>>44664827 because GM's fancy themselves creative types who believe multifaceted characters somehow make their villain more relateable and therefore sufficiently deep. In the context of the actual setting and plot that the adventures find themselves in, a straightforward bad dude will usually suffice in getting the players hyped to roleplay.
>>44664827 Many GMs see moral greyness as their ticket to a deep and characterful story. Whether it actually works depends more on the the GM and their skill than the villain they choose. It doesn't really matter whether your villain is a decent guy, an asshole who thinks he's doing the right thing or a cartoonishly evil puppy-kicking turbocunt. What matters is how well you put it together and execute it.
>>44664827 Because cartoonishly evil people don't exist outside of one dimensional characters in children's fiction. I like to think my characters are at least a little better than writing aimed at 10 year olds.
The Nazis didn't just start throwing rocks because they wanted to kill and torture people. Genghis Khan didn't unite tribes and march them all over Asia because he really wanted to fuck some war widows with their own tears. Even the mentally ill kill for a reason. Sociopaths will only risk it for great personal gain and all the big serial killers did it because it was an intense compulsion.
>>44665008 >Because cartoonishly evil people don't exist outside of one dimensional characters in children's fiction I'd mention General Butt Naked if he hadn't turned around and become a pacifist preacher.
>>44665008 >Genghis Khan didn't unite tribes and march them all over Asia because he really wanted to fuck some war widows with their own tears. Even the mentally ill kill for a reason. The entire reason was to fuck bitches and make money and he never claimed otherwise.
>>44665839 >>44666288 Pol Pot literally killed people because they wore glasses/had studied abroad. Just because you cobble up some vague justification for your actions doesn't mean you can't be cartoonishly evil
What constitutes evil also differs greatly between nations and certainly among different races (in worlds were such exist). Just because the players might consider one particular villain worthy of being put to the sword the general populace and certainly the law of said tribe/grouping/nation/race might not agree. If for example a certain nation allows slavery and the lives of those slaves arent worth much in the eyes of the general populace is that nation and it's rulers good or evil? A cursory look at not to far removed history seems to indicate that it is never that simply, as always it comes down to point of view.
>>44664827 Yeah, but nobody starts off evil. Even Sauron was a noble Maiar before being corrupted. It adds a lot of depth to a character if players can uncover some of the reasons why the BBEG is big, bad and evil.
I don't think there's anything wrong with him being an evil dick without any sort of moral grey area, but show us why he's that way. Even if it's just because he was raised as part of an experiment to crest someone purely evil á la Johann Leibert
I had my last BBEG play an active role in the campaign by bumping into the players regularly, sometimes being an obstacle, sometimes helping them out to deal with some mutual issues. Really, he got quite friendly with the PCs.
He wasn't a combative villain, and I opened up the situation where they could've just offed them if they wanted to several times. Once they had him unconcious and bound, and then left him alone because they'd decided at this point after meeting him a few times that he'd only done bad things because he was with bad people.
But it turned out that he was an unrepentent monster with delusions of grandeur, incompetent in every way but cruelty and with a belief that everything he did was justified because he was special.
Fuck these people looking for grey morality, a dude is obvious bad news when he's introduced burning down a village.
>>44671186 >Modernism took offense at the idea of eternal sunshine and happiness as the result of work. I think you're thinking of romanticism, what with Thoreau and Bartleby the Scrivener and stuff. And what are you talking about? Post-modernism loves ideas.
>>44671271 No, Modernism thought of Romanticism. As in, Modernism thought of Romanticism as naive and prone to glossing over the ugly realities of the world. Thanks, World War 1.
Post-modernism by definition despises ideas. Post-modernism criticizes any and all ideas it comes across as insufficient for whatever context those ideas sprang from (at least it used to, before Cold War times). Post-modernism is an anti-ideology, and in so being it smugly presumes it is the superior to anything that came before it because it rejects everything that came before it.
>>44671395 Well, yeah, but trancendentalism isn't a temper, and it's certainly not mutually exclusive with Romanticism. Both idealize nature and the natural state. >>44671341 >Post-modernism by definition despises ideas. I'm not certain that's true, and the fact that you clearly have disagreements with it as an "anti-ideology" makes me cautious to accept whatever statements you have about what post-modernism is actually about. As I understand it, post-modernism is heavily concerned with the meta contexts of many ideas >it smugly presumes it is the superior to anything that came before it because it rejects everything that came before it. That sounds like a lot of things, to be honest. >>44671417 Wasn't it? Sorry, it's been a while, so I admit I may have made a mistake for that example, but I thought it fit.
>>44671485 >I'm not certain that's true It is. >As I understand it, post-modernism is heavily concerned with the meta contexts of many ideas "criticizes any and all ideas it comes across as insufficient for whatever context those ideas sprang from," yeah, I already said that. It's an anti-ideology. And no, Bartleby the Scrivener is not Romanticist at all. Reread it.
>>44666334 That's easily explained as his perception that they would've been a potentially significant threat to his regime. There's a logical reason behind it, even if it's monstrous. The greater question is for what reasons, and why, did he feel the need to go to such measures to "protect" his rule? He could've easily maintained his status as the most powerful and dominant political figure in his nation even if he allowed the educated and intelligentsia to form a middle class and gain some degree of political power, and he would've been far more wealthy and powerful than the real version of him that traded such an opportunity for greater control, as a result of the much stronger economy and technological expertise he would've gained for his regime to use. There are many potential implications of his actions that would explain why he did what he did, and they would all be logical in the frame of his understanding, if not ours.
>>44671519 >And no, Bartleby the Scrivener is not Romanticist at all. What is it, then? Because I remember it being pretty obviously opposed to the modern, dehumanizing state of the working man, which is something that I associate (maybe mistakenly) with Romanticism. Am I wrong?
A good villain needs something. A complex motivation can create sympathy and understanding form the players and maybe even some introspection on some philosophical matter. You don't need to fill that hole with complex motivations however but you can't fill it with nothing. If a villein is very fun to fight and listen to like the better Power Rangers villeins then the players will appreciate the joy of just trading blows with them. This charisma will carry the character and that fills the whole of "something". Presence alone can make a villain and this is what I find support "simple" BBEG's the best.
Let's take Palpatine for example no EU fuck off this isn't about you this is just film Palps, he is not complex he is after power for power's sake and he's pretty much a baddest dude in the galaxy and that's it, that's his character. What make him so memorable and great however is all that went into building him up, the set of his throne room and Iain McDiarmid's grandiose performance that just oozes vileness and it's clear he's having the time of his life.
So to conclude no you do not need a "twist" however if you not going to make you villain intellectually intriguing then you must put in the effort elsewhere to ensure you execution of the character is still captivating.
>>44671687 Modernism criticized Romanticism, not the other way around. Romanticism concerns itself with the natural world, with optimism, and with traditional Judeo-Christian values. Romanticism in fact appeared in opposition to growing industrialism and urban aggregation. It was a movement focused on reviving medieval art, or at least the values that informed that period; chivalry, grand emotion, vivid imagery.
Modernism grew out of the first World War and is best portrayed by authors like James Joyce, T.S. Eliot, Virginia Woolf, Ezra Pound, D.H. Lawrence, and Gertrude Stein. Their works are full of pessimism, sadness, existential worry, defeatism, proto-feminism, and anti-Romanticist trends in general.
>>44671870 >Romanticism in fact appeared in opposition to growing industrialism and urban aggregation. So, kind of like how Bartleby the Scrivener opposed how industrialism treated men like machines? >Modernism criticized Romanticism, not the other way around. I don't think I said that Romanticism criticized Modernism.
Are you even reading what I'm writing, or are you responding to somebody else? Or am I just going crazy?
>>44671969 >So, kind of like how Bartleby the Scrivener opposed how industrialism treated men like machines? Yes.
And also how Bartleby opposed the optimism that a better world even exists.
>Are you even reading what I'm writing, or are you responding to somebody else? Same question. Romanticism grew out of a desire to IGNORE industrialization and urbanity, not to EMBRACE it.
Modernism did that. Again, James Joyce, Gertrude Stein, and a whole barrel-full of dead babies as opposed to Keats, Wordsworth, and Shelley's vivid "nature is beautiful, man is his own creation, a new heaven is begun" type of thing.
It doesn't appear you know what you're talking about.
>>44672055 I never said that Romanticism was trying to embrace industrialization. Wouldn't that contradict how I thought Bartleby was a Romantic work? >It doesn't appear you know what you're talking about I think you know what you're talking about, and I think I know what I'm talking about, but I don't think we're communicating very well. I think I can understand better now what you're saying, though
Because contrary to what dumbasses playing "I stab the king for lolz" characters believe, people don't do shit for no reason, and since it's reasonable there is a motive behind it that amounts to more than "I like to inflict suffering".
>>44672135 >I never said that Romanticism was trying to embrace industrialization. I know, I did. Which you ignored, which is why you're confused, which is why we're here right now.
Romanticism IGNORED and attempted to escape from then-modern trends of industrialization and urbanity. Ergo the separation of ROMANTICISM (literally, of or related to Romantic or Roman or Medieval ideals) and MODERNISM (fully embracing the trends of the then-modern world, like the 12 hour factory and the rapidly increasing pace of the industrial world).
The two are clearly separated and Bartleby clearly lays on the Modernist side, and has in fact been described as proto-Modernist.
If you think Barlteby is Romanticist then I'll have to insist that you really don't know what you're talking about.
>>44672219 Ok, no, yeah, I understand now. I don't really see the whole -embracing- of industrialism there, but I failed to properly consider the ending of the story by remembering it. "Proto-modernist" anyway seems to me to be a much better label for the story than modernist, but you're right that calling it Romanticist was wrong of me. My bad.
>>44664827 Because it's an easy way to change up the status quo. The biggest downfall of the traditional BBEG is that they're around forever, and they always do the same thing. It gets boring, and it gets predictable. A "twist" can represent a paradigm shift in the plot. Maybe the Orc warlord wasn't just conquering for the hell of it, but because someone you thought was OK manipulated him into doing so.
>>44671341 >Post-modernism by definition despises ideas. Post-modernism criticizes any and all ideas it comes across as insufficient for whatever context those ideas sprang from (at least it used to, before Cold War times). Post-modernism is an anti-ideology, and in so being it smugly presumes it is the superior to anything that came before it because it rejects everything that came before it.
You're an idiot. Post-modernism is literally about considering the reasons behind ideas, nothing else. It is seriously just "check yourself before you wreck yourself."
Come on man, logical ≠ good. Just because your actions are logical doesn't mean you're not evil.
And really, just because the bad guy thinks what he is doing is "right" doesn't make him have any greater depth than a badguy who just does it for more purely evil reasons.
And besides, in the context of an RPG what is in the frame of understanding of the evil guys isn't at all relevant for most of the table. The only thing that actually matters is the player character's frame of understanding.
No wonder people on this board are always bitching and moaning about how their players don't pay enough attention to their wonderful magical NPC personalities and crying that they tried to shoot the BBEG at first sighting. No one gives a shit whether the bad guy feels they are morally justified or not. Your alignment is still Evil.
>>44672614 But anon, wouldn't the ancient unspeakable evil just be sooooooo much more compelling if we find out that he wants to kill everyone because he never got enough milk from his evil momma's tit?
>>44670992 Honestly, while useful, a backstory isn't really necessary unless it's gonna come up in-game. If I have say, a wandering swordsman who wants to prove himself yet still doubts his own skills on some level, I don't need a backstory to play that.
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