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Question about an idea for a supernatural/modern fantasy story:

Discussion in 'World Building' started by ChasingSuns, Jan 19, 2017.

  1. ChasingSuns

    ChasingSuns Sage

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    So I recently decided to start writing noir-style short stories set in modern day with supernatural elements. In this world, supernatural beings (vampires, werewolves, witches, etc.) are all relatively common and known to exist. The main character (or at least, the only main character I have so far) is a detective who frequently comes in contact with such forces. So my question is, what kinds of laws could be in place to keep these kinds of entities in line?

    For example:

    Werewolves: Have to report to certain solitary areas away from the public on a full moon so that they don't hurt others while transformed.

    Vampires: Dietary restrictions are enforced. Perhaps they are limited to blood from criminals or animal blood.

    Any ideas? The listed entities aren't the only ones in this world either, so any ideas about other kinds of beings would be appreciated as well :)
     
  2. Vampires and werewolves, I'd imagine, would have to be kept track of on some kind of registry. There would be no way to keep your identity secret. I would probably end up exploring how such laws oppress these creatures. Do such creatures have equal protection under the law? If a werewolf attacks and kills or turns someone, is he held responsible even though he wasn't in his right mind? But your stories might not touch on those things.

    If werewolves are able to turn people by biting, what restricts that? Are the children of werewolves necessarily werewolves? If not, and it's basically like a disease that spreads around, wouldn't they be trying to eradicate it? But then, the werewolves might have their own subculture and some might take pride in their identity. What then?

    There might be a special division of law enforcement for dealing with the supernatural (with silver bullets and weapons, if you're keeping the silver-harms-supernatural thing)
     
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  3. ATKH

    ATKH Scribe

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    I think the idea of vampires being restricted to drinking criminal blood has interesting implications. What would, in the eyes of the law, be a serious enough crime to justify using the criminal as a human bloodbag? And, if there was such a law, I imagine there would be quite a few human rights organizations trying to put it to a stop - resulting in quite the dilemma: Is it more important to respect the rights of human criminals or those of ordinary vampires? This could be a real conundrum in diplomacy (one state, for example, makes a moral choice not to support bloodbagging, while another uses it as a common form of punishment/torture, making the two countries less likely allies) and even result in violence and protests.

    Edit: Also, if vampires and werewolves were common, and physically faster/stronger/more destructive than humans, I'd imagine they'd be even more common in army special forces and such, perhaps even having their own units.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2017
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  4. Svrtnsse

    Svrtnsse Staff Article Team

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    I'm writing in a contemporary setting and there are werewolves and vampires present as well. The vampires are dangerous enough that they're hunted down and killed as soon as they're found, but werewolves are largely tolerated/accepted.

    Attitudes towards werewolves vary from country to country, and also depending on religious views.

    In the nation I've spent most time working on werewolves have the option to register their affliction, and if they do they're eligible for government support. The law applies to werwolves the same as it does to everyone else. If a werewolf commits a violent crime because of their affliction, they're punished in the same way as if a "regular" human had committed the same crime.

    The support werewolves receive is mainly related to helping them deal with their affliction in a controlled way that does not endager others. They have access to an isolated area to shift when that time comes, and they're granted membership in an officially sanctioned pack. They're also eligible for medical/psychological support as needed.

    If you're a werewolf and do not register your affliction, the law will still apply to you, but you're not eligible for any support or other benefits. However, you can keep your privacy and if you just keep yourself in check you can get along just fine.
     
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  5. Kya Lightwing

    Kya Lightwing Acolyte

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    First off, let me just say that this is an interesting idea. Personally, if I saw it in a synopsis, I would definitely want to read it. :)

    This is what I was wondering too. It would be interesting to explore the moral implications of something like drinking blood only from criminals.

    Also, would there be some sort of ranking on a case-by-case basis for the government to determine the dangers posed by individual beings? And perhaps one of the restrictions posed would be a curfew? Just a couple ideas; you don't have to take them if you don't want. ;)
     
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  6. ChasingSuns

    ChasingSuns Sage

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    Thanks to everyone who has replied so far! Lots of inspirational ideas for sure :D First of all, I definitely like the idea of delving into the ethics of criminal blood. I think there's definitely some interesting stories to be told there. The idea of vamp/werewolf military units is also very interesting.

    In terms of how one becomes a werewolf, I'm not sure if I am leaning towards it being hereditary, from a bite, or a bit of both. Perhaps both, but the circumstances under which you became one alter some aspect of the transformation. Perhaps those who inherit the gene are more like big wolves when they transform, whereas one who is bit is more like the lycans from Underworld when they transform.

    In terms of what branch of the police force would deal with these kinds of threats, I was thinking that all SWAT teams, Detectives, and Internal Investigations branches would have training in dealing with supernatural threats. Perhaps, under certain circumstances, undercovers would as well. Oooo which gives me an idea! Perhaps there will be a short story about an undercover who has to infiltrate a group of vampires and ends up getting bitten in order to not blow his cover *gears start turning*

    Do you mean a curfew for the creatures, or for potential victims?
     
  7. Kya Lightwing

    Kya Lightwing Acolyte

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    I was thinking for the creatures, but I think a victim one is an interesting idea too.

    Sent from my XT1526 using Tapatalk
     
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  8. Christopher Michael

    Christopher Michael Troubadour

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    Question: Were you planning on including zombies in this?

    I'm not a huge fan of noir. I understand the appeal, even the importance in the literary tradition. It's just not my cup of tea. That being said, here are some thoughts and opinions that may be utter crap.

    1) Your detective. Is he supernatural in some way? I would almost think he would have to be, but you didn't say.
    2) Witches/warlocks. Where do they get their power? Are they, as I think they probably need to be, registered? Monitored? Do they assist the detective, the police in general, possibly in exchange for "turning a blind eye"? Maybe they use charms as bribes?
    3) Werewolves in ghettos. They're the barbarian of the supernatural community.
    4) Back to my original question regarding zombies. If you include them, I can see them being in completely escape proof areas and used for capital punishment.
     
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  9. ChasingSuns

    ChasingSuns Sage

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    I'm not entirely sure if the detective is gonna be supernatural in some way. I haven't really dove into any characters specifically yet, this idea just came about through the setting. Part of me likes the idea of him just being human, although it definitely makes sense that he would have something going for him if he's gonna tangle with the supernatural. Perhaps he uses protection charms or something of that nature. Or maybe he stays human until he gets turned into something else by a creature. Not sure which direction I'll take it. Different stories might have different MCs too, so that leaves some options open too.

    I have given pretty much zero thought to the magic system as of right now lol. I was thinking maybe it is bestowed to them by otherworldly powers in some way. Perhaps through items, or perhaps through ritual, or maybe both. I'll have to sit down and pound out those details for sure. I did have an idea for a family who runs an antique shop that works as a front for a business of buying and selling magic items or artifacts, so maybe I'll play around with that some more too.

    I like the werewolf ghetto idea. I'm not sure if I'm gonna make them common enough for that to be much of a reality for them, but it's definitely an interesting thought. Perhaps they are looked down on by pretty much everyone because they are the only being that can't control their powers like most other creatures.

    I haven't thought about zombies yet, but they would definitely fit in the setting! Capital punishment via zombies is a crazy thought for sure. Then you gotta wonder about the ethics of that. Do some people believe that zombies retain part of their humanity, and therefore still deserve rights? When does one actually die? It could almost turn into a fantasy reverse version of the pro-life/pro-choice debate. I could see protesters holding up signs about not keeping zombies in those areas. Maybe there's even splinters in that group, like some of them think there should be attempts to rehabilitate zombies, and others that think that the zombies should be killed so that their souls can rest.
     
  10. This has some really cool complications.
     
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  11. Christopher Michael

    Christopher Michael Troubadour

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    My concern with him not being supernatural in some way is that he'll be dealing with creatures that can turn him into either A) lunch or B) a puppet.
    However, I think protection charms could be a quick and easy fix for that.

    And that's something you can explore with the noir style that other stylistic approaches don't do as easily or with quite the gravitas.
     
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