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"I don't remember where it came from. Everyone just started talking about it..."

What are rumors? What is this 'kotodama' thing people are talking about?

By spreading word about something and getting enough people to believe in it, within Sumaru City it becomes real. This is the basic core behind the power of rumors. This power taps into the unspoken desire for the new and the interesting, and trying to manipulate it intentionally can be very dangerous and may not result in a given or expected outcome.

Rumors are also called kotodama (lit. 'word spirit'), which itself derives from the old Japanese belief that words have power.

How do rumors spread ICly?

Typically, what one needs to do is craft a rumor that will self-propagate: word it so that it's interesting to other people, tell it to a few choice individuals, and sit back while it spreads.

Rumormongers, people who are adept at tracking and spreading rumors in Sumaru City, are often useful to talk to get get a rumor going... or just to see what rumors are popular. The Kuzunoha Detective Agency is also capable of spreading rumors for a price.

What kinds of things can be rumors? What limits are there?

What can be a target of a rumor is very broad. In the end, the only IC qualifiers are that it's interesting enough to most people to spread, and that it's believable. Believable does not have to mean logical, technically possible, or even reasonable.

For the first, self-centered and self-beneficial rumors tend not to spread very well unless there's something in it for other people. It's generally not very interesting in and of itself to say that someone became rich suddenly unless there's a particularly sordid reason for that to have happened, for example.

Rumors that come at someone's expense or are otherwise dangerous are likely to become true via rumors.

For the second, a rumor that seems unlikely won't spread because why would something that be true? To take the example from before, why would someone suddenly become rich? It should make sense in context. Care needs to be taken to set up the situation so that it won't seem so unlikely.

Conspiracy theories and urban legends are good examples of the sorts of things likely to become true via rumors.

Can rumors change in the telling?

Absolutely. Think of it like a game of telephone with supernatural consequences. Rumors can and will shift over time (though for OOC plot reasons a rumor may remain steady if desired).

Are rumor effects permanent?

It depends. In some cases, the effect vanishes when the rumor is no longer spread. In others, the change remains. Typically more 'absurd' rumors tend to fade when the stories do, while ones that are more believable or just persistent can continue on perhaps indefinitely.

Gone or not, though, the effects are rarely forgotten. They /happened/.

Is there anything else I should know about rumors?

  • Rumors can be used to generate demons, called rumor demons. See Demons for details.
  • Similarly, contradictory rumors about a person can generate a Rumor Shadow. See Shadows.

OOCly, how do I start a rumor?

There are two ways, depending on how much support you want from staff. You can simply make a post on board 20, or submit a +request. +request is recommended for plot or TP-dependent rumors, particularly ones that are intended to have a large effect on the game.

In the request, submit the rumor you'd like to spread, what you intend to affect with it, and any other information you think may be needed. You should also note if you are looking for a specific outcome.

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