How evil is too evil>

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AuthorTopic: How evil is too evil>
Infiltrator
Member # 148
Profile #0
I'm currently working on a scenario (I have been for the last year :rolleyes: ). I currently deciding how evil (and the bad person is very nasty and evil) I shoudl express the character. Please poll based on what you think is the max.

Poll Information
This poll contains 5 question(s). 70 user(s) have voted.
You may not view the results of this poll without voting.

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My ego is bigger than yours.
Posts: 480 | Registered: Thursday, October 11 2001 07:00
Off With Their Heads
Member # 4045
Profile Homepage #1
The answer to all of these is invariably: "It depends." Gratuitous, unnecessary violence and obscenity are annoying; if I wanted that, I'd play GTA. However, violence or even obscenity done well are very effective and useful.

Like everything else with Blades, there is no formula here.

[ Thursday, July 14, 2005 18:51: Message edited by: Kelandon ]

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Arancaytar: Every time you ask people to compare TM and Kel, you endanger the poor, fluffy kittens.
Smoo: Get ready to face the walls!
Ephesos: In conclusion, yarr.

Kelandon's Pink and Pretty Page!!: the authorized location for all things by me
The Archive of all released BoE scenarios ever
Posts: 7968 | Registered: Saturday, February 28 2004 08:00
...b10010b...
Member # 869
Profile Homepage #2
I don't think it's necessary to prescribe a hard limit on the sort of actions a villain should be allowed to take.

Having said that, the villain should at least have reasonable motivations for their actions. (What constitutes a reasonable motivation will depend on the nature of the character, of course. A mindless monster that can survive only by devouring everything around it is plausible and sufficiently motivated, even if it's not a very compelling character. The same motivation obviously doesn't work at all for a human villain.)

The question you really seem to want to know the answer to, though, is how much detail you should go into in describing the villain's actions. In general, I'd advise no more than is necessary for the narrative and/or dramatic purposes you're attempting to serve.

As a word of advice, unpleasantness looks more gratuitous if you use more detail to describe unpleasant things than neutral things -- in other words, if you want graphic violence, keep your descriptive writing up to par for the rest of the scenario. (Having seen what you've done with terrain, I trust in your ability to do this).

[ Thursday, July 14, 2005 19:02: Message edited by: Thuryl ]

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The Empire Always Loses: This Time For Sure!
Posts: 9973 | Registered: Saturday, March 30 2002 08:00
Triad Mage
Member # 7
Profile Homepage #3
I voted no on sexual predators (although this could probably done tastefully) and kink (which could also probably be done tastefully, but it's harder).

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"At times discretion should be thrown aside, and with the foolish we should play the fool." - Menander
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You can take my Mac when you pry my cold, dead fingers off the mouse!
Posts: 9436 | Registered: Wednesday, September 19 2001 07:00
Warrior
Member # 5302
Profile #4
To me, I've always thought it was the sign of a good villain if the player actually hated them. If the villain has proper motivation for each of these things, and it'll make them more unpleasant, I say go for it. I like playing the good guys, and I like vanquishing the truly evil characters.
Posts: 70 | Registered: Sunday, December 19 2004 08:00
By Committee
Member # 4233
Profile #5
quote:
Originally written by Drakefyre:

I voted no on sexual predators (although this could probably done tastefully)...
How? Like Nabokov?
Posts: 2242 | Registered: Saturday, April 10 2004 07:00
Agent
Member # 2210
Profile #6
I imagine you could do just about any level of evil. However, most extremely evil things are impossible to do with taste or in a non-pornographic manner. You won't be able to keep it on the Spiderweb tables and you probably will be hated. It caused an uproar when there was a prostitute in the game-- which was kind of funny.

The problem would be doing it in a non-graphic or verbally explicit manner. Subtlety and a very bad end for the villain are the key here.

Also having the party do evil things might have a caveat. It might be cool if the party is tricked into doing evil things at the beginning. For example they are told to recover an artifact from an evil temple which is not really evil, or they are told that a tribe are a bunch of cannibals, etc.

[ Friday, July 15, 2005 09:41: Message edited by: I'll Steal Your Toast ]

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Wasting your time and mine looking for a good laugh.

Star Bright, Star Light, Oh I Wish I May, I Wish Might, Wish For One Star Tonight.
Posts: 1084 | Registered: Thursday, November 7 2002 08:00
Triad Mage
Member # 7
Profile Homepage #7
... or forced to eat people's souls ...

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"At times discretion should be thrown aside, and with the foolish we should play the fool." - Menander
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Drakefyre's Demesne - Happy Happy Joy Joy
Encyclopedia Ermariana - Trapped in the Closet
====
You can take my Mac when you pry my cold, dead fingers off the mouse!
Posts: 9436 | Registered: Wednesday, September 19 2001 07:00
By Committee
Member # 4233
Profile #8
Or maybe they're just evil. I've only played two games that manage to allow you to be totally evil without any sort of real comeupance, and those are Icewind Dale 2 and Knights of the Old Republic.

EDIT: I'm certain that KOTOR2 allows for this as well, and I also understand that Fable may, but I've never played either.

[ Friday, July 15, 2005 10:47: Message edited by: Drew ]
Posts: 2242 | Registered: Saturday, April 10 2004 07:00
BANNED
Member # 4
Profile Homepage #9
quote:
Originally written by I'll Steal Your Toast:

Subtlety and a very bad end for the villain are the key here.
The former is not a prerequisite, and I whole-heartedly disagree with the second part.

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Posts: 6936 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00
Agent
Member # 5814
Profile #10
I think you can still go around murdering and threatening in KOTOR 2 like you could in KOTOR 1, but KOTOR 2 hates me so I can't play it anymore.

Also, according to the poll results, a smidge over half of Spiderwebbers like cruelty and references to sexual predator-like behavior in their villians.

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quote:
Originally written by Kelandon
Well, I'm at least pretty

Posts: 1115 | Registered: Sunday, May 15 2005 07:00
Apprentice
Member # 309
Profile #11
I'd like to see a scenario where the adventurers play the bad guys for a change.

I'd also like to see a scenario with an R rating that actually deserves it. If you can do that tastefully, you deserve a pat on the back, as this game doesn't really lend itself to such.
Posts: 17 | Registered: Friday, November 23 2001 08:00
Shaper
Member # 5437
Profile #12
I'd say "it depends" for the same reasons as others have mentioned, and I would less bothered by reading about blood/violence than detailed descriptions of sexual predators.

[ Friday, July 15, 2005 18:04: Message edited by: Dolphin. ]
Posts: 2032 | Registered: Wednesday, January 26 2005 08:00
E Equals MC What!!!!
Member # 5491
Profile Homepage #13
quote:
Originally written by Pitt:

I'd like to see a scenario where the adventurers play the bad guys for a change.

I'd also like to see a scenario with an R rating that actually deserves it. If you can do that tastefully, you deserve a pat on the back, as this game doesn't really lend itself to such.

Johnny Favourite.

Toast, the reason that people objected to the prostitute is that that author always includes them, entirely gratuitously. It's not that people are prudes, but when you throw in sex for the sake of it, it's tasteless and vulgar.

Sex crimes are generally a bad idea for Blades, I'd say. They just don't work within the medium. The only time I've seen rape used effectively as a plot device in Blades was Nikolai in Roots - and it was hardly a pivotal event. Basically just a backstory thing. True, no one has really tried, but there may be a reason for that.

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SupaNik: Aran, you're not big enough to threaten Ash. Dammit, even JV had to think twice.
Posts: 1861 | Registered: Friday, February 11 2005 08:00
Lifecrafter
Member # 3171
Profile Homepage #14
I'd love to see a scenario where we can play as the evil side. It'd be nice for a change rather than allways trying to save stuff and do good things for everyone.
Posts: 776 | Registered: Friday, July 4 2003 07:00
Shaper
Member # 73
Profile #15
I haven't played the scenario yet, but I read somewhere that someone was raped in Quintessence as well.

I'm working on a scenario where you play as a thief, for anyone interested. I can't guarantee it will get finished, but I like how it's going so far, so it might.

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The Lyceum - The Headquarters of the Blades designing community
The Louvre - The Blades of Avernum graphics database
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BoE Webring - Self explanatory
Polaris - Free porn here
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Posts: 2957 | Registered: Thursday, October 4 2001 07:00
...b10010b...
Member # 869
Profile Homepage #16
quote:
Originally written by The Almighty Doer of Stuff:

I haven't played the scenario yet, but I read somewhere that someone was raped in Quintessence as well.
Almost, but not quite.

I recall Masks pretty strongly implying something of the sort as well. It'd be uncharitable to say that this suggests Brett Bixler has some unresolved issues, but all the same it makes one wonder.

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The Empire Always Loses: This Time For Sure!
Posts: 9973 | Registered: Saturday, March 30 2002 08:00
E Equals MC What!!!!
Member # 5491
Profile Homepage #17
That's a good point, actually, and that sequence was easily the best part of Quint. So maybe I'm wrong. :P

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SupaNik: Aran, you're not big enough to threaten Ash. Dammit, even JV had to think twice.
Posts: 1861 | Registered: Friday, February 11 2005 08:00
Guardian
Member # 3521
Profile #18
quote:
Originally written by Ash Lael:

Toast, the reason that people objected to the prostitute is that that author always includes them, entirely gratuitously. It's not that people are prudes, but when you throw in sex for the sake of it, it's tasteless and vulgar.
There is an advantage of throwing in sex "for the sake of it"- realism. Most big cities have red-light districts and the like, and the presence of a prostitute can lend an ambience to the place. However, I agree that it's something of a wasted effort to include a prostitute in a scenario but not flesh out her character at all. A little monologue regarding the factors that forced her into such an occupation could certainly add to the scenario.

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Stughalf

"Delusion arises from anger. The mind is bewildered by delusion. Reasoning is destroyed when the mind is bewildered. One falls down when reasoning is destroyed."- The Bhagavad Gita.
Posts: 1798 | Registered: Sunday, October 5 2003 07:00
E Equals MC What!!!!
Member # 5491
Profile Homepage #19
I'd like to differentiate between having a prostitute in a scenario and having the option to use her 'services'. Trouble in Mendor includes a brothel, but you do not have the option to have sex with any of the ladies. Slack's scenarios all include prostitutes purely for the sake of the sex - no character depth or anything like that. It is the latter that I object to.

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SupaNik: Aran, you're not big enough to threaten Ash. Dammit, even JV had to think twice.
Posts: 1861 | Registered: Friday, February 11 2005 08:00
Guardian
Member # 3521
Profile #20
Well, if you've played Fallout, many prostitutes in the game do exist just to have sex with the PC. However, there are a few around that possess considerable character depth, so they aren't all present just to please the PC (and take his money).

I find Slack's use of prostitutes clumsy and somewhat wasteful, but he's got a decent idea going. Nothing enhances the seediness of a town like a prostitute or three. I just wish he would give them a bit more character depth.

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Stughalf

"Delusion arises from anger. The mind is bewildered by delusion. Reasoning is destroyed when the mind is bewildered. One falls down when reasoning is destroyed."- The Bhagavad Gita.
Posts: 1798 | Registered: Sunday, October 5 2003 07:00
Shock Trooper
Member # 6068
Profile #21
I almost voted evil and nasty as you can get, because that's generally my kind of thing. But then you really have to think more about it: Although the game itself is not an immediate threat to people's health (I hope), Hell is a very real threat to mankind and should be taken very seriously. Things like demons and serpents with human heads are direct references to the ocult, and all things in this game truly must be taken in moderation.

The story of Grah-Hoth was a classic tale because it wasn't written by computer game amateurs, and everyone seemed to recognize him as a MAJOR evil in the game with little reservation, going all the way as to deem the only wizard to dare summon him insane. We can't have demons summoned left and right just because some of us begin to think it's fun.

Finally, sex predators are not okay. Sexual assaults are more bizzare on one's psyche than killing a hideous monster out of self-defense, and there are plenty of small children who play these games.
EDIT: I know there's an age-rating, but nothing is actually forcing children not to play scenarios with high age ratings

[ Monday, July 18, 2005 17:12: Message edited by: Chief Spider watching The Simpsons ]

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"Sometimes I get all hungry!
And then I catch some flies!
They fly into my webs!
They are really yummy guys!"
-Spider
Posts: 209 | Registered: Monday, July 4 2005 07:00
Shaper
Member # 73
Profile #22
You know, there's a reason there's an age rating setting. If you want to deal with mature subjects, there's no reason you shouldn't. Many people who are attracted to RPGs like deep, interesting plots. If a child opens a scenario that is clearly rated Mature and sees something they don't like, it's their own fault.

And we could get into a big nasty argument over how "very real" a threat Hell is to mankind, but this is not the place.

[ Sunday, July 17, 2005 14:41: Message edited by: The Almighty Doer of Stuff ]

--------------------
My Myspace, with some of my audial and visual art
The Lyceum - The Headquarters of the Blades designing community
The Louvre - The Blades of Avernum graphics database
Alexandria - The Blades of Exile Scenario database
BoE Webring - Self explanatory
Polaris - Free porn here
Odd Todd - Fun for the unemployed (and everyone else too)
They Might Be Giants - Four websites for one of the greatest bands in existance
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Posts: 2957 | Registered: Thursday, October 4 2001 07:00
Shock Trooper
Member # 6102
Profile #23
Pretty much, as long as the evil being is interesting in plot and doesn't pretain to anything that "crosses the line" in terms of sexuality or crossing taboos, that's fine with a lot of gamers. Violence, whether it's by words or graphically, will somehow be there in a lot of RPG evil doers.

[ Sunday, July 17, 2005 16:41: Message edited by: Jeros ]

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"Truly, if there is evil in this world, it lies in the heart of mankind." -Edward D. Morrison
Posts: 220 | Registered: Monday, July 11 2005 07:00
E Equals MC What!!!!
Member # 5491
Profile Homepage #24
quote:
Originally written by Stugri-La:

Well, if you've played Fallout, many prostitutes in the game do exist just to have sex with the PC. However, there are a few around that possess considerable character depth, so they aren't all present just to please the PC (and take his money).

I find Slack's use of prostitutes clumsy and somewhat wasteful, but he's got a decent idea going. Nothing enhances the seediness of a town like a prostitute or three. I just wish he would give them a bit more character depth.

Haven't played Fallout.

In the end, it's a taste thing. If you don't mind that some people will avoid your scenario because of the content, do what you like.

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SupaNik: Aran, you're not big enough to threaten Ash. Dammit, even JV had to think twice.
Posts: 1861 | Registered: Friday, February 11 2005 08:00

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