When I heard the premise for Being Human, my first thought was “What a stupid show”. Seriously, a vampire, a werewolf, and a ghost sharing a flat in current-day Boston? This can’t be good. It wasn’t until the middle of the third season that I finally saw an episode. I couldn’t have been more surprised. Not only was it good, it was so good that it quickly became my favorite show.
Fourth season starts January 13th. Until then, Comcast on-demand is offering every episode from all three seasons for free. This is an excellent time to check it out, if you haven’t seen it yet.
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Anyone interested in D&D has probably been a little curious. That’s what finally got me to take a look. I’m always on the lookout for more source material for my game. A show about vampires, werewolves, and ghosts was bound to have lots of content I could use, so it was inevitable that I would eventually take a look. I’m so glad I did.
Most importantly, these vampires do not sparkle! If they had, I probably would have turned it off right there. They do, however, differ from typical vampires in a number of ways.
- They are unaffected by sunlight.
- They are unaffected by crosses.
- They do have a reflection (and can be photographed).
- Garlic does not hurt them, but it does cause them to “vamp out” (eyes go all black and fangs protrude) briefly.
- They cannot change shape (bat, wolf, mist, etc).
All in all, very reasonable changes for a show. Not sure I’d incorporate all of those changes in my own game, but it is at least food for thought.
What I really enjoy is the social structure (before the virus changed things). Each “clan” ruled themselves, and agreed to limit their clan to proscribed numbers, so that no clan would become more powerful than the others. They infiltrated the human power structures in order to be able to cover up their feeding, and developed clean-up crews to take care of accidents.
These vampires exemplify my interpretation of Lawful Evil. They have a very orderly society and follow a code, which is very strictly enforced.
I like these werewolves very much. Days before a full moon, their senses are heightened and they have slightly enhanced abilities. One day a month, on the full moon, they transform. There is no hybrid form. They become slightly unusual-looking, very large and powerful wolves. They have limited memories of their time as wolves. The rest of the time, they can lead normal lives.
One unusual twist is that a solar eclipse can cause a transformation as well.
Killing their maker will remove their curse, but not the curse of those that they have turned. Also their curse can be transmitted simply by scratching another; a bite isn’t necessary.
There is a smorgasbord of ideas relating to ghosts and the afterlife. As much as I enjoyed the detail they went into, none of it was anything I could use. If there are ghosts that characters/NPCs can communicate with, it becomes impossible to have any secrets. It’s no fun running a “who done it” adventure, when all the party has to do is ask the ghost of one of the victims who killed them.
Ghosts in my world are extremely rare, and always the spirit of a very evil and malevolent person who would not listen to, let alone help, anyone else.
But in the show, Sally the ghost is a fascinating character. The whole issue of spirits and souls, afterlife and the occult is very well done.
I’ve only seen the US version so far. It was taken from a UK version (of the same name) that started a few years earlier.