The Bad Get Polling!

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AuthorTopic: The Bad Get Polling!
Off With Their Heads
Member # 4045
Profile Homepage #50
quote:
Originally written by Emperor Tullegolar:

The point where your evil actions outweigh your good intentions is when the line is crossed into villainhood
Well, now we're back to definitions again. Does villain mean "antagonist" or does villain mean "evil character"? The creator of this poll clearly meant the former, and there's no reason to insist that that's a false definition.

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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
Shaper
Member # 7472
Profile Homepage #51
My definition of villain, for the sake of this poll, is someone that the party, not the player, can view as evil. Whether their view is accurate is another subject entirely.

Remember, in this case, it's how the party views the situation. If you were out in the wilderness, cold, exhuasted, and wounded, your opinion of a villain would be different then sitting nice, safe, and warm at your own home.

[ Thursday, October 19, 2006 07:36: Message edited by: Ghouloca ]

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AmnesiaDileciaThe Empire's New GroveExpress Delivery
Twilight ValleyWitch HuntWhere the Rivers Meet
Posts: 2686 | Registered: Friday, September 8 2006 07:00
Guardian
Member # 6670
Profile Homepage #52
To expand on Kel's point, good villains actually do stuff. The party should interact with the villain, whether directly or through foreshadowing, lackeys, reading private writings (Myst, anyone?), etc. Seeing the resulting carnage sometimes works too.

A villain who you never hear about until you meet him at the end is useless. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to beat my head against the wall for an hour because I was stupid enough to make a scenario which has that sort of villain.

EDIT: Gah. Here I go posting, thinking that the topic is still on one page. I'll leave my incoherent rambling up anyway.

Though I must state that by Emperor T.'s definition of villain, the best villain would be someone who causes the maximum amount of harm to the maximum amount of people in the shortest span of time. Somehow, I don't think that a villain whose character is defined by running around with an Uzi spraying bullets in a crowd would be a good villain. Evil, probably. But very little depth.
quote:
The Silent Assassin believes that even the most powerful Evil Overlord must have some sort of soul...
Or maybe I'm confusing him with Ghandi again.
I have a whole collection of them, actually.

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People think that I must be a very strange person. This is not correct. I have the heart of a small boy. It is in a glass jar on my desk.
- Robert Bloch (often quoted by Stephen King)

[ Thursday, October 19, 2006 08:18: Message edited by: Dintiradan ]
Posts: 1509 | Registered: Tuesday, January 10 2006 08:00
Councilor
Member # 6600
Profile Homepage #53
Originally by Nioca:

quote:
My definition of villain, for the sake of this poll, is someone that the party, not the player, can view as evil. Whether their view is accurate is another subject entirely.
That's not the entire definition, though. The party actually had to meet the character before they were counted as a villian. Otherwise, Lord Volpe should have been on the poll.

Because Dikiyoba's party sure thought that Lord Volpe was evil after visiting with all the poor, starving peasants.
Posts: 4346 | Registered: Friday, December 23 2005 08:00
Lifecrafter
Member # 7538
Profile Homepage #54
Tullegolar said this a lot of posts ago, but it caught my attention.

quote:
A villain is: someone who is willing to harm innocents to advance their own agenda.
What is that saying, then, about the U.S. in WWII? Bombing Hiroshima and Nagasaki? You'd better believe innocent people died in those attacks. More, I'd say, than non-innocent people. Does that make the bombers villains? Or perhaps the authorities that ordered the attacks?

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Do not provoke the turtles.
They do not like being provoked.

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My website: Nemesis' Refuge
Posts: 743 | Registered: Friday, September 29 2006 07:00
Warrior
Member # 7254
Profile Homepage #55
partially off-topic, but since you guys are talking about bad guys in general anyway..

Gladiator 's version of Commodus is one of my favourite movie antagonists (or villains, it's your pick, really). Give me an enemy like him in, and I'll promise to rate the scenario at least 4.2 on CSR!

To the eyes of people around him, he seems to be selfish, cruel and careless. Commodus, on the other hand, sees himself only trying to prove himself to others, and trying to help them (by, at times any means necessary). And oooooh, he's sensitive, lonely and fragile too! He has a family, he commands an empire, and in the end he dies in a dramatical battle against one of his sworn enemies!

Grrrreat.

Okay, Maximus only meets him briefly in the beginning, and again only in the end portion of the film, but they have a long history behind them, they've practically been like brothers in their childhood, and so forth. Besides, Commodus isn't even aware that Maximus is alive. So I guess it's okay he doesn't much interact with him in the middle. :/

Discuss.

[ Thursday, October 19, 2006 11:16: Message edited by: skeleton_archer ]
Posts: 73 | Registered: Monday, June 26 2006 07:00
Lifecrafter
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Profile Homepage #56
Skeleton_Archer: No.

Emperor Tullegolar: Calm down.

Dintiradan: Awesome. We need to compare specimens sometime. :P

I have to hold with Nioca on this one in that while the antagonist can be a villain and while an evil person can be a villain, the antagonist can still be villainous without being evil; and likewise, an antagoinist can still be evil without being villainous.

You can be a bad guy without being a villain.

In my personal line of thought, I don't really think that you can be villainous without being antagonistic. Merely because in my experience, a villain makes quite the show of being antagonistic...

But antagoinism is not enough...
Perhaps, in some way, we subconsciously come to admire our foe, for one of many reasons. Perhaps dedication, intelligence, humanity, cleverness, creativity, or one of many other attributes can take hold of our attention, and make us slightly sorry to see our foe go...

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The Silent Assassin only ever once went on a hunger strike.
And that was because I refused to go grocery shopping until he reassembled the refrigerator.

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-Lenar Labs
What's Your Destiny?

Ushmushmeifa: Lenar's power is almighty and ineffable.

All hail lord Noric, god of... well, something important, I'm sure.
Posts: 735 | Registered: Monday, January 16 2006 08:00
Warrior
Member # 7254
Profile Homepage #57
Well okay, okay. 4.5! And that's my final offer.
Posts: 73 | Registered: Monday, June 26 2006 07:00
Shaper
Member # 7420
Profile Homepage #58
quote:
Originally written by *i:

I still consider Stalker a villain if you agree with the Empire side.
Ah, but then you no longer sympathize with him! The fact that you sympathize with him is the only reason people have given for why he is a good villain.
quote:
Originally written by Nioca:

My definition of villain, for the sake of this poll, is someone that the party, not the player, can view as evil.
There you have it. Stalker is crappy at being evil, yet he won. That is why I challenge people's opinions.
quote:
Originally written by Dintiradan:

by Emperor T.'s definition of villain, the best villain would be someone who causes the maximum amount of harm to the maximum amount of people in the shortest span of time.
It seems someone finally hit me with a reasonable argument. Very well, I shall add another element to my definition. A good villain is someone who causes harm to innocents to advance their own agenda, and does it with the greatest amount of style.
quote:
Originally written by Nemesis:

Does that make the bombers villains?
Uh... yes! Who ever said the United States was the angel of world politics? I personally have not forgiven them for using the bomb, and I am surprised Japan has.
quote:
Originally written by Lenar, Inc.:

the antagonist can still be villainous without being evil
This is rarely the case. As for BoA scenarios, it is never the case.

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You lose.
Posts: 2156 | Registered: Thursday, August 24 2006 07:00
? Man, ? Amazing
Member # 5755
Profile #59
quote:
Originally argued by ET:
It seems someone finally hit me with a reasonable argument
OMG! Are we supposed to be arguing? About opinions and polls? I am deeply apologetic. I thought we exchanging visions on villany. Please, carry on your argument. I'll not interfere.
quote:
Originally phoned in by ET:
I personally have not forgiven them for using the bomb

Wow. That does explain quite a bit. :eek:

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quote:
Originally written by Kelandon:

Well, I'm at least pretty sure that Salmon is losing.


Posts: 4114 | Registered: Monday, April 25 2005 07:00
E Equals MC What!!!!
Member # 5491
Profile Homepage #60
quote:
Originally written by Emperor Tullegolar:

There you have it. Stalker is crappy at being evil, yet he won. That is why I challenge people's opinions.
Stalker isn't crappy at being evil. He massacres towns.

What makes him a comparitively complex character is the fact that he does this in the name of a greater good, and seems to actually believe his own rhetoric. He simply is okay with killing innocent people as long as he's killing his enemies at the same time. It's an understandable, though abhorrent, point of view. That makes him a fairly decent villain. Personally, I voted for him simply because of the lack of any real competition.

For reference, my favourite villain (or antagonist) of all time is Javert from Les Miserables. If you want to berate people for liking villains who aren't fundamentally malicious people, I'm a big target here. :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
The Establishment
Member # 6
Profile #61
quote:
Ah, but then you no longer sympathize with him! The fact that you sympathize with him is the only reason people have given for why he is a good villain.
What? I don't understand what you mean here. If I choose, as a player, to take the mindset of someone who dislikes the tyranny of the Empire, I would definitely have sympathy for Stalker.

You see, as part of a Role Playing Game, we can take the mindset of someone in the game and divorce ourselves from our personal convictions.

quote:
Uh... yes! Who ever said the United States was the angel of world politics? I personally have not forgiven them for using the bomb, and I am surprised Japan has.
And exactly how were you personally harmed by this such that you have something to forgive?

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Your flower power is no match for my glower power!
Posts: 3726 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00
Shaper
Member # 7420
Profile Homepage #62
Ash Lael: Stalker massacres town. Singular. And it was a sloppy job, too. As for Javert, I believe he was, too, malicious. He went out of his way to ruin a man that had reformed his life. He was evil, and I have no qualms about calling him a villain.

*i: You can't have your cake and eat it too. If you choose the Empires point of view, Stalker is a villain, but not a very good one, little more than a common rogue, in fact. If you choose a rebel point of view, you have sympathy for him, and thus you diminish his villain status and make him more of a hero. Your trying to put these two together, which is possible, but if you do that, your going to weaken both points of view, making him neither a good villain or hero.

The Bomb: As an American, the bomb is a black mark on my record. I am harmed by being looked at by the rest of the world as a member of the nation that used it, and thus that is why I harbor enmity. Not that this is any of your business...

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You lose.
Posts: 2156 | Registered: Thursday, August 24 2006 07:00
The Establishment
Member # 6
Profile #63
quote:
*i: You can't have your cake and eat it too. If you choose the Empires point of view, Stalker is a villain, but not a very good one, little more than a common rogue, in fact. If you choose a rebel point of view, you have sympathy for him, and thus you diminish his villain status and make him more of a hero. Your trying to put these two together, which is possible, but if you do that, your going to weaken both points of view, making him neither a good villain or hero.
I don't think they both weaken each other, they add to each other. Looking at it from both perspectives enhances Stalker. Taking a sum of the two views like they were numbers on the same axis makes little sense. The fact that some people can view him as a hero makes him a better villain/antagonist in my mind. The reason, he's more human and believeable.

quote:
The Bomb: As an American, the bomb is a black mark on my record. I am harmed by being looked at by the rest of the world as a member of the nation that used it, and thus that is why I harbor enmity. Not that this is any of your business...
You were the one to bring the matter up. How can one debate if he/she does not understand your views?

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Your flower power is no match for my glower power!
Posts: 3726 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00
Lack of Vision
Member # 2717
Profile #64
I'm going to call this one game, set and match for *I, Thuryl, et al.

Emp, you sure like to argue like a sophist - something I somewhat admire. However, I find myself inclined to agree that great villains (or antagonists, if you prefer) are fully fleshed out characters with understandable, if flawed, motivations.

Someone on these boards pointed out that a good RPG should be like a good novel with crossword puzzles (tactical combat). So I prefer my villains to be those whom would entertain me if I were reading about them.

Z

EDIT: Typos

[ Thursday, October 19, 2006 18:55: Message edited by: Zorro ]

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Pan Lever: Seventeen apple roving mirror moiety. Of turned quorum jaggedly the. Blue?
Posts: 186 | Registered: Thursday, February 27 2003 08:00
Agent
Member # 5814
Profile #65
quote:
Originally written by Emperor Tullegolar:

The Bomb: As an American, the bomb is a black mark on my record. I am harmed by being looked at by the rest of the world as a member of the nation that used it, and thus that is why I harbor enmity. Not that this is any of your business...
If you honestly feel that this is a personal issue, then I won't try to force you to elaborate any further. However, I want to press this issue.

The President of the United States of America is an elected leader, not a representative. The actions of the President reflect on the American people only indirectly. As for other military leaders, like generals, the American opinion has almost no bearing on their decisions or power. And since most of the members of Spidweb are young-to-college age males, I'm going to assume that you weren't alive during World War II; ergo, you could have done nothing to stop the bomb. So why is it a "black mark" specifically to you?

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

Posts: 1115 | Registered: Sunday, May 15 2005 07:00
Shaper
Member # 7420
Profile Homepage #66
I never said a villain couldn't be fleshed out and have a personality, in fact, that can only enhance them. You all forget the matter at hand, however. Why Stalker, what makes him so much better than the other choices? He was not so fleshed out, he remains mysterious until you meet him towards the end, at which point all you hear his generic "save the peasants" argument. What makes him so special?

Edit: Alorael: Maybe it doesn't, it's just how I feel. I tend to take a historical perspective when I look at the world today. When I see a country, I see it's entire history, not just it's current situation. This is important when looking at things such as the Middle East situation. Crusades, anyone? We were not alive when they happened, yet we continue to pay for them.

[ Thursday, October 19, 2006 20:24: Message edited by: Emperor Tullegolar ]

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You lose.
Posts: 2156 | Registered: Thursday, August 24 2006 07:00
...b10010b...
Member # 869
Profile Homepage #67
quote:
Originally written by Zorro:

Someone on these boards pointed out that a good RPG should be like a good novel with crossword puzzles (tactical combat).
That was me, but I was quoting a famous essay about interactive fiction.

quote:
Originally written by Emperor Tullegolar:

You all forget the matter at hand, however. Why Stalker, what makes him so much better than the other choices?
And you forget that not all of us voted for Stalker.

Stalker is okay as a political figure representing his side, but as an actual character... eh. We only see him from one angle, which is that of the leader of the rebellion. Even as an ally, he exists basically to hand the party orders rather than to be a character in his own right. Overall I'd say Stalker's fairly weakly-characterised for a major figure, but the setting picks up enough of the slack to make the scenario's plot as a whole decent. (Decent, not great, mind you; it's basically a simple story about a rebellion with one or two not-all-that-surprising twists.)

For an example of good characterisation in SW games, I'd direct you to Vibius, the commander of Shadow Valley Fort, from Nethergate. The party sees him in his capacity as commander, but they also get to see a human side to him, what with the gay sex and the stomach cancer and all. (Of course, you only get to see that side of him as the Romans, since the Celts only meet him in order to kill him off. This is one reason why former allies of the party make good antagonists -- apart from the fact that betrayal always helps to spice up a story, it lets you see what kind of person the character is from more than one angle.)

[ Thursday, October 19, 2006 21:46: 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
Shaper
Member # 7420
Profile Homepage #68
quote:
Originally written by Thuryl:

And you forget that not all of us voted for Stalker.
Give me a break, didn't I already say this to you?
quote:
Originally written by Emperor Tullegolar:

I assumed you voted for Stalker. Since you didn't, I really don't know why we're arguing anymore.
I also said this back on page one:
quote:
Originally written by Emperor Tullegolar:

Do the twelve that voted for him care to explain?
Don't act like your the only person I'm talking to. That aside, I'm glad you agree with me that Stalker is a weak character. Aren't you disapointed he won the best villain poll?

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You lose.
Posts: 2156 | Registered: Thursday, August 24 2006 07:00
...b10010b...
Member # 869
Profile Homepage #69
quote:
Originally written by Emperor Tullegolar:

That aside, I'm glad you agree with me that Stalker is a weak character. Aren't you disapointed he won the best villain poll?
I'm disappointed that BoA doesn't have better villains to choose from.

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The Empire Always Loses: This Time For Sure!
Posts: 9973 | Registered: Saturday, March 30 2002 08:00
Off With Their Heads
Member # 4045
Profile Homepage #70
quote:
Originally written by Emperor Tullegolar:

Aren't you disapointed he won the best villain poll?
Have you said who your pick was? Stalker may not be the best villain ever written, but BoA doesn't have many particularly good villains, as Thuryl said.

[ Friday, October 20, 2006 05:27: 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
Shock Trooper
Member # 5459
Profile Homepage #71
He voted for Rentar.

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Posts: 211 | Registered: Sunday, January 30 2005 08:00
Shaper
Member # 7472
Profile Homepage #72
I'd imagine he voted for Spiegelbrecher, Jaen, The Immortal, Nathaganth, and Rentar-Ihrno.

I've kept thinking that I missed a villain, but I couldn't remember which scenario. I just realized that I forgot Crescent Valley.

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AmnesiaDileciaThe Empire's New GroveExpress Delivery
Twilight ValleyWitch HuntWhere the Rivers Meet
Posts: 2686 | Registered: Friday, September 8 2006 07:00
Lifecrafter
Member # 7538
Profile Homepage #73
quote:
Originally from Emperor Tullegolar:

Uh... yes! Who ever said the United States was the angel of world politics? I personally have not forgiven them for using the bomb, and I am surprised Japan has.
That makes the bombers evil? They were just acting on orders. Ever seen "A Few Good Men"? Similar story. When someone in the armed forces gets ordered to do something, even if they think it's immoral, they still have to do it, or it raises all kinds of hell for them personally. In cases like that, it's lose-lose for them.

In fact, that's pretty much how it is in war. Plenty of soldiers don't want to fight, but some country goals require it. So they act on orders from the powers that be, in order to expediate the process of achieving those goals. The orders are to go out and kill other soldiers, who, in turn, also don't really want to fight.

I guess that I'm just defending the nameless soldiers who get blamed for attacks. I'm saying if you're going to call someone a villain for killing the innocent, make sure you're blaming the right people.

That said, sometimes the leaders themselves have to take drastic measures in order to get the attention of (or perhaps pound some sense into) the enemies of their cause. Hence, we have attacks on the innocent. Is it a good thing? No. Does it make them evil? Not necessarily. In fact, I'll go so far as to make a conjecture, that when the President and any other authorities involved gave the order to bomb Hiroshima, they had to live with a guilty conscience for a long time afterward, possibly until their deaths.

What's all this got to do with the topic? Well it's simple. When Stalker attacked the innocent civilians, he was trying to get attention. The presence of "that fool Machrone" proves how well it worked.

[ Friday, October 20, 2006 08:47: Message edited by: Nemesis ]

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Do not provoke the turtles.
They do not like being provoked.

-Lenar

My website: Nemesis' Refuge
Posts: 743 | Registered: Friday, September 29 2006 07:00
...b10010b...
Member # 869
Profile Homepage #74
quote:
Originally written by Nemesis:

In fact, that's pretty much how it is in war. Plenty of soldiers don't want to fight, but some country goals require it. So they act on orders from the powers that be, in order to expediate the process of achieving those goals. The orders are to go out and kill other soldiers, who, in turn, also don't really want to fight.

I guess that I'm just defending the nameless soldiers who get blamed for attacks. I'm saying if you're going to call someone a villain for killing the innocent, make sure you're blaming the right people.

On the other hand, unless they were conscripted, the soldiers made a choice to become soldiers in the first place, knowing that doing so might mean they were required to kill people.

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The Empire Always Loses: This Time For Sure!
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