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Old 04-16-2019, 04:09 AM   #21
dcarson
 
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Default Re: [MH] Brazilian Secret Monster Hunters

In 1991 various countries stated banning lead shot for hunting migratory birds, some had even wider bans. One of the alternatives is steel shot. Coincidence?
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Old 04-16-2019, 07:32 AM   #22
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Default Re: [MH] Brazilian Secret Monster Hunters

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In 1991 various countries stated banning lead shot for hunting migratory birds, some had even wider bans. One of the alternatives is steel shot. Coincidence?
Heh. Oddly. I've often considered that while out in the field hunting waterfowl. A good load of steel shot should just penetrate a little way into a man-sized materialized spirit or in-betweener, then remain stuck there, draining them of their supernatural powers.

Luke
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Old 04-16-2019, 07:52 AM   #23
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Default Re: [MH] Brazilian Secret Monster Hunters

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In 1991 various countries stated banning lead shot for hunting migratory birds, some had even wider bans. One of the alternatives is steel shot. Coincidence?
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Originally Posted by lwcamp View Post
Heh. Oddly. I've often considered that while out in the field hunting waterfowl. A good load of steel shot should just penetrate a little way into a man-sized materialized spirit or in-betweener, then remain stuck there, draining them of their supernatural powers.

Luke
It was, apparently, a coincidence, as by 1991, supernatural phenomena was mostly confined to rare prophetic dreams, psychic influences or other very subtle effects (except for a few incidents in isolated, out of the way places connected to Vile Vortices or Places of Power). Pretty much no one in any position of power or authority seriously believed in monsters that early and there really weren't any physical paranormal threats to fight, either.

Later on, however, many PCs have been glad of the easy availability of steel shot in stores, when facing various fey threats or manifested spirits.
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Old 04-16-2019, 08:15 AM   #24
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Default Re: Mundane Countermeasures

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Historically, iron was used not only against fairies, but against satanic powers, witchcraft, curses, and other forces of evil. While I have found most references to this in Europe, some of this idea seems to be found elsewhere, with some spirits in China said to be repelled by iron (notably dragons, which are not particularly evil in Chinese myth, but are more like spirits than physical beings).
Indeed.

I plan to have the Brazilian monster hunters make heavy use of 9x19mm rounds with sintered iron projectiles of 90-100 grains, which with +P loads might reach 1500-1600 fps from fairly long barrels. An equivalent in .40 S&W also seems plausible, given that many Brazilian police forces prefer that chambering for pistols and carbines.

I don't know how well sintered iron bullets work with rifle rounds and the higher velocities involved there, but an alternative might be hardened steel AP rounds for 5.56x45mm and 7.62x51mm. Does anyone know about common rounds in those calibers that use steel and not tungsten or other advanced penetrators?

It seems that 7.62x51mm weapons are much preferred over 5.56x45mm ones among the police tactical teams in Rio de Janeiro, with BOPE using the AR10A4 rifle in preference to M16/M4-type rifles. Photographs and anecdotes suggest that 7.62x51mm rifles are also popular among other Brazilian SOF, both military and police.

This suggests that in my campaign, CBC should make a 7.62x51mm round with a high iron content meant for monster hunting use (although officially, it would probably be known as an AP round). Does anyone know of a real world 7.62x51mm round that has a projectile that is mostly iron (e.g. a hardened steel penetrator or similar)?

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Of course, commandos and the like will be carrying a good steel blade anyway. But brandishing it to ward off spells and spirits might be something they are trained to do (brandishing being a common method of driving off fae and of protecting oneself against their spells). They might also bring a horseshoe along to hang over the threshold of their dwelling, even if it is just a hotel room or a camp tent.

If you combine the influence of technology with the influence of iron, you might get the idea of an iron grounding wire. Loop it around symbolically important parts of your body and then let it dangle onto the ground. The idea being that hostile magic "grounds out" across the wire and into the earth, just like electricity (or something). I haven't heard of any actual occult practitioners using this method, but it seems like the sort of thing that a more technologically savvy group might think up. Heck, even if it doesn't work it will protect you against electrocution. You might even connect the wire to the base of your knife, so when you ward off an evil spell or spirit it can ground out the magic from the knife tip down to the ground, in analogy with a lightning rod (sharp points concentrate field lines, leading to ionization that both attracts sparks and inhibits them from forming in the first place, and then provides a harmless path to ground). Maybe they have a loop of their grounding wire around both thumbs, and a conductive steel handle on their blade so when they grasp their knife they get a good electrical (and magical) contact. It might also be that none of this electrical analogy stuff actually works, but the people in the field use it anyway because they think it does.

Luke
YES!

This is great. As the Brazilian monster hunters are relying on trial-and-error Occultism rather than Hidden Lore and Thaumatology, they'll use anything that seems to work in the field, even if it only provides a small bonus to mental resistance (and that only because of psychosomatic effects).

As an example, I plan to have all the 'Comando do Santa Cruz' operatives wear personal silver crosses blessed by a priest. The campaign is agnostic on the subject of individual religions, but having a personal item that you believe to be useful against curses might allow a Perk to resist better.

I think it's an excellent idea to have them all carry iron or steel knives (probably custom-made and engraved with crosses) and use wires to ground magic.
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EDIT: I just remembered that during the Boxer rebellion, the Yihequan (rebels) believed that the telegraph wires and rail lines were interfering with the flow of spiritual essences around China. They claimed that the wind whistling past the wires was the wind screaming as it was cut, the reddish fluid dripping off from condensation or after rains was the blood of China. Needless to say, they attacked this infrastructure. Telegraph wires were copper, but railways were steel. This gives some idea of historical beliefs outside of Europe of metals interacting with magic and spiritual forces.
Cool! Thanks a lot.

I love that kind of thing. Hopefully, some Brazilians can chime in with culture-specific stories about mundane countermeaures for local curses, spirits or monsters.
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Old 04-16-2019, 03:41 PM   #25
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Default Re: Mundane Countermeasures

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I don't know how well sintered iron bullets work with rifle rounds and the higher velocities involved there, but an alternative might be hardened steel AP rounds for 5.56x45mm and 7.62x51mm. Does anyone know about common rounds in those calibers that use steel and not tungsten or other advanced penetrators?
Checking Wikipedia for 7.62 NATO rounds, several of the German rounds, such as the DM41, DM111, and DM151, have steel bullet jackets with a thin copper or cupronickel coating. That looks as if it would suit.
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Old 04-16-2019, 03:52 PM   #26
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Default Signature Weapons

I want the 'Comando do Santo Cruz' operatives to use some signature weapons, blessed by supernaturally-savvy Vatican priests, engraved with crosses and containing materials that are inimical to common supernatural threats.

Iron is probably the most practical material and, fortunately, works very well against anything fey and even affects various demons, monsters and manifested spirits, as well as providing some protection from many types of magic. In setting, the iron may even be alloyed to make steel without making it metaphysically useless, so high-quality swords and knives are still useful against the supernatural.

I'm wondering what kind of knife Santa Cruz operatives from ABIN should favour as their anti-curse blessed blade. Are there any Brazilian knife types or designs that would be appropriate? Would a machete be suitable? Or a combat knife? A medieval dagger?

And how about firearms? If ABIN operatives involved in monster hunting have a 'service weapon' that they carry for self-defence, as opposed to locally-sourced weapons they use to avoid leaving forensic evidence, what should it be?

I'm thinking that it was adopted at some point between 2009-2012, when ABIN established a permanent (if secret) force of operatives to provide paramilitary support for covert Vatican operations against supernatural threats in Latin America and the Caribbean.

I might be looking for both a full-size duty handgun and a concealable model. They should share ammunition, which would be either the 9x19mm that the Brazilian armed forces use or the .40 S&W that is popular in Brazilian police service. As the Santa Cruz operatives would often be covered as security contractors, perhaps it might be worthwhile for them to use pistols in a caliber that can be licensed to employees of a PSC. Until 2016, 9x19mm weapons were restricted to military and police uses in Brazil, but I haven't found whether that affects licensed PSCs. If so, and if .45 ACP weapons were not so restricted in 2009-2012, perhaps that chambering might make sense.

Caliber aside, hefty construction with a lot of steel would be good. Stainless steel is nice. As modern as possible, however, able to mount accessories like compact reflex sight, laser or light. Ammo capacity of 12+, with 17+ being expected if it is 9x19mm. Match barrel for the full-sized gun, threaded for suppressor. Either adjustable sights or the option of mounting adjustable optics useable with suppressor, so that the weapon can be zeroed for both a lightweight +P sintered iron rounds and heavy subsonic JHP loads. Ambidextrous ergonomics. Quality trigger, not DAO, ideally SA/DA or a proprietary equivalent that allows a 5.5 lb. trigger pull or lighter.

I'm thinking a Taurus PT 24/7 OSS with some aftermarket upgrades.

Any other suggestions?
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Old 04-16-2019, 04:40 PM   #27
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Default Re: Mundane Countermeasures

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Checking Wikipedia for 7.62 NATO rounds, several of the German rounds, such as the DM41, DM111, and DM151, have steel bullet jackets with a thin copper or cupronickel coating. That looks as if it would suit.
I'm trying to discover how much of the projectile is actually the steel jacket and how much is other materials. No luck so far, but if anyone comes across a highly technical website full of specifics about various 7.62x51mm military ammunition types, by all means share.

Ideally, I'd want projectiles that are mostly iron, as with TL6-7 AP rounds, the WWII 9x19mm sintered iron pistol bullets that the Germans fielded near the end of the war and some Soviet rounds.
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Old 04-16-2019, 07:47 PM   #28
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Default Foreign Intelligence Services and Brazil's Monster Hunters

Given the propensity for rogue magicians and various supernatural entities to gravitate toward crime and the underworld, the Tri-border area between Argentina, Brazil and Paraguy is likely to be one hot spot for Brazilian monster hunters who operate out of the country. I don't currently envision the PCs visiting there in their upcoming adventures, but who knows what the future will bring.

In any case, I note that the former Argentina national intelligence service, SIDE, seems almost tailor-made for gaming. I expect that until 2015, a secret occult-aware faction within SIDE was both an important partner and rival of ABIN's 'Comando do Santa Cruz' when it came to the supernatural.

In fact, it seems that some of the SIDE intelligence officers who lost their jobs in 2003 might even have had an ideological sympathy for pro-Vatican Brazilian secret death squads against evil magicians and monsters, meaning that perhaps the Argentine intelligence community established its anti-occult response from former intelligence officers. While it lasted, a faction within SIDE might have supported it, but now with SIDE gone, the Argentine monster hunters might find themselves without official cover, though perhaps not without any allies at all within the intelligence community.

The new AFI intelligence service of Argentine might then represent a new player in Latin American monster hunting or they might have been established in the place of SIDE specifically to curtail the kind of black funds, black ops atmosphere in which monster hunting flourishes, at least while governments officially deny the existence of the supernatural.

I know that GURPS is popular in Brazil, so I imagine a lot of forumites know more about Brazil and South America than I do. How likely is it that spies and commandos from Argentine and Brazil who are operating against similar threats would have a good professional relationship? How likely is it that they'd constantly frustrate each other because of mutual distrust and rivalries? Any thoughts? Suggestions?

Does anyone have thoughts on potential occult factions within Latin American intelligence and security services?

How various neighboring countries might respond to Brazil carrying out covert operations in cooperation with the Vatican outside their borders?

Other intelligence agencies that might operate in similar locations as Brazil's monster hunting teams?

And what should I call the Argentine anti-occult operatives who were formerly supported by SIDE?
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Old 04-16-2019, 09:15 PM   #29
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Default Re: [MH] Brazilian Secret Monster Hunters

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Later on, however, many PCs have been glad of the easy availability of steel shot in stores, when facing various fey threats or manifested spirits.
In addition to steel, I'll note that you can order solid silver beads from jewelry supply catalogues that are pretty close to the size of 00 buckshot. They usually have a small hole drilled through them for stringing on a necklace, but that shouldn't make much difference. With that and a shotgun shell loader, you can make your own silver shot for use against werewolves or anything else vulnerable to that metal.

Luke
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Old 04-17-2019, 08:15 AM   #30
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Default Re: [MH] Brazilian Secret Monster Hunters

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In addition to steel, I'll note that you can order solid silver beads from jewelry supply catalogues that are pretty close to the size of 00 buckshot. They usually have a small hole drilled through them for stringing on a necklace, but that shouldn't make much difference. With that and a shotgun shell loader, you can make your own silver shot for use against werewolves or anything else vulnerable to that metal.

Luke
That's pretty cool.

I've actually never featured anything in my campaigns yet that is vulnerable to silver. The PCs have never met classic werewolves or any shapeshifters. They suppose that it's theoretically possible, through a variety of supernatural methods, but as previous campaigns have been set between 2009-2013, nothing as blatantly supernatural as humans that turned into animals ever appeared 'on screen'.

Given how low Mana most of the Earth still is, even now, most 'werewolves' would probably be humans with some switchable animals characteristics, not full-blown shapeshifters. Only at a highly unusual confluence of ley lines, very powerful Place of Power or within a Vile Vortex could there be enough magic around for that to happen.

Granted, while prior campaigns have mostly been set in modern urban areas where some subtle weirdness could take place under certain conditions, the current one is set largely within a Vile Vortex, in the Caribbean, so there is the potential for much more overt supernatural phenomena. And another Vile Vortex is located just outside of Rio de Janeiro, which means that the Brazilian monster hunters will have evolved into being facing far more powerful supernatural manifestations than you could see almost anywhere else in the world.

Which, I suppose, could well include were-critters. Some of them might be fey creatures changing shape through glamour, which would make them vulnerable to iron instead of silver, but there might be other forms of were-creatures that are indeed vulnerable to silver.

Does anyone know Brazilian, Latin American or Caribbean folklore about monsters that are vulnerable to silver?
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