Dinosaurs though
#1
A topic that came up in Discord, but which I'm replying to here because the forum is much better suited for long discussions of this type!

Quote:Can my character know about dinosaurs?

Maybe, though their idea of it may be considerably distorted from what humans knew, and it's likely that Luperci would have a lot of incorrect beliefs, if any.

Quote:How would a character learn about dinosaurs?

While readable books are no longer obtainable in-game and are disallowed from "joining the game" alongside new characters, it's permissible for characters to have come across or read parts of them in their pre-'Souls history, within reason**. As such, it's not totally out of bounds for characters get the general idea of dinosaurs from a book.

However, I don't really think Luperci would really understand that dinosaurs came before humans, or that they aren't fantasy creatures entirely.

Historic time scales are already difficult for humans to comprehend; Luperci, without a long history themselves, are even less likely to understand concepts like "millions of years ago" or even like, "a hundred years ago."

Quote:What about museums?

Like most human structures, museums would've deteriorated considerably by this point. Exhibits would have been damaged by 30+ years of wildlife, vegetation regrowth, looting, and moisture, but it's not impossible that parts of some of them are still relatively intact.

I don't think Luperci would have much of a concept of a "museum," so I don't think they'd really understand that dinosaur exhibits weren't real carcasses at a glance. On further investigation, they'd be able to tell that most display bones aren't real bones, but this is sort of the case with lots of human artifacts. Mannequins aren't real humans. Human cities have lots of sculpture (bronze is gonna last forever, yo) that could be fake animals or fake people or whatever. There's no reason Luperci wouldn't lump museum displays into a similar category of "weird fake stuff humans made."

A lucky explorer might find real fossils are found in museum basement research storage. Fossils are more rock than bone, so those would smell like rock, which might confuse the discoverer. I think it'd take quite a few logical leaps for a Luperci, unaware of geological time scales, to conclude that a fossil is preserving a real thing from long ago. They'd just as likely conclude that it's a coincidence, or magic or a curse or something -- I think that could be a neat thing to explore.

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All the limitations of Luperci learning real facts about dinosaurs wouldn't stop an individual from obsessing and imagining if they wanted though. They just need the inkling of an idea. Again, I think it's likely that any information humans left behind is just as likely to be interpreted as fantasy, and despite general knowledge of humans and their demise, the whole concept of extinction may yet be weird/strange to Luperci in a non-human context.

But at the same time, even if they didn't truly understand, I don't think it's totally wild for an individual to guess at the idea that giant monster lizards lived at some point and might have gone extinct also. Maybe they'd think dinosaurs lived at the same time as humans or shortly before. Everyone around them can think they're crazy or silly. Lots of Luperci communities make up gods and whole religions and cults in just a generation or two, so eh, dinosaurs? It's fine. :P



** Aside from keeping in line with realistic deterioration of a post-human world, the basic idea behind the book ban is to prevent characters from absorbing knowledge wholesale from books in an unrealistic manner. Becoming knowledgeable on a topic isn't as simple as reading a few books, and we much prefer players pursue other means of learning for their character. :) But getting the basic inkling of an idea from a book is okay.
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#2
I'm totally on board with the idea of Luperci thinking dinosaurs are weird fantasy creatures -- especially when places like this are out there!

Another thing to consider is that when humanity went extinct, dinosaurs were going through their own renaissance in terms of how humans viewed them. Outside of the paleontology community, afaik this hype didn't fully take off with the public until after Jurassic Park (sadly published after the in-game apocalypse). Still, on one hand you have a shift towards active dinosaurs, and on the other the 1980s was when consumerism took off and things like Playskool's Definitely Dinosaurs were being mass produced.

There's probably lots of conflicting "artifacts" and narration out there as to what dinosaurs were and when they lived. I'd wager that most Luperci wouldn't have any idea what a dinosaur was, but this would probably be no different than a character from somewhere like Canada not knowing what an elephant or a giraffe is.
“History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme.” ― Mark Twain
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