catholic (or any religious flavour at all), but his steward, right-hand man and bodyguard (Jean-Michel Alexandre), his librarian and main ritual magician (Alfred L. Lapointe) and his long-serving personal chef and obeah woman ('Aunty Genie') are all devout Roman Catholics, albeit none of them terribly orthodox in their faith. Indeed, Roman Catholicism is, by a considerable margin, the largest single denomination among those members of Kessler's organisation whom I have detailed so far.

The current adventure, and thus the campaign, started at a certain Walmart in Galveston. It stands at the site of the former St. Mary's Infirmary and Orphan Asylum, run by that very order of nuns, indeed, run by nuns who otherwise lived and worked at St. Mary's. In 1900, 90 children and ten sisters of the C.C.V.I. were killed at that site by the worst natural disaster in US history. Poignantly, the three children who survived report the sisters leading them in song of the hymn Queen of the Waves.

In the Seawall Walmart at the site of this historic tragedy, the PCs discovered a Threshold around a part of the store, which was both unusual for a public place, and disquieting, in that the Threshold was badly damaged and as the sun set, becoming a Bad Place. Someone or something had deliberately shattered the Threshold that existed there, profaning it with murder and dark rituals.

The resulting negative energy was drawing spirits from all over Galveston, not only free spirits and ghostly forms, but unformed husks that may be what remains when spirits with personalities degrade, or they might be qlippothic entities that never lived and never should. In any case, they had no sentience and little discernment, but such a concentration of them could be very dangerous.

In the process of preventing some catastrophic spiritual singularity, as well as defending themselves, the unaware humans in the store and, important for Lucien Lacoste at least, those spirits inhabiting the place who still had personalities and whom he considers the souls of the restless dead and deserving of being led to their proper place, the PCs conducted a ritual of exorcism to cleanse the despoiled Threshold and and activated a telluric seal to prevent any rift in reality from opening.

While they finished their rituals, they needed to keep the qlippothic waves from overrunning them and everyone else. So Lucien Lacoste, familiar with the Catholic legend for this place, led the unquiet spirits in a rendition of Queen of the Waves. Linking hands with small ghostly hands, unseen by anyone else, Lucien felt the presence of the courageous Sisters who tied themselves to the children in a doomed attempt to rescue at least some of them, and who felt it small price to pay to have died with their charges if their presence provided some small comfort at the end.

So, yeah, there is such a place as a psychiatric hospital with mysterious connections to Kessler and his organisation. And the PCs have met some of the original founders of that asylum.
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Old 01-07-2019, 08:53 AM   #45
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Default Re: Asylum for Victims of the Supernatural (or Perpetrators)

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Are you effing kidding me!?
I love it when a plan comes together. /Hannibal

That's a fantastic bit of coincidence. I really do love it when one finds something that just slots into current play perfectly.
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Old 01-07-2019, 09:30 AM   #46
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Default Need Some Shooters

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I love it when a plan comes together. /Hannibal

That's a fantastic bit of coincidence. I really do love it when one finds something that just slots into current play perfectly.
It is pretty lovely.

Now I just need to name and detail the PCs' fellow Monster Hunters, who've been on Christmas vacation with their families, but at least some of whom will be summoned home early because of the kidnapping of young Alice Talbot, the research assistant and assistant librarian aboard the Penemue.

Whether she's the ultimate target or the attack was aimed at Kessler or his active hunters, through a perceived 'soft' support member of the crew, is unclear. Nevertheless, Kessler and his steward/valet/butler/bodyguard/right hand, Jean-Michel Alexandre, have lit a fire under the few members of the crew who spent the holidays aboard, with Mr. Alexandre also calling every shooter within a wide radius of Galveston and offering them a New Year's bonus for coming in four days early and spending New Year's aboard.

So, I'll need names, descriptions and backgrounds for some dozen deck crew and security personnel, with maybe the four most remarkable of them being actual Monster Hunters, as opposed to the mostly retired Navy and Coast Guard men who handle things aboard the Penemue.

From your post, as well as a kind email suggesting names I received, I'm thinking one of them shall have the first name Hannibal, named by parents who were fans of the A-Team. That would mean someone in his early to mid-thirties, a logical age for a former SOF operator who recently retired from the military to take up a more lucrative position.

For practical reasons, Kessler prefers former Navy, Marines or Coast Guard members for security aboard the Penemue, but he'll need one or more Special Forces operators with a Caribbean culture specialization for the active hunter team. Former members of the Navy SEALs, Coast Guard MSRT and the USMC MARSOC are especially prized, of course, as is anyone with the skill set and experience in providing support to special operations personnel.

Anyone feel like suggesting a name, background and brief description of some shooters, either ones hard enough to be a full part of the PCs' Monster Hunter away team or at least someone who'll be part of the security team aboard Penemue?

If any posters volunteer, I can make fictionalised tough guy versions of you or anyone you know.
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Old 01-07-2019, 10:12 AM   #47
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Default Re: [MH] Caribbean by Night

I'm curious...

This lack of magic functioning. How often has it happened before? Is this the first time? Is the return of magic something that can be predicted?

If there is a Divine aspect to all things, does the aspect of Divine miracles preclude a prophet from being able to function in the absence of mana?

Is it possible that the Church knows more than it is letting on?

In this campaign universe, are there others who hold deific powers where they too might know of the coming "dry spell(s)" and the return of magic that they might provide for the future dry spell and preserve knowledge and capabilities?

One thing that might be worth mentioning, that if the Church is in this for the long haul - it would have evolved something rather subtle in dealing with those who might traffic in magic.

For instance, accumulating vast historical treasures over time, it wouldn't be hard to create a false primer of magic with just enough information in it to mostly fail. This has a two fold effect on making reliable magic less reliable - after all, the spells do not work as constructed in the first place. It would discourage anyone from wasting any further time exploring magic. And secondly, because it does have a few germs of truth in it, someone who could actively practice magic might be able to make magic function despite the inherent flaws. Either way, the church, by knowing what book stores are actively buying their books, at least get an idea of where an "infection of people interested in magic" might be starting up.

But then it gets even nicer from their point of view - if they are also a supplier of material that are used in spell casting. With two sources of intel to cross reference - sales of books and sales of material components, they may have the ability to cross reference information for even better accuracy. Best of all they need not act on the information just to see whether or not the person is moving about, remaining stationary or what have you.

Now, what if Magic works best with certain materials? What if the inherent properties of metals and/or ingredients are such that the church begins to seek a monopoly on those things? Many assume that gold and silver being hoarded by the Church might actively be a sign of corruption. Maybe it is, but what if there was a strategic reason towards the hoarding of certain things that transcends "greed"?

Just as the sources of evil might try to infiltrate the system for the creation of priests and other personnel connected to the church, so too might the church infiltrate those that are aligned towards evil. Sometimes one uses a fire to fight fire. In the act of fighting fire with fire, perhaps evil manages to take a deeper hold in the fight along the lines of wrestling with a pig - it only makes you and the pig dirty.
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Old 01-07-2019, 10:22 AM   #48
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Default Re: [MH] Caribbean by Night

Fictional shooter:


Danny Daniels is a (half) native American from the inter-mountain west. He joined the Army in order to be a warrior, and takes pride in his front-line combat experience, having served all over the world. Danny has a Hispanic wife and two kids, and despite seeming bravado, he's a fairly quiet guy.



**Note: the real Danny Daniels is an exceptionally quiet and pleasant plumber, and one of my old neighbors. He just has one of the coolest names I've seen on a real person.
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Old 01-07-2019, 10:59 AM   #49
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Default Re: [MH] Caribbean by Night

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I'm curious...

This lack of magic functioning. How often has it happened before? Is this the first time? Is the return of magic something that can be predicted?
Well, considering that before the 1980s or so, this was our world, what do you think?

There are plenty of historical records about supernatural events, but modern people generally don't believe them. Even if we were to admit the possibility, we're still left with the fact that a great number of historical occultists were liars, conmen, drunks and, in general, bad historians and unreliable narrators. Just the fact that one or two events they record turn out to be true is a pretty thin basis for evaluating what, if anything, they may have written is also true.

Basically, modern occultists know very little about the true history of the occult. They know that some time after 1980, supernatural things were possible in this world. They know that many people have believed in them before this time and that to discerning occultists, it certainly seems that numerous recorded incidents in the 17th, 18th and 19th century have many similarities with how the paranormal works now.

Indeed, it may well be that many Ancient, Medieval and Early Modern works of occult and esoteric nature are true, while, of course, many others are bad scholarship, lies or other nonsense.

But even if so, it's not as if some grand unifying theory of magic was promulgated, proven and accepted before the paranormal went away. No one knows why it did and no one knows if it will do so again.

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If there is a Divine aspect to all things, does the aspect of Divine miracles preclude a prophet from being able to function in the absence of mana?
All supernatural powers seem bound by the same laws, making it possible to argue that all of them are Divine or that none of them are. The only power source is Magical.

The setting is agnostic on the subject of deities and the divine. There are incredibly powerful entities that either live on Earth, hidden, or come from outside our reality. Many of them claim to be angels, demons, djinn, genius loci, ghosts, gods and many other things. However, superhuman powers don't necessarily make something divine or even truthful, and it's well known that spirits both lie and deceive themselves into believing their lies, for example.

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Is it possible that the Church knows more than it is letting on?
As an organisation? Possibly, though unlikely.

Certain individuals within it, because they have their own goals or are manipulating the Church for some power from outside this world? It's frightening, but more plausible than a human organisation of the size of the Catholic Church maintaining any kind of coherent conspiracy for very long.

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Originally Posted by hal View Post
In this campaign universe, are there others who hold deific powers where they too might know of the coming "dry spell(s)" and the return of magic that they might provide for the future dry spell and preserve knowledge and capabilities?
There are plenty of seers, prophecies and other claimants to such knowledge.

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One thing that might be worth mentioning, that if the Church is in this for the long haul - it would have evolved something rather subtle in dealing with those who might traffic in magic.
Ideally, of course, but so far, the Church and most everyone else who wants to protect humanity has been reactive, not given the luxury of making long-term plans. They don't know what is happening. No one really does.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hal View Post
For instance, accumulating vast historical treasures over time, it wouldn't be hard to create a false primer of magic with just enough information in it to mostly fail. This has a two fold effect on making reliable magic less reliable - after all, the spells do not work as constructed in the first place. It would discourage anyone from wasting any further time exploring magic. And secondly, because it does have a few germs of truth in it, someone who could actively practice magic might be able to make magic function despite the inherent flaws. Either way, the church, by knowing what book stores are actively buying their books, at least get an idea of where an "infection of people interested in magic" might be starting up.

But then it gets even nicer from their point of view - if they are also a supplier of material that are used in spell casting. With two sources of intel to cross reference - sales of books and sales of material components, they may have the ability to cross reference information for even better accuracy. Best of all they need not act on the information just to see whether or not the person is moving about, remaining stationary or what have you.
The Catholic Church in my campaign is the Catholic Church of our world, with a secret divergence point in the 1980s that truly changed very little and another, more major one, that gradually built to a considerable change by the 2011 or so, but still remaining, officially, exactly the same as our church, with simply a few hidden activities going on.

Even so, the Vatican is no more powerful than it is in our world. In fact, as it must face much greater challenges with roughly the same resources, it can be said to be desperately close to overwhelmed. Not to mention how difficult it is to keep the Secret, as if it got out now, the secular powers of the world would no doubt rip the church to pieces for the number of laws its agents have broken by invading any number of sovereign nations and acting as vigilantes, kidnappers and murderers there.

In a world with the Internet, eBay, Amazon, Craigslist and any number of other ways to buy or sell from strangers, anyone might be selling ancient grimoires or spell components. The Church certainly doesn't do such things, mostly because they have no time or energy to do so and also because they don't want to be painted as delusional in the world media.

Well, granted, as it turns out, priests who see through the Facade may receive training in a very stripped down version of Western Hermetic magic, mostly a few protective spells, and some of the Latin rituals and items associated with churches contain useful wards. This knowledge is spread by word of mouth, mostly by priests who may or may not have official sanction for helping Monster Hunters with no official ties to the Church, and such individuals might also be lent some useful objects.

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Originally Posted by hal View Post
Now, what if Magic works best with certain materials? What if the inherent properties of metals and/or ingredients are such that the church begins to seek a monopoly on those things? Many assume that gold and silver being hoarded by the Church might actively be a sign of corruption. Maybe it is, but what if there was a strategic reason towards the hoarding of certain things that transcends "greed"?
Various gemstones have associations with magic and, in my campaign, the high real-world value of certain gemstones, originally came about and was maintained by, in part at least, their value for certain magical workings.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hal View Post
Just as the sources of evil might try to infiltrate the system for the creation of priests and other personnel connected to the church, so too might the church infiltrate those that are aligned towards evil. Sometimes one uses a fire to fight fire. In the act of fighting fire with fire, perhaps evil manages to take a deeper hold in the fight along the lines of wrestling with a pig - it only makes you and the pig dirty.
If the church is doing anything like this, ironically, one of the most probable ways it might be doing it is by individual priests providing advice and support to Monster Hunters who are, on the surface at least, hardly virtuous enough to genuine Warriors of God.

Such as, for example, the people around J.R. Kessler, the Patron in my campaign, a number of whom are Catholics, and perhaps most especially, Lucien Lacoste (PC). Maybe the Church is helping them because they can do things that the Vatican never could, at least not openly.

There are also persistent rumours that while the professed religion of some powerful and influential men in Latin America might be considered hypocritical by many, it is nevertheless possible to be both a devoted Catholic and a deeply flawed and sinful man. It is also possible for someone whose entirely life has been on the wrong side of the law to feel that inhuman monsters and unholy magic are so far beyond the pale that they are willing to fight it with any means at their disposal.

While it is true that the occult underworld often coincides with the preexisting underworld and that many criminal organisations have come to be dominated by those with occult knowledge or supernatural power, that doesn't mean that every narcotraficante accepts magic and monsters the way he accepts narcotics and greed.

It is said that some organised crime figures from Latin America are funneling great parts of their profits into charities administered by the Catholic Church, with the proceeds to be used to help those victimized by Evil. And that men with impressive arsenals, usually trained in one of the Latin American militaries before entering the employ of the cartels, are fighting against monsters in Venezuela and the Andes mountains, aided by advice from 'renegade' priests.

For that matter, most of the people Kessler deals with when he has to move things between the US and some Caribbean island without drawing attention from authorities are Catholic and presumably have some other business concerns when they are not smuggling esoteric arms, vampire coffins or hog-tied sorceresses. And many of them would insist that their mundane profession is one thing, but their religion is why they feel they must aid those who fight against true Evil, not the mere peccadilloes represented by breaking arbitrary laws.
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Old 01-07-2019, 11:21 AM   #50
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Default Re: [MH] Caribbean by Night

Quote:
Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
Fictional shooter:


Danny Daniels is a (half) native American from the inter-mountain west. He joined the Army in order to be a warrior, and takes pride in his front-line combat experience, having served all over the world. Danny has a Hispanic wife and two kids, and despite seeming bravado, he's a fairly quiet guy.

**Note: the real Danny Daniels is an exceptionally quiet and pleasant plumber, and one of my old neighbors. He just has one of the coolest names I've seen on a real person.
Heh.

Half- what else, though?

Scots-Irish, Anglo-Saxon, Hispanic, etc.?

I mean the real one, that is.

It's important, do you see, because the ghost stories and legends you grew up with matter a lot in a setting like this...

Also, if you don't mind, I'd maybe make him something more than just a shooter. Mundane crew and even mundane shooters, Kessler recruits through a network of people already in his employ, or related to them.

For someone that far from his Caribbean, Gulf Coast and Texas stomping grounds, as well as the French Foreign Legion and African adventures of his youth to be with him, it pretty much has to be a Story. And that means Danny wasn't recruited just as a loyal crew member or ordinary private security shooter, he was probably recruited as a Monster Hunter.
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