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Old 09-21-2017, 07:27 PM   #1741
Dalillama
 
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Default Re: Real-Life Weirdness

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Originally Posted by Flyndaran View Post
There have been similar issues with recipes including nutmeg which can be toxic and somewhat horrifically hallucinogenic in high doses.
Or in some cases low doses; my husband has a sensitivity to the stuff and those effects kick in at any dosage. Means we have to be extremely careful of labelling and can't buy desserts.
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Old 09-21-2017, 08:03 PM   #1742
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Default Re: Real-Life Weirdness

We are now entering pumpkin spice season. My condolences.
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Old 09-23-2017, 12:14 PM   #1743
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First excerpt from the New York Times, second from the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery, 1990: a tradition of macabre feasts, perfect for subjecting a group of players to a refined evening with their rich, powerful, villainous antagonist.

From the NYT, the "Hell Banquet" of the Roman emperor Diometian:

Quote:
...the glowering, paranoid Roman emperor Domitian... a room black from floor to ceiling, lit by low-burning lamps, with each guest’s name engraved on a *tombstone-like stela. The food: of the kind normally offered to the dead, and entirely black. The emperor spoke of mortality as his guests, the city’s leading lights, ate in silence, convinced they were supping at their own funeral... Instead, each was presented with his personal gravestone from the table, which turned out to be made of silver...
From the Oxford Symposium, a Carnival pre-Lenten feast: (warning, contemporary racial term employed)

Quote:
...even the garden.. paths had been gravelled in coal, its little pool edged with basalt and filled with ink, its plantings made dark in cypress and pine. The dining table was decorated with baskets of violets and scabiosa set on its black cloth, while lighting was supplied by chandeliers of votive candles and candelabra putting forth green flames. A hidden orchestra played dirges for guests served by nude negresses, their stockings of silver cloth strewn with teardrops... turtle soup, black Russian rye bread, black olives, caviar, smoked Frankfurt boudin noirs, pourtages of mullet, coulis of truffles, and sauces for game the colour of liquorice and boot-blacking; desserts included chocolate creams, puddings and fruits such as raisins, black cherries and plums; the drinks in dark glasses featured the most deeply colored wines: Tenedos, Roussillon, or Port; all finished off with coffee, walnut liqueur, kvass, porter and stout.
(Minor edit: I learn upon a more thorough reading of the source that the feast described is literary, but that its author threw a similar and indeed even more elaborate Carnival feast for his guests, so I will leave it here as exemplary.)
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Last edited by William; 09-23-2017 at 12:26 PM.
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Old 09-24-2017, 12:00 AM   #1744
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First excerpt from the New York Times, second from the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery, 1990: a tradition of macabre feasts, perfect for subjecting a group of players to a refined evening with their rich, powerful, villainous antagonist.

From the NYT, the "Hell Banquet" of the Roman emperor Diometian:



From the Oxford Symposium, a Carnival pre-Lenten feast: (warning, contemporary racial term employed)



(Minor edit: I learn upon a more thorough reading of the source that the feast described is literary, but that its author threw a similar and indeed even more elaborate Carnival feast for his guests, so I will leave it here as exemplary.)
Yet more proof that reality is odder than fiction. The above would be called 'melodramatic' or 'unbelievable' or cinematic villain stuff' if used in fiction, but reality can overmatch it. It's truly impressive what rich, protected, bored, and twisted people can come up with to indulge themselves.
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Old 09-25-2017, 08:54 AM   #1745
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The post-French-Revolution food critic Grimeaux (I'm probably spelling/remembering that wrong) held a notorious Black Feast in honor of the slain and celebrating the birth of a "new dark age". It was much like the pre-Lent feast, although I think the wait staff were clothed, with the added twist of being served off a coffin and the guest of honor being a live pig.

Being inducted into his "club" of friends required slamming back 17 cups of black coffee.

He was a weird duck.
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Old 10-13-2017, 07:26 AM   #1746
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This one's not so much a plot seed, as if your game needs vampires, you've probably already thought of them. But it might be a source for adding some interesting details or particular locales to an ongoing urban fantasy, or a bit of weirdness or threatened supernatural weirdness to an otherwise normal modern game.

Quote:
The United Nations said on Monday it has pulled staff out of two districts in southern Malawi where a vampire scare has triggered mob violence in which at least five people have been killed.
...
The UNDSS report said at least five people had been killed in the area since mid-September by lynch mobs accusing them of vampirism. It said mobs searching for vampires have been mounting road blocks in the district, raising security concerns.
...
"This development has been of grave concern to the President and the entire Government," {Malawian President Peter Mutharika's} office said in a statement.
...
The UNDSS report said the vampirism rumors appear to have originated in neighboring Mozambique...

NT Times
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Old 10-13-2017, 11:48 AM   #1747
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...a bit of weirdness or threatened supernatural weirdness to an otherwise normal modern game.
Panics of various kinds reoccur pretty regularly; sometimes it's "just" panic and fear, and sometimes it becomes aggression leading to witch hunts. Vampires, werewolves, literal witches, communists, poisoners, Satanists, evil clowns, monkey men [1] - when a community gets it into their head that they're under attack and they can't find the thing they're convinced is attacking them, things get bad quick.

Actual saboteurs/serial killers/serial arsonists/big old man eating animals are another thing, but they can get spun up into a panic. There have been a sharp uptick in lion-on-human attacks since about 2000 on the East coast of Africa. The particularly weird thing is that they're entire prides of healthy, young, fit lions, not isolated, injured, sickly lions. Its bizarrely caused by climate change - seasonal flooding has been worse since about 2000, and when the floods are bad the game animals disperse and the lions get desperate. First they begin to prey on domestic animals, and then because of this they become familiar with humans, and as the flooding continues they advance to preying on humans. Lions are plenty smart enough to go through thatched roofs, knock down light wicker walls, and pick off lone women walking to market, or children walking to school.
If they're not caught, then when the flood water recedes they take a break from hunting humans... until the next flood.
The net result was that the locals suddenly had a pervasive and persistent problem with mysterious disappearing, reappearing, man-eating lions. A lot of folks declared them to be spirit lions sent by angry or enemy witch-doctors (rumor seems to have been started by witch-doctors looking to make a buck selling spirit-lion-repelling spells).

[1] No, really. India had a series of mysterious "monkey men" incidents in various different big cities. Basically Spring-heeled Jack for the sub-continent.
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Old 10-17-2017, 12:40 AM   #1748
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Cuban intelligence testing "psychogenic" weapons on American diplomats:


Mass hysteria may explain 'sonic attacks' in Cuba, say top neurologists
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Old 10-19-2017, 11:19 AM   #1749
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Actual saboteurs/serial killers/serial arsonists/big old man eating animals are another thing, but they can get spun up into a panic.
Just a reminder:

Fatal shark attacks vs bubonic plague deaths, 2010-2015
Code:
Year  #fatal shark attacks    #bubonic plague deaths
2011    13 
2012     7 
2013    10 
2014     3 
2015     6 
---------------------------------------------------------------------
total    39                           584
Total
https://www.floridamuseum.ufl.edu/fi...ghest-attacks/
http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs267/en/

You're about 15 times more likely to die from a flea bite than a shark bite.
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Old 10-19-2017, 03:28 PM   #1750
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Most plague infections in the U.S. come from rodents like squirrels, chipmunks, and prairie dogs. My chances of getting bitten by one of them is infinitely higher than a shark... seeing as how I can't swim and avoid bodies of water larger than puddles.
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