Page 1067 - Suffering Foretold

22nd May 2018, 6:00 AM
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Suffering Foretold
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 22nd May 2018, 6:00 AM edit delete
There's a thought in my head – "It's not often you face a villain that you really hate" – that leads down a fascinating rabbit hole.

I was watching some other tabletop streams and VODs the other day, and there was a moment where a sweet, fun-loving player gave into their anger for a hot minute and did something rather atrocious. When gently called out on it later on, the player believed themselves sort of in the right but couldn't really defend it. And my thought at the time was, "Yeah, that's common."

Do we actually not experience very much genuine anger and hatred in these games, despite being waist-deep in "monsters" and "villains"? (Assuming ideal group conditions, of course.) Are we unprepared for the moments where real hate consumes us? Is that where we get the murder-hobo archetype, or nice people momentarily turning into monsters and not being able to come to terms with what they did after? We're expected as adults / young adults to be able to contain and control our emotions, after all, and knowing who you'll become when the consequences are virtual and you're beyond your limit is kind of impossible.

Sorry, didn't mean to get all goth and go on a tangent. ...Well, I committed this to the Author's Note, so I guess I did. But I find it fascinating that, for a moment, this game sometimes gives us a glimpse into the abyss inside ourselves. Usually without any greater cost than weirding out your friends and becoming a running gag for a while.


Zaftique 22nd May 2018, 6:18 AM edit delete reply
My BF is in a game I DM, and when my green dragon NPC sweetly threatened them into becoming her temporary thralls (1 month Geas spell), he was almost shaking with anger.

In fairness, someone had stolen her eggs, so she was in a desperate spot herself, but he's convinced that they're going to find the eggs and she's just going to murder them after. Maybe I played her too well? ;)
Achtungnight 22nd May 2018, 6:26 AM edit delete reply
He who fights monsters should take care he does not become a monster. When you gaze into an abyss it gazes back at you.
Digo Dragon 22nd May 2018, 6:39 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
But then you have people like The Operative in the movie Serenity who fully acknowledge that they are a monster and despite doing what they do for a better world, know that there will be no place fore them there once their work is done. Those are the scary monsters.
Freelance 22nd May 2018, 11:14 AM edit delete reply
There's a trope for that:
Heck, that's the trope's headline quote.
Digo Dragon 23rd May 2018, 6:36 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
Yep, that's the trope. Those make pretty good villains to hate on a personal level.
Evilbob 23rd May 2018, 6:08 PM edit delete reply
"Necessary Evil" is a very fun trope. Both for use for villains, like The Operative you mentioned, as well as some heroes/anti-heroes such as Lelouch in Code Geass.
Anvildude 24th May 2018, 4:01 PM edit delete