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Old 10-13-2017, 07:26 AM   #1741
Anaraxes
 
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Default Re: Real-Life Weirdness

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   #1742
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Default Re: Real-Life Weirdness

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Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post
...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   #1743
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Default Re: Real-Life Weirdness

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   #1744
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Default Re: Real-Life Weirdness

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruno View Post
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   #1745
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Default Re: Real-Life Weirdness

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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Old 10-20-2017, 06:22 AM   #1746
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Default Re: Real-Life Weirdness

I think I've been grossly misunderstood. I didn't say that man-eating animals are a plague upon our landscape, any more than I said there's a serial killer hiding under every bush.

It's just that it's one thing for people to be in a mad panic over something that isn't there, and another thing for people to be in a mad panic over something they are actually having a problem with - as in actual man-eating animals that are actually eating people. As is the case with those man-eating lions in east Africa, who are actually killing women and children, because lions are plenty smart enough to recognize the difference between a man with a gun, an unarmed woman burdened with water, and children, and pick the soft targets.

An animal that isn't actually eating people is not a thing that's actually there - it's just as vaporous as Spring Heeled Jack and the Monkey Man, and just as much a product of mass hysteria.

It's not like all the lions in east Africa are man eaters, and for the most part the locals aren't under the impression they are - they've lived with lions for a long time and they know that it's very abnormal behavior (thus the somewhat pervasive belief that the lions are ghosts and have been sent by an angry sorcerer). However where there is one group of man-eating lions, every large land-dwelling carnivore gets shot until the man-eaters are killed. Even though everyone knows it's lions.
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Old 10-20-2017, 12:13 PM   #1747
David Johnston2
 
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Default Re: Real-Life Weirdness

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phase_Shifter View Post
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.
Unless of course I actually swim in the ocean on a daily basis. Then my money's on the sharks. Or the jellyfish of course.

Last edited by David Johnston2; 10-20-2017 at 12:18 PM.
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Old 10-20-2017, 01:15 PM   #1748
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Default Re: Real-Life Weirdness

Using global statistics of all humanity is rather deceitful in this context. Because odds drastically change based on specifics.
People living near wild lions would be stupid to ignore even a rumor that one attacked a person nearby. It's not paranoia to take aggressive precautions when it's your family members' lives on the line.
I didn't misunderstand you, Bruno. I got you, fam. ;)
(Okay, that was my attempt at being youthful and hip for the week.)
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Old 10-20-2017, 01:48 PM   #1749
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Default Re: Real-Life Weirdness

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruno View Post
I think I've been grossly misunderstood. I didn't say that man-eating animals are a plague upon our landscape, any more than I said there's a serial killer hiding under every bush.

It's just that it's one thing for people to be in a mad panic over something that isn't there, and another thing for people to be in a mad panic over something they are actually having a problem with - as in actual man-eating animals that are actually eating people. As is the case with those man-eating lions in east Africa, who are actually killing women and children, because lions are plenty smart enough to recognize the difference between a man with a gun, an unarmed woman burdened with water, and children, and pick the soft targets.

An animal that isn't actually eating people is not a thing that's actually there - it's just as vaporous as Spring Heeled Jack and the Monkey Man, and just as much a product of mass hysteria.

It's not like all the lions in east Africa are man eaters, and for the most part the locals aren't under the impression they are - they've lived with lions for a long time and they know that it's very abnormal behavior (thus the somewhat pervasive belief that the lions are ghosts and have been sent by an angry sorcerer). However where there is one group of man-eating lions, every large land-dwelling carnivore gets shot until the man-eaters are killed. Even though everyone knows it's lions.
I suppose one can appreciate that. One serial killer can send a pretty big city into panic too.
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Old 10-20-2017, 01:49 PM   #1750
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Default Re: Real-Life Weirdness

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyndaran View Post
Using global statistics of all humanity is rather deceitful in this context. Because odds drastically change based on specifics.
People living near wild lions would be stupid to ignore even a rumor that one attacked a person nearby. It's not paranoia to take aggressive precautions when it's your family members' lives on the line.
I didn't misunderstand you, Bruno. I got you, fam. ;)
(Okay, that was my attempt at being youthful and hip for the week.)
In any case though maneaters are rare, I should think goateaters are not and for subsistence farmers the difference is meaningless.
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