The Shadowed Earth
|Setting||Seattle||The Circle||Vampires||Other Monsters||Rules|
Earth with monsters is obviously different from the Earth we know. Also, the world of Shadowed Earth is the setting for a game, so some of the differences are the outgrowth of the existence of monsters, and some are there to set the theme and mood for Bloodreign.
Tone and Mood
Bloodreign is a game of gothic adventure in a supernatural setting. What does that mean? It means the game focuses on dark themes, and the emotions those themes stir up. It means that conflicts will often be resolved at least partially by action, and that the participants live in a world of magic and creatures. Your character will be one of those creatures, will wield some of those powers. It’s a game that asks you to create a person who became a monster, and then be willing to play the roller-coaster ride that follows.
The game is not meant to be entirely serious every minute. There’s room for humor, silliness, and over-the top action or drama. It is certainly not a Grimdark sort of game. There’s joy to be had, and fun, and thrills. Those create the human element that makes the supernatural stand out. Ultimately the characters in Bloodreign are people, people who’ve become monsters, but still people.
So indulge yourself in some torrid emotional ups and downs. Have a power-trip when your character proves unstoppable to hapless mortals. Wrap yourself in the spectacle of being a vampire, and make the game a rich experience of nonstop fun. Feel free to explore some of the serious issues that the game touches on, but don’t forget to vary things up.
Living with Monsters
Life on Shadowed Earth is a lot more grim than what citizens of first-world nations have come to expect in the real world. In many ways the poor and middle-class have a lot of the same struggles that we associate with third-world countries. Physical safety is by no means assured. Save for the very rich, who can buy elaborate protection, anyone could be disappeared by something nasty. It doesn’t happen to someone you know every day, but it does happen enough that everyone knows somebody who vanished, or was found dead.
People try to combat the monsters, naturally. But they’re strange creatures, that refuse to obey the laws of physics. The most successful of them can hide in plain sight, pretending to be human. It’s even whispered that governments deal with the more powerful and rational groups of monsters, seeking any advantage they can get.
First world nations are a little less mighty overall, which contributes to their inability to just wipe out the monsters. They developed alongside these creatures, and the depredations of supernatural creatures left their mark on the populace and resources of nations. That’s not to say that Vampires, or any kind of monster have some kind of secret cabal that controls world governments. It’s simply that the constant fear of things lurking in the dark has kept people close together, made them less risk-prone. Opportunities have gone untried, communities are smaller or more closely packed together.
For the common person, there are places that everyone knows not to go. There are other places where people suspect they ought not to go. People sell charms and wards and amulets, and some of them even work. Magic is real, but it’s generally bad. Humans don’t seem to be able to get much of a handle on it, with rare exceptions. It’s the monsters who have magic, and they use it to toy with humans, or outright hunt them.
People accept these things as a fact of life, and just try to get on with their lives. The vast majority of humans will never come under the shadow of a deadly supernatural beast. When someone they know vanishes or is found dead, they shake their heads and say, “Well, they should have been more careful.” It’s something that can’t be changed, only mitigated as much as possible.
The common people also don’t know a lot about the specifics of monsters. Sure, everyone knows legends, but they also know that those legends are as likely to be false as they are to be true. Just as people know of secret government organizations in the real world, without knowing many solid specifics, people on Shadowed Earth know what types of monsters are most common, but can’t rattle off vital facts about them. There’s still plenty of mystery and obfuscation at work, even for the monsters themselves. These sorts of creatures and phenomena don’t lend themselves to scientific examination after all.