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Old 04-24-2019, 04:24 PM   #41
Icelander
 
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Default Re: Brazilian Myths and Legends About Sea Monsters, Merfolk, Selkies or the Like

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Yes, there are some, but not so much in a horrific way, but as a lore of the land, creatures of folklore. Perhaps you can use them with a twist.

There is the boto cor de rosa (Pink Boto) (https://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lenda_do_boto), a river dolphin that impregnates women. The tale it's not from Rio, however, but from the North region of Brazil.

There is the Iara, a kind of mermaid (https://www.infoescola.com/folclore/iara/), that bewitches men to drown them.

Here its a list of some folklore creatures:
https://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Folclore_brasileiro
Great, thanks!

What would be good names for humanoids that come from beneath the sea, look human, but are not? Ichthyoid, batrachian infiltrators in the style of Lovecraft's Deep Ones, enchanted beings of superhuman ability with no respect for human mores, feelings or lives. They are often powerful sorcerers and have alien, inscrutable goals.
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Old 04-25-2019, 07:11 AM   #42
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Default Re: Brazilian Terms for Monster Hunters, Commandos and Spies

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Ok, trying to help here, one by one.
Oh, this is really helping. I don't want to rely exclusively on Google Translate and what Spanish* I learnt 15-20 years ago for flavorful local terms.

Also, I'd really like any and all suggestions from anyone who knows more about Brazil than I (i.e. probably everyone who has so much as visited, not to mention all the Brazilians on these forums).

At the moment, the PCs are not headed for a visit to Brazil (at least not yet) and I merely foresee featuring NPCs from Brazil in an adventure set in several locales, perhaps to include Guyana, Venezuela and a number of Caribbean islands, but I still want those NPCs to feel Brazilian and be capable of revealing something of the occult scene in Brazil and the state of Brazilian monster hunters, occult intelligence and the relations between various groups, inside and outside Brazil, who are aware of the supernatural.

*Which, those few times I've spoken with anyone in Portugal, for example, got me a default well below Broken in Portuguese.

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1 - Sounds good, but it's literally 'Devil Hunters'. For Demon Hunters it's more acurate the term: Caçadores de Demônios. Caça-Demônios can also be used, it's a little more informal. You can switch Demônios (Demons) for Monstros (Monsters) on each one; so, Caçadores de monstros ou Caça-monstros.
What specific shades of meaning does 'Demônios' connote that 'Diabo' does not?

To me, 'Devil' and 'Demon' sound like synonyms, except in contexts, like D&D, where each term has specifically been applied to a distinct in-game faction. In Brazilian Portuguese, do 'Demônio' and 'Diabo' refer to different types or classes of fiends or evil spirits?

I preferred the sound of 'Diabo', but if there are shades of meaning, I would like to know.

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2 - Yes. Brazil has Caçadores units, like so: https://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ca%C3%A7ador_(militar). In modern Brazilian military, this term came to be denominated "pressure combat" in precision shooters of the Army; which must always be in pairs and are responsible for harassing enemy troops. So, you can look for a substitute name, if you like; OR use Caçador despite all this as a cover up name for covert ops, perhaps.
Well, Caçador is such an awesome title, I kind of want to use it.

But what would you (or any forumite who knows Vrazilian Portuguese) have Brazilian monster hunters call themselves, informally, speaking amonst themselves in the inner core of a special unit like BOPE and CORE or with members of other Brazilian tactical teams that they are aware of have similar duties, because they also know about the supernatural threat?

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3 - We use Comando (https://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comandos), really.
Other than that, I'd call it Forças Especiais, or Special Forces. Some kind of synonym like that.
How does 'Comando do Santa Cruz' sound as the informal name used for a secret group inside ABIN of monster hunters who work closely with the occult intelligence of the Vatican?

Their real acronyms, titles and cover assignments would change regularly and many of them might be PSC contractors rather than officially employed by ABIN, but such secret groups usually pick up semi-official nicknames despite the security protocols (e.g. 'The Army of Northern Virginia' and 'the Activity' for the United States Army Centra Spike/Torn Victor/Grey Fox/MSA/ISA).

Or do you have a better suggestion for what they are called?

I was wondering whether to use a reference to the Southern Cross in the semi-official moniker.

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4 - Intelligence analyst is Analista de Inteligência; Investigator is Investigador. Plural is Analistas de Inteligência and Investigadores. Both terms are widly used by brazillian officers. You can also use Detetive / Detetives (detective).
What title would you expect case officers in an intelligence service to have?

Those are the guys and gals who recruit agents of foreign nationalities in order to collect sensitive information, i.e. case officers are real-world spies (because no one in the world has James Bond's job of bumbling about under his own name trying to collect intelligence by counting the people who try to kill him).

Case officers are the field officers of intelligence services, as opposed to analysts and support staff. They're not assassins or direct-action commandos, but rather specialists in actively collecting information through HUMINT, i.e. recruiting agents and setting up networks of them, handling the agents and tasking them with information requests, as well as arranging for the data to make its way to their superiors without exposing their agents.

In a professional setting in Brazil, i.e. among people who know enough about the intelligence world so that they'd feel stupid using inaccurate media terms like 'spies' and would make a distinction between a person who reported to a foreign intelligence officer (in English, such a person is an 'agent') and the professional intelligence officer himself, what term would be used to refer to someone who seemed to be working as a case officer for a foreign power?

Say, perhaps the Argentines, Americans, Venezuelans or someone else, but, in any event, someone trained by a national intelligence service in tradecraft and agent handling. What's a non-cringey Brazilian Portuguese term to use for someone like that?

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5 - Monstro (monster), mago (wizard), mágico (magician), feiticeiro (Sorceror), bruxo (warlock), bruxa (witch), sobrenatural (supernatural), fantasma (ghost), vampiro (vampire), estranho (weird/strange), lobisomem (werewolf)... In general terms, monstro or criatura can be used. Bicho can be used as well... it means animal, but in a creature kind of way, undefined animal.
Awesome, cool.
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Old 04-25-2019, 08:06 AM   #43
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Default Re: [MH] Brazilian Secret Monster Hunters

on the diablo vs demonos, i think diablo connotes satan himself while demonos connotes any old demon
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Old 04-25-2019, 09:29 AM   #44
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Default The Supernatural and the Evil One to Brazilians

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on the diablo vs demonos, i think diablo connotes satan himself while demonos connotes any old demon
That's interesting.

It also brings up another question. How likely are Brazilians who discover the existence of monsters and the supernatural to conceptualize it in explicitly Christian and Catholic terms? That is, how much do the Brazilian monster hunters feel that Satan himself has to do with the unnatural evils they combat?

I understand that the views of any reasonable subsection of a whole nation will never be homogenous and that individuals will differ enormously. All the same, in terms of sociology, demographic studies, political science, religious anthropology and various studies of polls and statistics, it's possible to discuss broad trends in views and attitudes within populations.

So, can someone more familiar with any of Brazil, South American cultures and Catholicism provide some thoughts on what the prevailing views among Brazilian monster hunters are likely to be?
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Old 04-25-2019, 11:54 AM   #45
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Default Re: [MH] Brazilian Secret Monster Hunters

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Please elaborate.

The CIA, for example, is largely an ossified, risk-averse and highly bureaucratic organization, much less able or willing to carry out covert operations that are potentially sensitive or controversial than the intelligence organizations of dozens of other countries. What is it that you believe that the CIA could do that no Brazilian official organization could do?

And I don't know what the FBI might do that Brazilian federal police cannot do. I know that Brazilian police kill people at roughly 5:1 compared to US police (ca 8:1 corrected for population), which argues that it would be a lot easier to hide extrajudicial executions of occultists and human-like monsters in these statistics, but, obviously, the FBI are involved in very few shootings compared to local police in the US. I don't know whether the Policia Federal has more or less firefights than local police in Brazil, but I strongly suspect that the same holds.
My opinion is probably heavly biased in my lost of faith in institutions here, and it was more about them don’t want to do something than them can’t do it.

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I expect that Brazilian monster hunters, who are technically members of military or police special forces aware of the supernatural, will usually tend to have a Military or Street lens of BJJ.

I want knives and machetes to be emphasized, due to the fact that it's usually better to decapitate monsters after you shoot them, just be to sure they're dead.

I've also seen photos of Brazilian Marines practicing sentry removal with a machete the length of an arm, which looked excessive, frankly.

Does anyone know something about Brazilian training, styles or preferences with bladed weapons?

Should I merely add Shortsword as an optional skill to the Military lens of BJJ or would there be a dedicated Brazilian style for using a machete?
We have the Peixera (that is the name of a Machete here). But I don’t know if the military force has some special training with it.

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Beyond the films Cidade de Deus and Tropa de Elite, the books they are based on and the sequels, what are good sources of inspiration or information on Rio's criminal underground and general Brazilian society, religion, folklore or occult legendry?
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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
Oh, this is really helping. I don't want to rely exclusively on Google Translate and what Spanish* I learnt 15-20 years ago for flavorful local terms.

Also, I'd really like any and all suggestions from anyone who knows more about Brazil than I (i.e. probably everyone who has so much as visited, not to mention all the Brazilians on these forums).

At the moment, the PCs are not headed for a visit to Brazil (at least not yet) and I merely foresee featuring NPCs from Brazil in an adventure set in several locales, perhaps to include Guyana, Venezuela and a number of Caribbean islands, but I still want those NPCs to feel Brazilian and be capable of revealing something of the occult scene in Brazil and the state of Brazilian monster hunters, occult intelligence and the relations between various groups, inside and outside Brazil, who are aware of the supernatural.

*Which, those few times I've spoken with anyone in Portugal, for example, got me a default well below Broken in Portuguese.


What specific shades of meaning does 'Demônios' connote that 'Diabo' does not?

To me, 'Devil' and 'Demon' sound like synonyms, except in contexts, like D&D, where each term has specifically been applied to a distinct in-game faction. In Brazilian Portuguese, do 'Demônio' and 'Diabo' refer to different types or classes of fiends or evil spirits?

I preferred the sound of 'Diabo', but if there are shades of meaning, I would like to know.


Well, Caçador is such an awesome title, I kind of want to use it.

But what would you (or any forumite who knows Vrazilian Portuguese) have Brazilian monster hunters call themselves, informally, speaking amonst themselves in the inner core of a special unit like BOPE and CORE or with members of other Brazilian tactical teams that they are aware of have similar duties, because they also know about the supernatural threat?


How does 'Comando do Santa Cruz' sound as the informal name used for a secret group inside ABIN of monster hunters who work closely with the occult intelligence of the Vatican?

Their real acronyms, titles and cover assignments would change regularly and many of them might be PSC contractors rather than officially employed by ABIN, but such secret groups usually pick up semi-official nicknames despite the security protocols (e.g. 'The Army of Northern Virginia' and 'the Activity' for the United States Army Centra Spike/Torn Victor/Grey Fox/MSA/ISA).

Or do you have a better suggestion for what they are called?

I was wondering whether to use a reference to the Southern Cross in the semi-official moniker.


What title would you expect case officers in an intelligence service to have?

Those are the guys and gals who recruit agents of foreign nationalities in order to collect sensitive information, i.e. case officers are real-world spies (because no one in the world has James Bond's job of bumbling about under his own name trying to collect intelligence by counting the people who try to kill him).

Case officers are the field officers of intelligence services, as opposed to analysts and support staff. They're not assassins or direct-action commandos, but rather specialists in actively collecting information through HUMINT, i.e. recruiting agents and setting up networks of them, handling the agents and tasking them with information requests, as well as arranging for the data to make its way to their superiors without exposing their agents.

In a professional setting in Brazil, i.e. among people who know enough about the intelligence world so that they'd feel stupid using inaccurate media terms like 'spies' and would make a distinction between a person who reported to a foreign intelligence officer (in English, such a person is an 'agent') and the professional intelligence officer himself, what term would be used to refer to someone who seemed to be working as a case officer for a foreign power?

Say, perhaps the Argentines, Americans, Venezuelans or someone else, but, in any event, someone trained by a national intelligence service in tradecraft and agent handling. What's a non-cringey Brazilian Portuguese term to use for someone like that?


Awesome, cool.
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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
That's interesting.

It also brings up another question. How likely are Brazilians who discover the existence of monsters and the supernatural to conceptualize it in explicitly Christian and Catholic terms? That is, how much do the Brazilian monster hunters feel that Satan himself has to do with the unnatural evils they combat?

I understand that the views of any reasonable subsection of a whole nation will never be homogenous and that individuals will differ enormously. All the same, in terms of sociology, demographic studies, political science, religious anthropology and various studies of polls and statistics, it's possible to discuss broad trends in views and attitudes within populations.

So, can someone more familiar with any of Brazil, South American cultures and Catholicism provide some thoughts on what the prevailing views among Brazilian monster hunters are likely to be?
I also have the impression that Diabo refers to Satan and demônio could refer to him or any other entity. But I’m not sure about it.
You can use Diabo if you prefer, it isn’t weird.

you could name them Caçadores do Mal. (hunters of evil)

Comando do Santa Cruz sounds good, but don’t have a “cool factor” in it. Also, Comando DO Santa Cruz sounds like Santa Cruz is a place, not the object holy cross. If your intent is to sound like the object you should use DA. Comando da Santa Cruz.

later I will write more
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Old 04-25-2019, 02:44 PM   #46
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Default Institutions and the Supernatural

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My opinion is probably heavly biased in my lost of faith in institutions here, and it was more about them don’t want to do something than them can’t do it.
In my experience, institutions do not have good intentions and mostly default to perpetuating their own existence and importance. Individuals, anywhere in the world, may or may not have good intentions, but a key point about societies is that the unconscious forces that affect them and the uncaring instutions that bestride them are usually much more powerful than any personality or intention. Change is always occuring, but outside of inspirational fiction, it cannot usually be directed or controlled. Fighting the system can be heroic, but even without any concerted plan or united effort, the system will win.

This isn't just a negative point of view, as the systems of most successful societies happen to be set up so that most people who desire power over other people will spend most of their time and focus fighting each other and institutions that by design oppose each other and end up not being able to do too much damage. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is what the rest of us manage to get up to while those who pursue power are busy with each other.

From a setting design point of view, the world of my campaign was our world until the supernatural started to emerge (or reemerge) in the 1980s and 1990s. Even into the 2000s, it was still effectively our world, because rare and unprovable supernatural influences that mostly occurred at night in outnof the way places mostly didn't change history. And when some people discovered the supernatural along the way, but failed to secure any scientific evidence or reproduce any effects in a laboratory setting, they found out how resistant the institutions of the world are to paradigm-altering change.

Most nations in the setting have a government that is unaware of the supernatural, even in 2018-2019, even with violence and instability in the world perhaps an order of magnitiude than it is in our real world. Most nations also have lots of small groups of trusted friends, coworkers or other allies who've encountered the supernatural through their private and professional lives, but had no success with convincing the official authorities.

As a result, what amount to extralegal factions of supernaturally-savvy people exist within many agencies, bureaucracies, departments and organizations in the world, working around regulations and supervisors that insist on ignoring the truth of a huge threat to humanity.

Brazil is different than many other nations not because I believe that demographic institutions and the rule of law are stronger there than elsewhere, but precisely because elements of the armed forces, intelligence and security services, very much including the police, are already experienced and prepared in working secretly and against official laws, for purposes that the democratic government may not support. That is bad in the real world, but makes it easier for shadowy groups of monster hunters to spring up and grow in power.

Essentially, the Brazil I plan to feature in my campaign has a Deep State of those in power within the intelligence, military and security apparatus who know about the supernatural and have formed an informal allegiance to fight it.
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Old 04-25-2019, 03:14 PM   #47
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Default Re: [MH] Brazilian Secret Monster Hunters

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on the diablo vs demonos, i think diablo connotes satan himself while demonos connotes any old demon
For what is worth, I'd say the same is true in English: "devil" generally connotes Satan, while "demon" refers to any evil spirit. This isn't universally true and I'm sure you can find many instances where "devil" refers to others, but I would say (at least in the dialect I speak) that is a general connotation.

I also agree diablo sounds a lot cooler than demonos.
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Old 04-25-2019, 03:16 PM   #48
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Default Re: Brazilian Terms for Monster Hunters, Commandos and Spies

Great, I'll do what I can!

1 - What specific shades of meaning does 'Demônios' connote that 'Diabo' does not?
Demônios is Demons, like the class of demons. It's less specific, a broad term. There's a lot of demons.

Diabo (Devil) is a more specific term, like Satan/Lucifer. He is THE devil. There are not a lot of them. Then again, it can be used in the same sense of the phrase "You're the devil" when cursing someone normal. In brazilian grammar they are synonyms, but there's a nuance between them.

2 - Well, Caçador is such an awesome title, I kind of want to use it.
Use it! It's cool to us too!

But what would you (or any forumite who knows Vrazilian Portuguese) have Brazilian monster hunters call themselves, informally, speaking amonst themselves in the inner core of a special unit like BOPE and CORE or with members of other Brazilian tactical teams that they are aware of have similar duties, because they also know about the supernatural threat?
Probably some kind of slang, like "E aí, matador?" ("What's up, killer/slayer?"). The Tropa de Elite movie used a BOPE term that has been integrated to our culture since the film, which is Caveira (means Skull / Death's Head). They call each other like that. Example: Are you a Caveira or not, goddammit?", asks the BOPE captain, to the novice special force, who flinched in combat.

AND they use the same word as an affirmative; i.e, "The enemy is in your sights?", asks the squad leader. "Caveira, captain," replies the sniper, meaning "yes", "hell, yes", "****, yes".

3 - How does 'Comando do Santa Cruz' sound as the informal name used for a secret group inside ABIN of monster hunters who work closely with the occult intelligence of the Vatican?
What Empada said. Comando da Santa Cruz or Comando de Santa Cruz would be more appropriate than DO Santa Cruz.

("De", "do" or "da" are used according to the subject of the sentences and with the pronouns. Basically, it is not recommended to contract the preposition "de" with the articles "o" and "a" or with pronouns (be it personal or demonstratives: he / she, this / this) when they constitute subject of infinitive phrase, since the preposition rules only the verb, not the subject.)

Then Comando do Santa Cruz (Santa Cruz's Command) would only be right if it was referred to a name of a male person called Santa Cruz. If Santa Cruz is the name of a place, or an order, you must use the / de, respectively.

Comando da Santa Cruz is Holy Cross Commandos. It's a cool name. Sounds religious.

4 - Their real acronyms, titles and cover assignments would change regularly and many of them might be PSC contractors rather than officially employed by ABIN, but such secret groups usually pick up semi-official nicknames despite the security protocols (e.g. 'The Army of Northern Virginia' and 'the Activity' for the United States Army Centra Spike/Torn Victor/Grey Fox/MSA/ISA).

Or do you have a better suggestion for what they are called?

I was wondering whether to use a reference to the Southern Cross in the semi-official moniker.

Those names here in Brasil tend to be short. Grupo Protege (Protect Group), RG Brasil, Garra, Graber... Those are real brazilian security company names; you can think something among those lines. Acronyms are also used a lot, sometimes as initials. Segurança PB, for instance, is a common name for "Pip Bpy Security"; ;)

Southern Cross is Cruz do Sul. SC could be used.

5 - In a professional setting in Brazil, i.e. among people who know enough about the intelligence world so that they'd feel stupid using inaccurate media terms like 'spies' and would make a distinction between a person who reported to a foreign intelligence officer (in English, such a person is an 'agent') and the professional intelligence officer himself, what term would be used to refer to someone who seemed to be working as a case officer for a foreign power?

Agente (agent) is the broad term here, in all of the above cases.

6 - Say, perhaps the Argentines, Americans, Venezuelans or someone else, but, in any event, someone trained by a national intelligence service in tradecraft and agent handling. What's a non-cringey Brazilian Portuguese term to use for someone like that?
We probably would say agente or oficial (agent/official) of X country; agente americano (american agent), or oficial argentino (argentinean official), etc.
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Old 04-25-2019, 03:23 PM   #49
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Default Re: The Supernatural and the Evil One to Brazilians

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
That's interesting.

It also brings up another question. How likely are Brazilians who discover the existence of monsters and the supernatural to conceptualize it in explicitly Christian and Catholic terms? That is, how much do the Brazilian monster hunters feel that Satan himself has to do with the unnatural evils they combat?

I understand that the views of any reasonable subsection of a whole nation will never be homogenous and that individuals will differ enormously. All the same, in terms of sociology, demographic studies, political science, religious anthropology and various studies of polls and statistics, it's possible to discuss broad trends in views and attitudes within populations.

So, can someone more familiar with any of Brazil, South American cultures and Catholicism provide some thoughts on what the prevailing views among Brazilian monster hunters are likely to be?
A LOT.

Brazil is a country that has a rich religious diversity. Due to cultural miscegenation, fruit of the various immigration processes, we find in our country several religions (Christian, Islamic, Afro-Brazilian, Jewish, etc.). By having a Lay State, Brazil presents freedom of religious worship and also the separation of State and Church. The data of 2010 census gives us:

- Roman Catholic: 64.6%
- Evangelicals: 22.2%
- Spiritist: 2%
- Umbanda and Candomblé: 0.3%
- Without religion 8%

So, a whopping 88% of the religious brazilians are christians. Monsters and the supernatural would be seen as very demonic in nature, as "devil spawns", "witches sons", and so forth.
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Old 04-25-2019, 03:50 PM   #50
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Default Re: Institutions and the Supernatural

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
In my experience, institutions do not have good intentions and mostly default to perpetuating their own existence and importance. Individuals, anywhere in the world, may or may not have good intentions, but a key point about societies is that the unconscious forces that affect them and the uncaring instutions that bestride them are usually much more powerful than any personality or intention. Change is always occuring, but outside of inspirational fiction, it cannot usually be directed or controlled. Fighting the system can be heroic, but even without any concerted plan or united effort, the system will win.

This isn't just a negative point of view, as the systems of most successful societies happen to be set up so that most people who desire power over other people will spend most of their time and focus fighting each other and institutions that by design oppose each other and end up not being able to do too much damage. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is what the rest of us manage to get up to while those who pursue power are busy with each other.

From a setting design point of view, the world of my campaign was our world until the supernatural started to emerge (or reemerge) in the 1980s and 1990s. Even into the 2000s, it was still effectively our world, because rare and unprovable supernatural influences that mostly occurred at night in outnof the way places mostly didn't change history. And when some people discovered the supernatural along the way, but failed to secure any scientific evidence or reproduce any effects in a laboratory setting, they found out how resistant the institutions of the world are to paradigm-altering change.

Most nations in the setting have a government that is unaware of the supernatural, even in 2018-2019, even with violence and instability in the world perhaps an order of magnitiude than it is in our real world. Most nations also have lots of small groups of trusted friends, coworkers or other allies who've encountered the supernatural through their private and professional lives, but had no success with convincing the official authorities.

As a result, what amount to extralegal factions of supernaturally-savvy people exist within many agencies, bureaucracies, departments and organizations in the world, working around regulations and supervisors that insist on ignoring the truth of a huge threat to humanity.

Brazil is different than many other nations not because I believe that demographic institutions and the rule of law are stronger there than elsewhere, but precisely because elements of the armed forces, intelligence and security services, very much including the police, are already experienced and prepared in working secretly and against official laws, for purposes that the democratic government may not support. That is bad in the real world, but makes it easier for shadowy groups of monster hunters to spring up and grow in power.

Essentially, the Brazil I plan to feature in my campaign has a Deep State of those in power within the intelligence, military and security apparatus who know about the supernatural and have formed an informal allegiance to fight it.
Just to say I endorse this vision. Hehe!
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