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Old 11-03-2017, 03:07 AM   #1
WaterAndWindSpirit
 
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Default Urban arcana: What are shadowkinds options to make up a past when they do not exist?

Hello everyone.

So while I'm trying to run an Urban Arcana GURPS conversion, I'm wondering what are the options for Shadowkind (that is, people from the D&D world dropped in the middle of the modern world) to circumvent the fact that there are no records of them existing until literally 3 days ago, if they want to get an identity. I have a few options already, I'm just looking for more, and the consequences of using these options.

1) Forgeries.

Outright make up a past and the documents to go along with that past.

Advantages: it gives them somewhat of an existence in the world.
Disadvantages: It requires some contacts. Also, some skills will be difficult to explain.

2) Pretend to be a refugee

There are enough wars, these days mostly in Africa, that if you have the right phenotype, you could pass for someone coming from there.

Advantages: There are organizations dedicated to help refugees, and you can justify your fighting skills.
Disadvantages: depending on where you end up, the Gov't might decide to send you back to "where you came from".

3) Fake amnesia.

Pretend you have woken up where you just arrived and have no memories whatsoever of your life before. You don't even remember your own name, nor why you woke up in the middle of New York with a chain mail, a bastard sword, and a purse full of copper coins.

Advantages: you don't have to act consistently with an elaborate cover story.
Disadvantages: Faking amnesia might not fool some medical professionals. Even then, I have no clue what the Gov't would do if they found an amnesiac person that they can't find any records of them existing anywhere, to say nothing of the walking armory the typical D&D adventurer is carrying on their person at any given time.

Any other ideas?
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Old 11-04-2017, 11:07 AM   #2
thorr-kan
 
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Default Re: Urban arcana: What are shadowkinds options to make up a past when they do not exi

Urban Arcana, Menace Manual, and Dark*Matter all contain organizations of shadow or alien kind. Contact with said organizations would address some of these problems. So, find your people?
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Old 11-04-2017, 01:11 PM   #3
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Default Re: Urban arcana: What are shadowkinds options to make up a past when they do not exi

Quote:
Originally Posted by thorr-kan View Post
Urban Arcana, Menace Manual, and Dark*Matter all contain organizations of shadow or alien kind. Contact with said organizations would address some of these problems. So, find your people?
That only passes the problem to said organizations, though admittedly forgeries become much easier for an organization than for isolated individuals, but the problem that we still have to deal with is how to address people who are not in any registered database because until a few days ago they literally were not in our world.

Under which statutes would they fall? Most of the new arrivals will, thanks to the Common tongue being scrubbed from their brain and replaced with the local language, speak near perfect [Insert local language of where they drop] but won't be able to speak a single word of another language from Earth, which will make proving them as immigrants incredibly hard.

I don't want an answer of "find X organization and then handwave all the legal issues", I want an answer that would actually deal with the legality of the issue. So far, all I've got is "find the proper organizations and hope they've got some decent contacts that could forge the required documents".

Thank you in advance.
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Old 11-04-2017, 01:31 PM   #4
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Default Re: Urban arcana: What are shadowkinds options to make up a past when they do not exi

Why don't they just tell the truth?
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Old 11-04-2017, 02:01 PM   #5
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Default Re: Urban arcana: What are shadowkinds options to make up a past when they do not exi

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Originally Posted by sir_pudding View Post
Why don't they just tell the truth?
Because (almost) no one would believe them.

Basically, the average person has a Weirdness Censor on their mind. Say a wizard throws a fireball in a bar, the survivors will remember a terrorist throwing an IED into the nightclub.

Should a werewolf be on the loose, everyone who sees it will remember a (very large) rabid dog.

Goblin street gangs will be remembered as kids or "vertically challenged" people committing crimes.

And so on and so forth.

A minority of people (called "Aware") are able to accept the reality of magic. Telling the truth would be the most surefire way to end up in the loony bin. Admittedly, most of the shadowkinds (especially those trained in some form of magic) would find it easy to escape... But the ones who ended up in the loony bin are probably not eager to repeat the experience, and after the first few dozens end up there, word has probably gotten around that telling the truth is a bad idea.
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Old 11-04-2017, 02:04 PM   #6
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Default Re: Urban arcana: What are shadowkinds options to make up a past when they do not exi

Why doesn't the weirdness censor provide a rational explanation for them?

Also in many places in the world, being evaluated for mental health and then released isn't so bad. Unless this setting has like cinematic horror movie mental health care or something.
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Old 11-04-2017, 02:32 PM   #7
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Default Re: Urban arcana: What are shadowkinds options to make up a past when they do not exi

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Originally Posted by sir_pudding View Post
Why doesn't the weirdness censor provide a rational explanation for them?

Also in many places in the world, being evaluated for mental health and then released isn't so bad. Unless this setting has like cinematic horror movie mental health care or something.
The rational explanation is that they are insane. Also, as someone who has been hospitalized twice without my consent, including one time after being beaten up by a family member (long story), I can tell you, the mental health system where I live is completely messed up. I wouldn't blame anyone murdering the orderlies to escape a mental health facility, and in fact I would be tempted to say "good riddance, these guys definitely had it coming a thousand times over". Does that mean I live in a "cinematic horror movie"? I never noticed. Anyways, ending up in a mental healthcare facility is not an option for most of these characters. So some plausible cover story is important.
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Old 11-04-2017, 02:37 PM   #8
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Default Re: Urban arcana: What are shadowkinds options to make up a past when they do not exi

Quote:
Originally Posted by WaterAndWindSpirit View Post
The rational explanation is that they are insane.
Why wouldn't it be "refugee"? That is a closer fit to what they say they are.

At any rate around here they don't have the money to hospitalize people who aren't dangerous and don't have private funds to pay for it, hence the large homeless population (many of whom also lack documentation, but nobody is really concerned about this either until they try to work).

Which also suggests just being homeless, until they figure out what they are doing, which as murder hoboes they have a lot of experience with anyway.
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Old 11-04-2017, 02:52 PM   #9
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Default Re: Urban arcana: What are shadowkinds options to make up a past when they do not exi

So it's homelessness until they can figure out a way to get into the system (if they ever do)? Maybe doing undeclared work (so that someone won't have to pay taxes on salaries and such for ditch digging and so on, as some of them would be uniquely suited for) and/or surviving in the wild for those that have the experience?

I was honestly expecting more drastic measures to be taken.

So, assuming they have competent lawyers on their side (after they made contact with one organization that is willing to help them), what would be the legal options for them?

If some of them are disciplined enough to be a good fit for the military and want to join the army, could they get a fast track for whatever legal procedures would need to be done?

Would marriage with an "Aware" citizen be an option on the table for the honest folks who just want to get some identification, and then do some honest work?
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Old 11-04-2017, 03:06 PM   #10
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Default Re: Urban arcana: What are shadowkinds options to make up a past when they do not exi

It really depends on where in the world they end up. In some places "warlord" is a profession just like where they came from and "whose militia are you in" is a more important question than "what is your citizenship". In other places they probably will be swept up and put into a prison camp. In most industrialized countries they likely will be ignored until they do something to attract attention. It isn't like there are large international databases of biometric data, where every person is accounted for, and they have to routinely pass checkpoints (unless the setting has has this specifically).
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