Sunday, 9 May 2010

Themes

Ideas for themes of the show.

1. Magic vs Mundane

1.1. The magical community's view on the rest of humanity

Easy enough, and used in some way or another in almost all urban fantasy, so why not include it here? However, since this will be presented, as already stated, from the point of view of the people and beings who are already part of the supernatural and magical community, the main point of this theme is showing how people who dabble into the supernatural view "normal" reality.

Different members of the community will most likely feel resentful of mundane humanity, believe themselves to be superior to them or feel outright hostile. An important thing to note is that in the concept of the magical beings wanting to actually be human and normal should probably be all but absent. It should portray the community as perhaps not the happiest or most well adjusted of people, but still enjoying their own supernatural nature.

1.2. Mundane reactions to the magical community

So how do normal human beings react when being exposed to the hidden magical side of life? I admit I do not have anything solid on this point, although there are some obvious choices:
- Outright denial. Unless someone is continuously exposed to the fact that magic exists, they will try to convince themselves that the guy they just saw vanish in plain sight has probably just slipped into a side alley or something.
- Hostility. There probably would be groups of mundane humans trying to hunt down the magical, for whatever reason suits them best. However they should be presented with having very little to no understanding of the actual workings of magic or even the way the community is structured. Hunters of the supernatural should be portrayed as fairly inept at dealing with magic, but still being able to do some damage if they corner someone.

However, unless something really really obvious happens right in front of them (and as I pointed out in the general information, magic should not be portrayed with having very obvious effects), humans will generally never be exposed to the magical or supernatural. Another reason for this is....

2. Secrecy

Second theme should be that of keeping secrets, be they secrets within the community itself, keeping the community secret from the normal world or even the secrets to the way the world and reality truly work.

2.1. Secrets within

Occultists, magicians and other such sorts are usually very secretive people and don't enjoy sharing their knowledge with others, especially with people who could actually use this knowledge.

2.2. Secrets of reality

Most people who are into magic and the occult and are serious members of the community would probably have at least basic understanding of how magic works, but should rarely have the privilege of knowing deeper secrets outside their own field of expertise.

Note: This, however, should not be taken to extremes like in Unknown Armies, where 99% of the Occult Underground usually either knows nothing about how magic works or what they know is screwed up and deformed versions of the metaphysical laws that truly govern reality.

People who have truly devoted their lives, minds and sometimes soul to seeking out the Truth, would probably have some very detailed knowledge of how reality works, making them extremely dangerous people and magic practitioners.

2.3. Keeping secrets from others

I am outright stealing the metaphor of the Sleeping Tiger from Unknown Armies for this one.

You and three people you hate, and who hate you in return, are all in a room with a huge, sleeping tiger in the middle of it. From time to time, the tiger yawns, stretches it's paws and touches one of you, but for the most part if you stay really quiet, it will not wake up and rip all of you to shreds.

The sleeping tiger is normal human society.
(I am paraphrasing this here, it's explained better in the UA books)

What this means is that one of the first things you learn in the magical community is that you should keep your head down, if you want to keep it. Now, in UA there was the organization called The Sleepers, who's main job was to make sure occultists and magical types don't cause too much noise and attract attention to magic. It's a nice idea, sure, but I don't really feel like having it in this, so for the most part the magical community in any town or city would be expected to keep it's own members in check and make sure the tiger doesn't get too suspicious of what's going on around it.


This post became a bit too long, so I'm ending this here, however there will be more on the subject of the themes the show should cover.

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