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Old 02-27-2021, 08:54 AM   #11
AlexanderHowl
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Default Re: Benefits of Evil [Horror]

Why would anyone turn to evil then in such a setting except out of ignorance and/or desperation? Don't get me wrong, that would be an appropriate system for a traditional fantasy setting where good usually defeats evil. Horror settings usually have the opposite assumption though, that evil usually defeats good, which makes the few victories of good all that more precious.

For example, it a supers/horror setting, supervillains would be ruling the world because they are evil people with superhuman abilities. Ironically, it could look exactly like a traditional supers setting 99% of the time, as the supervillains who ruled society would allow superheroes to deal with the riffraff, and they would only crush superheroes when they threatened the power of the ruling supervillains. If a supervillain proved their subtly by avoiding capture by superheroes long enough and/or proved their power by defeating a sufficient number of superheroes, they would receive an invitation to join the ranks of the true rulers of the world.

In such a setting, tapping evil would grant characters a number of options, allowing individuals to a) acquire Corruption Points instead of spending ER/FP/HP on their abilities (+1 Corruption Point would replacing one point of ER/FP/HP), b) acquire Corruption Points to gain bonuses on rolls (+1 Corruption Point gained giving +1 on any roll), c) acquire Corruption Points to improve an existing ability (+1 Corruption Point gained would give +5 CP), or d) acquire Corruption to use cinematic rules (+1 Corruption Point would replace the one bonus point or one character point).

Since characters would be able to reduce their acquired Corruption Points by one-fifth their negative disadvantage total, there would be a systemic reason why evil would dominate such a setting. A supervillain with -40 CP in negative disadvantages would only acquire 1 Corruption Point every time that they attempted to reduce FP costs by 9, whenever they attempt to gain a +9 on roll, whenever they attempted to boost their abilities by 45 CP, etc. Of course, anyone who was too objectionable would likely be crushed by the supervillains who ruled the world, as they would prefer a stable system of exploitation and victimization.

Last edited by AlexanderHowl; 02-27-2021 at 09:09 AM.
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Old 02-27-2021, 09:46 AM   #12
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Default Re: Benefits of Evil [Horror]

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Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
Why would anyone turn to evil then in such a setting except out of ignorance and/or desperation? Don't get me wrong, that would be an appropriate system for a traditional fantasy setting where good usually defeats evil.
I mean, some villains probably WANT to turn into a demon. Others might figure they can resist the corruption. Perhaps they are right, who knows.

From a GURPS character point value turning into a demon might result in a net positive in character points as well. Though the disadvantages will be of a nature unsuitable for remaining a player character, and thus force players to avoid that outcome.

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Horror settings usually have the opposite assumption though, that evil usually defeats good, which makes the few victories of good all that more precious.
Grey and Black, or Grey and Grey are also pretty common themes. The "Good" side might have angels and radiant light, but they aren't really all that... nice. Even the Old Testament often makes angels out to be like benevolent Cthulhu-monsters. And then you have the versions where the demons are arguably the side with the moral high ground, or both sides are equally terribly, but in different ways.
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Last edited by RedMattis; 02-27-2021 at 09:49 AM.
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Old 02-28-2021, 09:48 PM   #13
Inky
 
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Default Re: Benefits of Evil [Horror]

One way the "wicked people are affected less" version could make sense is if the powers came from a being who wants servants, people to forward its evil agenda. Say it was a demon of greed.

There are two ways it can go about it.

If people who'll do anything for money call on it, it doesn't need to "corrupt" them. Their aims already coincide. The demon's agents might be a mixture of demons and spirits and ordinary humans, to whom it grants magic powers so long as they continue to serve its interests. Thieves, blackmailers, people who commit murder for an inheritance, unscrupulous factory owners who let their workers get maimed and killed for the sake of higher profits.

On the other hand, if it's contacted by people who are not interested in forwarding its agenda, who put their other principles above getting rich, but still try to tap into its powers for their own ends, it won't want that. But there they are, handy, and maybe if they have the right incantation it can't simply tell them to buzz off and has to give them the powers, so it might try to force them by magic to join its side.

This can go various ways depending on what you want to do. They might be warped by its powers and become greedier and more unscrupulous, gaining appropriate "mundane" Disadvantages. Or it might use the magical connection they'd created to forcibly take them over. Or, if you wanted to be clever, it might even manipulate events to try and bring them round to its way of thinking: it might have its other agents rob them and leave them penniless, then present them with an opportunity to make some easy money - and offer them the gun to do it with. Or they might resist and retain their principles and their independence but go a bit mad from the strain.

Whatever the details are, because the victims are so unlike the demon, the change would be conspicuous and it wouldn't be surprising if it was obviously unnatural. The more alien the demon's ways are to them, the more force has to be used and the more alarming the side effects.

The wicked people, on the other hand, don't need to be monsterified, or not much, because they're already just how the demon likes them. It can employ them as is and all is dandy.

There's a horror for a horror story - a normal human, no horns or hooves, someone you might meet in the street, who the scaly demons from the Pit work alongside as one of their own because they're as ruthless as each other.
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Old 03-01-2021, 02:09 PM   #14
Mark Skarr
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Default Re: Benefits of Evil [Horror]

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Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
While evil is often a feature of horror settings, the true horror of evil is that it is often victorious. In real life, this is often because evil people are willing to sacrifice morals/ethics to achieve their goals, and are often capable of convincing groups to go along with them, and the groups will often rationalize their actions as 'necessary' if they are victorious. In horror settings, evil often comes with supernatural benefits, which are often difficult to quantify.
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Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
Why would anyone turn to evil then in such a setting except out of ignorance and/or desperation? Don't get me wrong, that would be an appropriate system for a traditional fantasy setting where good usually defeats evil. Horror settings usually have the opposite assumption though, that evil usually defeats good, which makes the few victories of good all that more precious.
I think you're trying to over meta-ing it. Villains can't look at the mechanics and say "oh, this isn't worth it." And you, as a GM, shouldn't be trying to mechanize why they're a villain.

A good villain isn't a villain, they're the hero of their own story.

An evil-doer doing evil for evil's sake is generally a poor villain. If you're looking for morally simple gaming, and there's nothing wrong with that, then an "evil doer" as a villain is fine.

Falling to "evil" can, and should, be a journey. And, done well, it should be subtle.

Captain Nemo, for my Kingdom Hearts game is based on a bastardization of both the book and movie. He is a brilliant scientist who was tortured for his secrets and watched his family tortured to death (allowing the Darkness into his heart). He genuinely believed killing his "enemies" is justified as a means to prevent their imperialism and the prevention of war. He didn't understand that his actions are increasing militarism in the oceans thereby assuring future wars, especially over the advanced technology he has created. He believes that he is making the world a better place, but is doing the opposite.

Part of the issue is that his "enemies" don't understand what is going on. To them, he's just a terrorist.

He is a bad guy. He is a villain. He does evil because he thinks it is good. Supernatural abilities, check. The Darkness in his heart summons Heartless and allows him to command them. And his "ultimate" fate . . . to be defeated and exiled by his Nobody, Xonem, after Lady Raquel removed his heart to cleanse it before giving it back (no, she doesn't realize that creates Nobodies--she's figuring all this out).

Additionally, a good villain should reflect the characters back at themselves.

When Charlemagne had to defeat Bat Tyrant, it was emotionally devastating for him. Having been trained by Batman when his powers were burned out, seeing one fall to their paranoia, a paranoia Charlemagne, himself, reflected, illustrated the pitfalls of the path Charlemagne had put himself on.

Mechanics should not get in the way of a good villain. A good villain doesn't follow the rules of the world to begin with, so, why should they follow the RAW?
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Old 03-03-2021, 07:16 PM   #15
Inky
 
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Default Re: Benefits of Evil [Horror]

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Originally Posted by Mark Skarr View Post
Villains can't look at the mechanics and say "oh, this isn't worth it."
That's not entirely true. The question here is about villains deciding to get involved with supernatural evil forces, not just do things that other people think are morally wrong but the villains may not. If the villains knew what they were doing, they might well be aware that nasty supernatural things tend to happen to people who mess with these powers. The rest of what you say is perfectly true, though.

A villain like you describe, but with the "people using the powers for evil get corrupted less", but she doesn't understand that, might be a good plot idea. She knows she's dealing with dangerous forces, but so far she seems to have escaped the insanity/hauntings/tentacles that usually afflict people who deal with this being, and she thinks that's because she's protected by the righteousness of her cause. In fact, it's because her cause is misinformed, she's doing more harm than good, and the demon likes her just the way she is.

Alternatively, it might be like your Captain Nemo, the supernatural powers can be gained just by being on the side of evil (knowingly or unknowingly) and they don't have to know that that's what they're doing, or that there are downsides.
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl
Why would anyone turn to evil then in such a setting except out of ignorance and/or desperation?
That'll also do nicely.
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