Stigmatized Character Races

miralexan

New Member
Shattered Core Backer
#1
I was discussing Shattered with a friend and fellow gamer/GM recently, talking about the system, the setting, showing off some of the brilliant artwork, etc. And after I described the character races, I was surprised when he declared the Alypse and Vampires to be unplayable. Not from any mechanical standpoint, but based on their racial fluff as shunned, mistrusted, and (occasionally) hated/hunted by the populous at large. His concern was that an Alypse or Vampire character would be too large a liability when a party was in a settlement of any size, bringing the wrath of the citizens down on the characters' heads if they get outed.

I wasn't really sure how to respond to this. I've played D&D and Shadowrun with this friend, so I know that he's no stranger to the concept of prejudice being aimed at characters. However Half-Orcs and Trolls don't usually carry the stigma of a world-ending apocalypse (at least in my games).

So I bring this to the community: how bad off are the Alypse and Vampires in your groups? I realize this will vary a lot, but I'm curious to see where lines are being drawn. Do Vampires get turned away from certain areas? Is an Alypse without their flesh mask in immanent mortal danger?
 

Tex

Lore Master
Staff member
INDE Staff
#2
I would argue that it depends on where they are specfically. For example, Lokoran would be the best place for both races. Why? Big trade center and a huge mixing pot. Plus, turning away customers means you lose money!

For vampires specifically, you'll get quite a bit of help from the Covens, specifically a coven you're a part of. As for cities (besides Lokoran) probably Hel or Neroth.

The Alypse on the other hand are a bit more ostracized without their flesh mask. This was intentional.

It's doubtful that more cultured people would mind or care about the existence of your character as long as you keep to yourself. But there will always be those people who go out of their way to antagonize another race or straight up attack them for crimes committed by their ancestors. Some may attack Vampires because of the continued hatred from the Vampire Hunts.

All that being said, some of the more learned individuals will understand why the vampires do what they do or understand how the Alypse helped shape the world as everyone knows it.


As for the other races, they're also ostracized to some degree. The Wretched enslave their own race willingly and sell them off to the highest bidder. The Florvana aren't well known across the continent. Who is to say the townspeople of a more isolated settlement won't attack them thinking the Florvana are mosnters? The Rekindled are seen as abominations, creatures of death. Essentially sentient zombies. The Shade talk to people telepathically. Your normal everyday citizen is going to freak out if voices start talking to them in their head. And then there's the drones: essentially giant metal people. If that doesn't scare townspeople, I don't know what will. As for Humans, they're seen as pompous dicks by the other races.

And while yes, you could argue that the Vampires and Alypse are perhaps more ostracized by the other races in general, the gist of it is all the races pretty much hate each other to some degree. It's why we have a "who dislikes who and why" normally as the last paragraph of each race in "Second Genesis".
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So to answer your questions:
Do vampires get turned away? Oh yeah. But again, so will the other races.

Are Alypse in imminent danger without their flesh mask? Yes and no. I would say it depends on where you are and who you know. Location and politics.
 

Konrad

Administrator
Staff member
INDE Staff
#3
I'd like to expound upon Tex's answer, but he really did a great job of covering most of it. And before I delve into it, I would like to say that our current focus right now is ironing out lore and culture, and to that end we've done a lot lately to really flesh out the details of historic and modern Feneryss. Your discussion may have been based on incomplete information, which is either in our latest update or on its way soon. Now, to begin.

To directly answer your friend's concerns, it sounds like he has an exaggerated sense of what we had intended. Yes, there's "bad blood" between the Vampires and the other races, but it's (mostly) in the past. The establishment of Covens has softened (most of) the tension through self-regulation. As for the Alypse, many get by with their fleshmask and live out their lives undiscovered. Even without a fleshmask an Alypse can usually eke out a living in the city-states. They will undoubtedly be persecuted regularly, but comfort is possible. But more to the point, it sounds like he's put a lot of emphasis on the past.

Racial tension is a prevalent theme in Shattered. There is a negative stereotype for each subspecies of humankind , and they've all made their own garish contributions to Feneryan history. Humans are self-righteous, arrogant nepotists. Tae'k was human, and his crusade killed countless people.
  • Alypse are sneaky, silver-tongued manipulators (and let's not forget everything is their fault in the first place!).
  • Drones are synthetic beings whose intent is an utter mystery, and their reticence feeds into rumors of kidnapping, torture, and experimentation. And given their alien appearances, it's easy to understand why other races may have misgivings about them.
  • Florvana, while attributed a predominantly positive typecast, are new to Feneryss and are easily misidentified as monsters when first encountered.
  • Rekindled were dead once, and now they're not, and that can be very unsettling. If that's not enough, their bodies are essentially floating fragments of a corpse loosely tethered together by magic.
  • The stereotypical Shade is an egocentric, backstabbing mindreader who wants only that which will further their personal agenda. The potential for mindreading, or 'telepathing' behind your back, generates a lot of paranoia.
  • Vampires are bloodthirsty monsters who're as likely to eat you as talk to you. Their stereotype has been firmly established.
  • And finally, the Wretched. If you lack strength, you lack their respect. This puts them in close contention with Humans as the most bigoted race among them. The stereotypical Wretched is a greedy, murderous slaver with no respect for life outside his clan.
It's most important to remember that these are stereotypes. There will ALWAYS be exceptions to every vast generalization we make about a group of people. Vampire Marshals of Love preach their pacifist beliefs just as loudly as Florvana Marshals of Hate touting their violent agendas. Human-Alypse marriages are rare, but they do happen.

The examples I could devise are endless, but you get the point. Don't feel like these mentions are rules so much as pieces of a dynamic, developing culture that we want players and GMs to explore and contribute to.
 
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miralexan

New Member
Shattered Core Backer
#4
Thanks to Tex and Konrad for taking the time to expound upon this topic and answer my questions!

I think Konrad hit the nail on the head as far as the discussion being based on insufficient/incomplete information (my bad). Chatting with my friend some more yielded comparisons to Shadowrun's SINner negative qualities, which sounds a little extreme with this context.

I suppose I'll just have to brush up on the latest lore so I'm prepared next time :D
 

Tex

Lore Master
Staff member
INDE Staff
#5
Vamps have changed slightly. Zip did some serious rewrite on them. And to be fair, they needed it. Most of the vampire lore hadn't been touched in about 4 years. A sneak peek for you: they got ostracized at first for wearing other people's skin.
 
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