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Old 12-16-2017, 08:52 PM   #11
Otaku
 
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Default Re: [Basic] Disadvantage of the week: Bully

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Originally Posted by Phil Masters View Post
Yeah. Well, not so much pointless as uninteresting. Yep, dull. I mean, most evil disads have a darkly stylish or entertainingly playable aspect. Most of us will admit to twinges of Greed, and take that as a motive for a character to get into interesting trouble, or can ham it up something rotten when roleplaying Bad Temper. But Bully just enforces the drudgery of low-level unpleasantness.
Bully makes a good stepping stone, I think. Sure, you've got characters (and people in real life) who never escalate or learn to tone it down, but if you want interesting, you just allow Bully to lead them somewhere worse... or maybe, somewhere better when they realize it and start buying it down.

Oh, and since I have a nasty habit of underestimating the full requirements of a Disadvantage, does this seem like a decent pseudo-heroic trait? Like Overconfidence, a lot of people I know who tend to bully are the "take charge" type. They also tend to claim any belittling involved is all about reinforcing the command structure, "encouraging" you, etc. XP

(Yeah, I sound like a Bully apologist. I'm not, I just know that some folks don't do it just to be mean. Not sure if that actually makes it better or worse...)
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Old 12-16-2017, 10:03 PM   #12
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Default Re: [Basic] Disadvantage of the week: Bully

It makes for justifying how a competent enemy has underlings that won't put up too much resistance if you go straight for the bully.
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Old 12-17-2017, 03:50 PM   #13
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Default Re: [Basic] Disadvantage of the week: Bully

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Hmm...

Not something I've ever tried, but reflecting one of the more muddled aspects of real life is the "charming" Bully, in particular, the one that isn't entirely aware he or she is being a bully, or else is aware but has some justification for it?
. .
For an example, see Marilyn Monroe's character in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. She bullies the maitre d' on the liner with a wispy voice & gentle manner.

Oh, yes, she knew exactly what she was doing.
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Old 12-17-2017, 04:59 PM   #14
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Default Re: [Basic] Disadvantage of the week: Bully

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I think that's part of it, but also it seems like a peculiarly pointless disadvantage. Berserk gets you, well, Berserk. Absent-Minded lets you play up to that stereotype. Bad Back lets you tell stories about that time in the war. Bully is just, well, dull.
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Yeah. Well, not so much pointless as uninteresting. Yep, dull. I mean, most evil disads have a darkly stylish or entertainingly playable aspect. Most of us will admit to twinges of Greed, and take that as a motive for a character to get into interesting trouble, or can ham it up something rotten when roleplaying Bad Temper. But Bully just enforces the drudgery of low-level unpleasantness.
Really?

In fiction, characters who constantly make cutting, sarcastic, belittling comments to those around them are often fan favourites. At least Quirk-level Bully seems more or less required for sitcom protagonists and most of them will treat the designated Butt Monkey of the show with full-blown Bully.

Snarking and sarcasm offer plenty of scope for clever dialogue and good lines. Granted, it's more sympathetic if characters punch up, but, hey, if most of the main cast has Bully, at least there'll be give and take.
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Old 12-18-2017, 03:17 AM   #15
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Default Re: [Basic] Disadvantage of the week: Bully

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Really?

In fiction, characters who constantly make cutting, sarcastic, belittling comments to those around them are often fan favourites. At least Quirk-level Bully seems more or less required for sitcom protagonists and most of them will treat the designated Butt Monkey of the show with full-blown Bully.

Snarking and sarcasm offer plenty of scope for clever dialogue and good lines. Granted, it's more sympathetic if characters punch up, but, hey, if most of the main cast has Bully, at least there'll be give and take.
Doesn't even have to be a sitcom. I'm thinking of the success of House as one of the major examples. Though I wonder if people even acknowledge him as having Bully - after all, the example that was brought up earlier was an antagonist, despite or perhaps because of House's popularity.
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Old 12-18-2017, 04:32 AM   #16
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Default Re: [Basic] Disadvantage of the week: Bully

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
Really?

In fiction, characters who constantly make cutting, sarcastic, belittling comments to those around them are often fan favourites. At least Quirk-level Bully seems more or less required for sitcom protagonists and most of them will treat the designated Butt Monkey of the show with full-blown Bully.

Snarking and sarcasm offer plenty of scope for clever dialogue and good lines. Granted, it's more sympathetic if characters punch up, but, hey, if most of the main cast has Bully, at least there'll be give and take.
This is the way I have played it for more than one character I have played with Bully. And also several NPC's. Although with NPC's I tend to step up the meanest and be more outright cruel, but usually because the NPC also have other disads, suc as Clallous, Megalomania, Overconfidence, Intolerance or others. I have fun to have NPCs have bully is a much faster way to get the PC's to dislike them than other traits.


Actually Bully with Overconfidence is a fun combo as it makes the character attempt to bully people who they really shouldn't. It often ends physically and the character then know not to bully that character anymore... much.

Spike from Buffy I think is a good example of this combo.
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Old 12-18-2017, 06:05 AM   #17
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Default Re: [Basic] Disadvantage of the week: Bully

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In fiction, characters who constantly make cutting, sarcastic, belittling comments to those around them are often fan favourites. At least Quirk-level Bully seems more or less required for sitcom protagonists and most of them will treat the designated Butt Monkey of the show with full-blown Bully.
That's more Odious Personal Habit (Snark), and frankly is usually at the quirk level. Sitcom protagonists rarely snark hard at people who can't hit back or who are genuinely badly hurt by it, because there's little satisfaction in it for them and the writers know that it'll rapidly stop being funny.

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Doesn't even have to be a sitcom. I'm thinking of the success of House as one of the major examples. Though I wonder if people even acknowledge him as having Bully - after all, the example that was brought up earlier was an antagonist, despite or perhaps because of House's popularity.
House certainly rates an Odious Personal Habit, regularly rubbing people up the wrong way, but people who work with him quickly learn that it's just House. He knows when to cut it out when he runs into genuinely vulnerable patients, though he tends to hand those off to people who are better at being pleasant than he is, and he's been known to be downright nice, in a grumpy way, to people he respects who are temporarily vulnerable. If he has Bully, it's with self-control 15; he can turn it off.

My reading of Bully as described is that it more or less has to involve punching down, which is why a lot of people wouldn't want to play it. The sitcom character/House type tends to go after people on the same or higher levels. (-50% limitation?)
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Old 12-18-2017, 06:16 AM   #18
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Default Re: [Basic] Disadvantage of the week: Bully

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House certainly rates an Odious Personal Habit, regularly rubbing people up the wrong way, but people who work with him quickly learn that it's just House. He knows when to cut it out when he runs into genuinely vulnerable patients, though he tends to hand those off to people who are better at being pleasant than he is, and he's been known to be downright nice, in a grumpy way, to people he respects who are temporarily vulnerable. If he has Bully, it's with self-control 15; he can turn it off.

My reading of Bully as described is that it more or less has to involve punching down, which is why a lot of people wouldn't want to play it. The sitcom character/House type tends to go after people on the same or higher levels. (-50% limitation?)
I disagree that it's just House being snarky. I think it's most obvious with his treatment of the young interns who are candidates to join his team, many of whom are in very vulnerable situations already. One of the outcomes is suicide of one of the newbies.
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Old 12-18-2017, 06:20 AM   #19
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Default Re: [Basic] Disadvantage of the week: Bully

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I disagree that it's just House being snarky. I think it's most obvious with his treatment of the young interns who are candidates to join his team, many of whom are in very vulnerable situations already. One of the outcomes is suicide of one of the newbies.
Okay, I missed the later seasons, so I may well have missed an instance of House going too far. My recollection of earlier seasons is mostly of him back-pedalling hastily out of any situation where he'd have to deal with emotionally vulnerable patients.
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Old 12-18-2017, 09:22 AM   #20
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Default Re: [Basic] Disadvantage of the week: Bully

I'm sure that I'd feel uncomfortable playing a Bully myself. I'm pretty sure that I'd not like a player character Bully no matter who was playing it.

This sort of behaviour is 'NPC villain' only in my experience.

A player might get a certain amount of joy out of playing a megalomaniac or even a sadist. There is a level of grandeur in both traits.

But a Bully is not only nasty, he's petty and it is harder to feel good about a petty character. We can all be petty in real life: why bother to build a fantasy around it?
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