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Masterpick
11-28-2016, 08:24 PM
Hey everyone!

Got a minor character teaching a main how to 'blend in' in public when another faction is combing the place, looking for the two. Not sure if this should go here in research or over in brainstorming. What are some concrete "tricks of the trade" I can have him pass on to the main?

Myrealana
11-28-2016, 08:48 PM
Well, some of it will probably depend on the setting, situation, stakes, etc, but the biggest thing would be not to try too hard. Don't run. Don't look scared. Don't duck and hide. Be one of the crowd. If they're all heading in one direction, don't fight it. If they're all eating ice cream, get an ice cream...

Maryn
11-28-2016, 09:29 PM
Every mystery and spy book I've read says that blending in is a matter of being utterly ordinary and beyond notice. As Myrealana said, you don't run, you don't look panicked, you buy the ice cream, etc. It helps if you are able to dress and move like anyone else on the sidewalk or street. Don't be too handsome or stylish, or carry a large package that makes you stand out in a crowd. If it's feasible for your character, having readily available changes in the clothes by which someone might describe you--a different hat or cap, a reversible jacket, an overcoat you abandon, exposing a windbreaker--could be handy.

It might also be helpful if your character can form a temporary "relationship" with someone on the street--chatting with a person wearing the same team's sports logo, talking with others watching a three-card monte dealer, asking a couple where's a good restaurant to take his wife--will make anyone looking for him take him as part of a pair or group and dismiss him.

Maryn, ready to vanish in a crowd

PeteMC
11-29-2016, 02:57 AM
Yeah what the others have said - just be normal. Be so normal and bland that you're invisible. You don't say what your setting is but your character will want to make him/herself look and sound and act so basic generic that no one notices them. That's how to be invisible.

Wherever they are, dress like the locals. Speak like the locals. If there's a dialect or accent, learn it and use it.

For example, if you're in a bar in London these days and you try to pay for a drink with cash it looks odd because no one else does. Use contactless. Yes that leaves an electronic trail, but that's a whole other business.

Don’t wear high fashion. Don't look stupidly unfashionable. Don't join a "fashion tribe" unless you know it inside out (goth / hipster / metal / punk / whatever). Just be bland. Be the kid at school that was so boring and generic no one even bothered to bully them.

That's a real spy, right there.

King Neptune
11-29-2016, 03:12 AM
And remember that Dashiell Hammett was well above average height and had bright red hair, but as a detective he was seldom, if ever, spotted by people he was shadowing. It was a matter of how he acted, even though he was as obvious as the proverbial sore thumb he acted casually.

Snitchcat
11-29-2016, 05:06 AM
Adding a quick note: Is your character the same ethnicity as those around him/her? That would make it much easier to blend in.

Masterpick
11-29-2016, 07:53 AM
Thanks for the responses, all! Snitchcat, to answer your question, yes. Both are the same ethnicity as those around them.

Twick
11-29-2016, 06:58 PM
Watch Captain America: The Winter Soldier for Black Widow's tips. "The first rule of going on the run is don't run."