Van Helsing "Hate Crimes"
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CONSTANTINE: You ought to watch it, you know. One day the bogeymen are going to come out of their closets and start parading down High Street. They'll be marching for equal rights, free blood, and your head on a platter.

MISTER E: Is that some kind of joke, Constantine?

CONSTANTINE: If you're lucky.

— Neil Gaiman, Books of Magic

Basic Information

The idea of Van Helsing "Hate Crimes" is a modern subversion of traditional narrative conventions in which monsters (typically supernatural ones) are treated as being people with the same rights as humans - in effect a direct aversion of the "What a measure is a non-human?" trope. Thus, any attack on them purely as a result of their species, undead status, magical practices etc. is treated, legally and/or morally as a crime … specifically a "hate crime" for those who hold with such distinctions1.

Traditional "Fantastic Racism" would probably fall into this as well category by default … as might any crime committed by someone who thought their victim was a supernatural creature (or, conversely, because the victim thought they were a supernatural monster - such as otherkin or a sufferer from clinical lycanthropy).

A similar effect may be generated when it's hard to prove that the PCs victim belonged to a category that is marked for death - for example if a werewolf reverts to its human form on death, it may be a challenged to explain why they have just brutally killed this naked man …


1. Books: Guilty Pleasures by Laurel K. Hamilton —The Anita Blake series is set in a world where vampires are accorded civil rights. By all accounts, the first half dozen are pretty good.
2. Books: Many of Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels deal with civil rights for non-humans, include the undead, trolls and, most recently, goblins.
3. Books: Kim Newman's Anno Dracula reimagines the Ripper murders as the work of a vampire hunter in a vampire dominated Victorian London.

Game and Story Use

  • This concept can make for a very interesting campaign world, but players need to be made well aware of it before they start - a world in which a vampire (for example) is an outlaw, or a literal non-person, not even acknowledged to exist (and thus may be freely slain by anyone who can and who cares to do so) is very different to one in which a vampire is an "undead-American" (or "biologically variant person" or whatever) with civil rights. If your players then still want to play vampire mudering serial killers they should do so in full awareness of the consequences.
    • For even more values dissonance, introduce a dichotomy between the law and morality (not to say in game reality) - vampires may actually be a dangerous, predatory menace but according to the law they are just another minority and entitled to "affirmative action" and the full protection of law enforcement against any discrimination or "hate crimes".
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