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Old 03-26-2019, 10:03 AM   #41
Icelander
 
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Default Re: [MH] Underground Fights in a Tourist Resort in the Caribbean?

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Originally Posted by Polydamas View Post
Supportive reality check: there have been News Corp tabloid reports about a company offering sex parties somewhere in the Caribbean with a starter price on the order of 1,000-1,500 USD/customer-day. It was moved from Columbia to "a drug-friendly island" after the organizers offended the locals.

They have PR people with a knack for social media and tabloids, they are avoiding anything drastically illegal, and they still get tens (not hundreds) of johns for each party. I don't trust tabloids, but that strikes me as plausible based on my bohemian life in the swingin' New Country, because just like most people can get their vicarious violence kick at mostly-safe contact sports like hockey or MMA, most people can get their sex drugs and rock and roll kick through a swingers' party, a rave, or a weekend date with a couple of sex workers in a nice hotel in the nearest big city.
Indeed.

And sex, drugs and rock & roll are, at least, very understandable desires, really. Whereas the desire to see people fight each other to death for your amusement is not, in fact, one with as much mainstream appeal, at least in today's society.

Granted, maybe we, as a society or even species, are denying our natures. Perhaps we all lust for more blood and death in our sanitized existence, to commune with our primal nature as apes who still want to kill any stray stranger not of our tribe, rape anyone not already gravid with our seed and eat young not genetically related to us. If so, however, we seem to have successfully managed to control our baser urges with social pressures and fear of what others will say. Thus conscience doth make cowards of us all.

Regardless, whether we view people who would like to hunt other people for sport as decadent deviants or self-realized heroes throwing off the unnatural shackles of dehumanizing and alienating capitalistic society, I think it's pretty clear that they are a distinct minority.
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Old 03-26-2019, 10:47 AM   #42
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Default Re: [MH] Underground Fights in a Tourist Resort in the Caribbean?

I have met my fair share of sociopaths and psychopaths. Psychopaths are dangerous, but they are usually sloppy even if they are smart because they do not understand other humans, so they will likely get caught. Sociopaths who are smart tend to get away with their crimes, as they understand enough about other humans to know why people object to their actions, even if they do not care about individual reactions.

When it comes to the wealthy though, the majority of millionaires that I have met have firmly sociopathic tendencies that are exacerbated by their feeling of privilege. Not only do they not care about individual reactions, they are quite willing to use their money to make sure that there are no consequences, which is relatively easy in the USA. In the USA, there is a justice system for the wealthy elites and an injustice system for everyone else.
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Old 03-26-2019, 11:39 AM   #43
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Default Re: Occultism Theories for a Supernatural Party Responsible?

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If and when the PCs get involved in Bloodsport 2: Electric Boogaloo: Caribbean Edition, they'll be there checking out a series of clues to nefarious goings-on, most important of which will be some agents of their Patron (one J.R. Kessler, eccentric billionaire turned funder of supernatural troubleshooters and monster hunters) having gone missing there.

The PCs and their allies will be aware that the resort in question offers a wide range of decadent thrills, though the most obviously outré is the whole fighting pits to the death thing. On the other hand, if they search, they'll find that any kind of extravagance is available to the rich tourists there, including a wide variety of sexual thrills, any drugs imaginable and all sorts of less-than-legal shenanigans.

The PCs and their allies will most likely have theories on what kind of supernatural entity might be staging these fights. What kind of supernatural legendary creature might want humans fighting each other in a no-holds-barred cage match, while an audience of rich and decadent humans bets on it? Or, more generally, be into creating an isle of depraved morality and very expensive thrills?
Since no one's addressed this one...

The Incarnate Champion is looking for a new avatar, and these fights are the audition process. Sure, fighters might initially be lured in by the idea of money or been abducted, but after their first fight they receive a vision, or a dream, or an unshakeable feeling: They must fight to the finish, no matter what the cost. They must become... the Champion.

It started out small, but as the fights have continued, the Champion's influence has spread. The passions of combat have attracted minor spirits that feed on and encourage extreme emotions, so the attendees (and even the staff) are roused to higher and higher pitches of excitement. It's becoming something of an addiction problem for them... The surrounding area is also seeing a rise in violence, as brawls and fights escalate more often and more quickly, and heightened passions give more reasons for conflict. (Not so much in predatory violence, property damage, or theft, which ought to stand out to canny investigators.) The Champion's visions are starting to spread beyond the resort, too. Fighters are beginning to arrive on the island, drawn by some urge they can't put their finger on...

The fight organizers are unaware of the Incarnate Champion's influence, or that of the other spirits. They just know that their little blood sport and sex trafficking operation has become extremely successful, and they're riding the high. They don't even have to kidnap fighters anymore, and the punters keep laying bigger bets and going for more exotic (and expensive) debauchery. The more sensitive among them might be getting a bit nervous, but feel they're riding the tiger.

Basically, if you're familiar with Warhammer lore, imagine if Khorne and Slaanesh threw a house party. That's what's developing here. If it matures, it's going to be really unpleasant.

This gives you a couple red herrings, or onion layers, to throw at the PCs. After being drawn in to investigate missing comrades, they find a typical den of vice, and while the blood sport appears to be central, most of the interesting stuff to occult investigators appears to be on the periphery, where they more easily detect the spirits. The Incarnate Champion's influence works on them, too, so you can play up intra-party quarreling, hot tempers, impulsiveness, etc. The second act reveal, of course, is when they're watching a deathmatch and realize one of the fighters is an agent, and appears to be willing.

Unfortunately I can't point you to any actual mythological figures that might fit off the top of my head. Personally, I'm fond of the idea of modern spirits of some sort getting in on the act, but YMMV.
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Old 03-26-2019, 03:19 PM   #44
johndallman
 
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Default Re: [MH] Underground Fights in a Tourist Resort in the Caribbean?

Here's an approach that may work. Rather than assuming there's a large and wealthy audience for gladiatorial games that kill people regularly, there's one person who's really, really into them. Indeed, they're the reason he set up the resort.

This way, they're in the background for most of the visitors. They add to the atmosphere of decadence and privilege, but visitors who aren't curious don't find out how far they go. Those who are, get drawn in and corrupted into enjoying them far too much.

The owners motives can be quite complex and multi-layered. He calls the place Domus Aurea and that's a good way to present it, possibly with added Bond Villain trappings, like shark tanks.

That gives him a good reason for fake fatalities. His deeper motives can vary from wanting to take part as a gladiator himself, having a good way to dispose of other bodies "accidentally" killed, or believing he's Nero reincarnated, to actual supernatural influences. It has a lot of potential for confusing PCs, and a good excuse for enough security that they can't just burst in and kill everyone.

Last edited by johndallman; 03-26-2019 at 03:38 PM. Reason: Nero
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Old 03-26-2019, 04:04 PM   #45
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Default Re: [MH] Underground Fights in a Tourist Resort in the Caribbean?

I honestly think that people are underestimating the appeal of bloodsports, especially among the privileged and wealthy classes. I means, MMA and Boxing are very popular, and underground fights are well known illegal attractions for the jaded in places like London and NYC. I imagine that more extreme versions, up to and including death matches, are available for the titillating of the jaded in less developed nations.
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Old 03-26-2019, 05:41 PM   #46
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Default Re: [MH] Underground Fights in a Tourist Resort in the Caribbean?

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Here's an approach that may work. Rather than assuming there's a large and wealthy audience for gladiatorial games that kill people regularly, there's one person who's really, really into them. Indeed, they're the reason he set up the resort.
This is, indeed, the working hypothesis. Well, replace 'one person' with 'one or more beings, influences or entities'.

What I need, however, is not so much just suggestions on what is actually going on, but what high Occultism* on the part of the PCs and the analysts, scholars and research staff that Kessler employs will yield in terms of possible supetnatural explanations.

Basically, working from the theory that any myth, legend or spooky story that exists in our world might contain some kernels of truths, what might an op-center of experts theorize about an island resort of extravagant decadence, complete with fights to the death?

I need to prepare a range of possible legendary culprits and what kind of clues might suggest each theory, which both helps in defining what clues are already gathered and what the PCs want to try to figure out to confirm or refute various hypotheses.

So, what kind of spirit, loa, ghost, fey, alien, small god or magician might be doing this and why?

*Including also, as appropriate, several Caribbean Cultural Familiarities, Anthropology, Current Affairs, Expert Skills, Hidden Lore, History, Intelligence Analysis, Literature, Research and Theology specialities.
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Old 03-26-2019, 05:44 PM   #47
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Default Re: [MH] Underground Fights in a Tourist Resort in the Caribbean?

I may have missed a key post, but if you're going to have significant gambling, you've got to be able to call the odds. And if people are getting killed too often, you can't, because everyone's a newcomer. You really want people with some kind of established fighting form, ideally in this specific low-rules tournament setting rather than more conventional martial sports, so that the bookmakers can say things like "Bloody Bob has met Charlie Carnage twice before, and the honours were even, but Charlie's still favouring that knee he bust on Deadly Dave earlier this year".

That's if you can plausibly dress it up as "no-holds-barred fighting sport where anything can happen". If you're dressing it as "come and see someone get killed in the ring", you have a different (and even smaller) clientele.
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Old 03-26-2019, 05:54 PM   #48
Icelander
 
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Default Re: [MH] Underground Fights in a Tourist Resort in the Caribbean?

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I may have missed a key post, but if you're going to have significant gambling, you've got to be able to call the odds. And if people are getting killed too often, you can't, because everyone's a newcomer. You really want people with some kind of established fighting form, ideally in this specific low-rules tournament setting rather than more conventional martial sports, so that the bookmakers can say things like "Bloody Bob has met Charlie Carnage twice before, and the honours were even, but Charlie's still favouring that knee he bust on Deadly Dave earlier this year".

That's if you can plausibly dress it up as "no-holds-barred fighting sport where anything can happen". If you're dressing it as "come and see someone get killed in the ring", you have a different (and even smaller) clientele.
I imagine it works rather like combat. In Vietnam, the vast majority of casualties were new arrivals and those who made it through the first few months had a significantly greater chance of surviving a whole tour.

Given that considerable efforts will be expended on making fighters fight more than once and keeping successful fighters around, I imagine that most newcomers lose their first fight to an established fighter, usually, at least these days, with gruesome results.

Obviously, Bloodsport Fight Club cannot have been going on for too long, as that would inevitably have been discovered. The PCs will probably find evidence that the decadence, illegality and risk has been ramping up, at first slowly, but more rapidly since 2017.

By now, the PCs might come across rumours of things like lethal knife fights, fighters given archaic armour and weapons and even exotic animals pitted against unlucky people. You know, when the thrill of watching mere ordinary battle to the death has started to pall.
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Old 03-26-2019, 08:16 PM   #49
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Default Re: [MH] Underground Fights in a Tourist Resort in the Caribbean?

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
I need to prepare a range of possible legendary culprits and what kind of clues might suggest each theory, which both helps in defining what clues are already gathered and what the PCs want to try to figure out to confirm or refute various hypotheses.

So, what kind of spirit, loa, ghost, fey, alien, small god or magician might be doing this and why?

*Including also, as appropriate, several Caribbean Cultural Familiarities, Anthropology, Expert Skills, Hidden Lore, History, Intelligence Analysis, Literature, Research and Theology specialities.
A twisted version of any god of death or combat. The deity in question may have had good PR when stories were told about them. The Incan, Mayan and Aztec pantheons would be a good place to start looking due to proximity and (pop culture) relations to bloodshed. Or maybe someone like Ares has moved their location.

Baron Samedi could be considered a culprit as well from the Loa, or at the very least one of the first to be looked into due to him being (probably) the most well known Loa. But looking just a bit more at the various Loa, Baron Kriminel seems more apropriate (more violent and potentially murderous). Or Bosou Koblamin who represents strength, ferocity and violence, which points towards brutal combat and potential death matches.

If you want something from Native American mythology near the region, I found this tidbit.
Quote:
Nalusa Chito, also known as a Impa Shilup, was the soul-eater, great black being
Many variations of vampires could work as well, especially if blood spilled was drained into reservoirs. Some types also feed directly upon the flesh of corpses, so deathmatches could be a source of fresh food for them. Of course, blood being spilled is far less likely if the combat is unarmed.

Demons in general would be a consideration because Greed, Lust and Wrath/Anger would be plentiful in such a venue. That is if they feed upon these, or maybe they need them to open a portal or otherwise influence the world at large.
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Old 03-26-2019, 08:58 PM   #50
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Default Re: [MH] Underground Fights in a Tourist Resort in the Caribbean?

Another possibility would be having it as a form of addictive immortality ritual facilitated by the occult design of the arena. When fighters die, the remainder of their youth is divided equally between the spectators in an ecstatic surge (youth being defined as the 50-Age). In the case of 20 year old fighters, they would give up 30 years of youth if they died, meaning that 360 spectators would gain an average of 1 month of youth each. With the spectators gaining vitality after watching a death, the wealthy of the world would flock to the island, allowing the owner(s) to spend more money on fighters and to hold more fights.

In that case, the deathmatch might be a nightly event. Spectators would pay $10,000 each for a ticket, and it would be capped at 360 spectators. In the case of a kill, the winner would receive $1 million and the loser's heirs would receive $500,000. You would have a lot of people competing because of the prize.

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