Urban Arcana

This page is for miscellaneous notes from Urban Arcana, regarding questions that have come up during game play or character generation.

Regarding Brian’s query about how the “glammer” works I found this bit of info in UA. This really doesn’t refer to a "glammer, but I will add more info as I find it.

Humans cling steadfastly to the reality that they
wish to be true, resisting every piece of evidence
that suggests that the world isn’t the way they
believe it to be. Only a relative few make up the
“aware minority,” those humans who have experienced a
Shadow event and seen it for more or less what it was.
The majority, the mundanes, find comfort in translating
displacer beasts into large dogs, kobolds with swords into
knife-wielding muggers, and malicious spirits into tricks of
the light. A magical effect might be fireworks or a
weather peculiarity. Never underestimate the
human mind’s power to deceive itself and maintain
a level of comfort.
Those who subconsciously delude themselves
do so for the sake of their fragile
sanity. Those who know and understand
at least some aspect of the Shadow
tide maintain the secret to avoid
ridicule or investigation, as well as
to protect the public illusion of a
sane, mundane world.
In addition, since Shadow creatures
really don’t belong to this reality,
they have a tendency to slowly fade
away. Some of them disappear within 1d4
rounds of dying (being reduced to –10 hit
points), and none remain in this reality for more
than 1d4 hours before the tide of Shadow
reclaims them.

Now here are some snippets from the same book, page 5.

…the world has … changed. Goblins ride the
subway. Dragons rule the boardrooms. Monsters
haunt the alleys of the urban jungle. It’s the dawn of a new
era—the modern world is in the midst of a transformation
and most people don’t even know it. A quantum shift has
occurred in the fabric of reality; magic has suddenly
become very real, and creatures that before were only
found in fairy tales and nightmares now walk the
streets. It’s the world outside your window, with a
serious twist…

…Shadow appears to be one way—no one has yet managed
to pierce the veil to see where these fantastic
creatures really come from…

and on page 6:

…The twist within a twist involves the nature of the human
mind and the interaction of Shadow. Most ordinary humans
can’t fathom the things of Shadow, and so their minds translate
the fantastic and the horrifying into something more mundane…

on page 7:

…We are assured as children that monsters don’t exist. So
even when someone sees a monster, he still doesn’t
remember seeing a monster. In his mind’s eye he sees a
“big dog” or a “large man” or a “blur at the edge of
vision”—anything except a creature that he “knows”
doesn’t exist. A magic fireball is remembered a gas leak. A
werewolf becomes a howling drunkard. The easy answer
completely papers over what really happened, and the
world continues on, blissfully ordinary…

My thoughts:

The perception of shadow creatures seems to be purely an individual experience, controlled by the individual mind and that creature’s experiences. A “glammer” is a type of illusion, and everyone who sees a shadowkind will assumably have to make a type of saving throw to not believe the illusion.

This may or may not be done so the PC is aware of it. It will be assumed that the GM takes the time to determine whether or not this happens, and role play the proper reactions.

Physical objects, like your IDs will actually have your real photo on them. The individual who sees this photo will make or fail their save. There is no way to explain exactly what they see, since the illusion generates a personal response. You will not need to know what each person sees, the GM will somehow make you aware if there is a response to the illusion in an individual, or a group.

This is one of the reasons you will often get different descriptions from different witnesses to a sighting of shadowkind. You will also never know exactly how one person perceives you (should you be shadowkind)unless you are going to interview everyone you meet in detail about what you look like to them. Not only that, but their perception of you may change from one meeting to the next. You may notice humans looking away from you, or not meeting your eyes.

You may assume that if you are shadowkind, and you perceive a shadowkind, that you are both seeing the true creature.

Humans who work for D7 will be able to spot shadowkind easily, since they have had the practice. A strong glammer might force a save vs illusion. Don’t try to think too much about the mechanics, it’s magic after all.

I hope this answers your question, if not, reply.

Urban Arcana

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