Bland Rationalisation
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"I'm sure there's a rational explanation for this."

— Velma

Basic Information

As far as the mundane world is concerned, every fortean event has some kind of rational (and probably very dull) explanation - UFOs are actually weather balloons, the invincible killer robot is actually a man on PCP wearing a ballistic vest and the vampires that attacked you were probably just a pack of crack-addled goths.

The bland, official explanation may or may not be at all convincing, but it will be official. All establishment sources will be expected to parrot it and anyone who dissents can expect to be treated as insane (at best) or a criminal (at worst).

Whether the mundane authorities actually believe their "official explanation" or not will depend on the setting (and the Weirdness Isolation Tropes at work within it) - and sometimes from power centre to power centre: whilst the mayor and the local cops will believe with every fibre of their being in a gang with vicious pet dogs loose in their town, The Agency may well be assembling a black-ops team with military grade weapons and silver bullets to clean up the werewolf problem.

Some settings have this as an actual phenomenon, a defence that the human brain actively deploys to protect itself from the damaging nature of a reality that contains things that don't make sense1.


1. full source reference

Game and Story Use

  • Useful when PC journalists, cops etc. get caught up in something nasty … and no-one believes them.
  • Also useful as the PCs try to warn the town of imminent mass casualties.
  • The tendency of this trope to lead to messenger-shooting can also be played upon when the PCs are ignored and the inevitable happens … who to blame? Obviously the dangerous fantasists warning of a zombie attack - there's no such thing as zombies so they must have killed all those people themselves to corroborate their delusions.
  • Use this as an explanation as to why "the authorities" aren't doing anything about the problem and/or PC cops, soldiers etc. can't get reinforcements, extra supplies and what have you.
    • "Flamethrowers? Why are 3rd Loamshire (Territorial) trying to draw flamethrowers? Best get the provost marshall to look into it - sounds like someone down there's gone a bit loopy".
  • Game mechanics for this may be tricky.
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