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Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2016 9:08 pm
  

Explorer

Joined: Sun May 29, 2016 3:45 am
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Hey folks,

So, just getting a feel for how other GMs out there portray Supernatural Evil in their campaigns. From what I've seen, the standard Palladium line (for demons, deevils and other supernatural evil) tends to be "they're evil to the core and that's all they know". When I read the dispositions of supernatural creatures, the vast majority seems to include some variation of "loves killing and tormenting/harming people". To me, this gets very boring very quick. Oh look, another creature who wants to terrorise and maim. Sure, they may use subtlety to do it instead of brute force, but it's still the same ultimate goal.

I remember back when I was playing the roleplaying game In Nomine, which is about the war between Heaven and Hell and the mortals. In that the difference between angels and demons is selflessness vs selfishness. The angels serve, while the demons only have their own interests in mind. Hell is also a very brutal and competitive world, where only the strong or devious survive. In some ways it's a "Lord of the Flies" type situation. In the end, the demons may act just as evil as any others from Palladium, however there is some sort of psychology backing it and they *can* be understood to an extent. Sure, it doesn't mean they're "misunderstood good guys" - many *are* loathsome, vile beings - but at least they're not just evil "because...... Reasons!" (to quote Mr Torgue! ;)) Also, there is always a *glimmer* of a possibility of getting them to do good - no matter how small. Secondly, many serve specific functions and concepts. A demon of Gluttony, for example, will be more interested in constantly feeding his face or making those around him constantly over-indulge their hunger than tormenting or killing people. Or a demon of "laws" (it's called "The Game" in that) is more about being a stickler for rules, while also ensuring he comes out on top. He'd be more concerned about apprehending a renegade demon (not because they're nice guys, but because "he broke our laws") than trying to bring about the end of the world. Likewise, a succubus would hate to actually bring about widespread destruction because that'd mean she'd no longer have any sexual toys to play with.

So, what are people's thoughts? How do you all see "Supernatural Evil"? Is it evil to the core in your world, or do you have shades of grey? I'm not after "cannon" responses, but rather people's opinions.

Thanks.

Regards,
RD (RainbowDevil)


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Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2016 2:43 pm
  

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Knight

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Comment: Don't waste your time gloating over a wounded enemy. Pull the damn trigger.
I think that evil on a supernatural level would have varying sorts, a complexity that isn't necessarily recognizable. Some would be slobbering demons looking to feast on human flesh, sure...but others are much more upstanding. Their end goal is still torment and domination, but they can be the good guy to get what they want.

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Y'all seem to assume that Palladium books are written with the same exacting precision with which they are analyzed. I think that is... ambitious.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2016 5:26 pm
  

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Palladin

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Comment: Palladium Books Canon is set solely by Kevin Siembieda, either in person, or by his approval of published material.
I tend to remove the alignment system altogether from my games. I then implement something similar to the In Nomine idea where the 'evil' races are evil... because they do bad stuff. Instead of having yet another mustache twirling race of Bad Guys who do Bad Stuff because They Are Evil, I have races who believe in doing unto others before the do unto you, races where might makes right and more might makes privilege,
Places where there is no such thing as slavery...it is actually total freedom. And your perfectly free to not serve your masters...if you can back that decision up of course, if you can't then you serve your betters.
I allow all sorts of relative morality, philosophical analysis, and all manner of justifications.
The best part is that this avoids the cliché problem of "Hmmm, I guess our racial goals might not be right because to follow them we all have to be Evil and that's bad. Oh well." Instead you have "WE are the heroic good guys out to save the universe from the evil bipedal scum now die evil human."

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The rules are not a bludgeon with which to hammer a character into a game. They are a guide to how a group of friends can get together to weave a collective story that entertains everyone involved. We forget that at our peril.

Edmund Burke wrote:
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."


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Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2016 7:08 pm
  

Explorer

Joined: Sun May 29, 2016 3:45 am
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eliakon wrote:
Instead you have "WE are the heroic good guys out to save the universe from the evil bipedal scum now die evil human."


Damn! I'd written a big response, but then the internet dropped out and it all got deleted. :/

Exactly, Eliakon! That's how I tend to see it more, and also the In Nomine type approach. Especially when you are dealing with demons who "fell" from angels (or similar beings), it seems to fit better in my view. Not necessarily "saving the universe", but definitely being the "heroic good guys". They're the rebels and revolutionaries who are trying to overthrow the old dictatorship and stake their own claim in the Universe! Mind you, not all of them see themselves as being that grand, many do in fact just do evil because it's fun and an ego-boost. The vast bulk, though, are no different to humans - they are just trying to live each day in the way they know how. The problem is Hell (or whatever world you're using) is full of selfishness and "might makes right" and so "the way they know how" usually involves aggression, deception, etc. To me, it makes them a lot more interesting having some sort of psychological rationale than simply being 2 dimensional caricatures, as you said twirling their moustaches.

That being said, not *all* evil has to be justified psychologically. Some things are evil simply because they are evil. What fun would The Ring or Child's Play be if the writer said "Now, don't just this monster too harshly - it's simply misunderstood!"? Sometimes things just have to be rotten to the core. Mind you, examples like Nightmare on Elm Street and Silent Hill show that you *can* have truly terrifying evil, yet still give it a reason why it's so evil. In the end, the players don't need to know the inner workings of the creature's mind and whether it's pure evil or not, but the GM should at least have some general idea.

RD


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Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2016 7:57 pm
  

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Palladin

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Comment: Palladium Books Canon is set solely by Kevin Siembieda, either in person, or by his approval of published material.
RainbowDevil wrote:
eliakon wrote:
Instead you have "WE are the heroic good guys out to save the universe from the evil bipedal scum now die evil human."


Damn! I'd written a big response, but then the internet dropped out and it all got deleted. :/

Exactly, Eliakon! That's how I tend to see it more, and also the In Nomine type approach. Especially when you are dealing with demons who "fell" from angels (or similar beings), it seems to fit better in my view. Not necessarily "saving the universe", but definitely being the "heroic good guys". They're the rebels and revolutionaries who are trying to overthrow the old dictatorship and stake their own claim in the Universe! Mind you, not all of them see themselves as being that grand, many do in fact just do evil because it's fun and an ego-boost. The vast bulk, though, are no different to humans - they are just trying to live each day in the way they know how. The problem is Hell (or whatever world you're using) is full of selfishness and "might makes right" and so "the way they know how" usually involves aggression, deception, etc. To me, it makes them a lot more interesting having some sort of psychological rationale than simply being 2 dimensional caricatures, as you said twirling their moustaches.

That being said, not *all* evil has to be justified psychologically. Some things are evil simply because they are evil. What fun would The Ring or Child's Play be if the writer said "Now, don't just this monster too harshly - it's simply misunderstood!"? Sometimes things just have to be rotten to the core. Mind you, examples like Nightmare on Elm Street and Silent Hill show that you *can* have truly terrifying evil, yet still give it a reason why it's so evil. In the end, the players don't need to know the inner workings of the creature's mind and whether it's pure evil or not, but the GM should at least have some general idea.

RD

And remember the most horrifying thing about something like The One Ring?
Sauron 'fell' due to greed, pride, vanity... in his own mind he was justified in his actions. And if Sauron and Morgaroth would have won, then their actions would have been right. That is what makes the fight against such evil all the more important. It allows for the "good men to do nothing" approach.

And yes, some times there is evil that is evil just for evils sake. Some things are just cruel, petty, spiteful things that delight in others pain and sorrow.

And sometimes you don't know which it is. And that can be the scariest of all.

_________________
The rules are not a bludgeon with which to hammer a character into a game. They are a guide to how a group of friends can get together to weave a collective story that entertains everyone involved. We forget that at our peril.

Edmund Burke wrote:
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."


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Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2016 3:02 pm
  

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Monk

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Comment: The Munchkin Fairy
I don't think palladium's protrayal of demons is very compatible with In Nominne's. they are completely different cosmologies. Don't get me wrong, I like them both for what they are, but I would not recommend trying to merge the two in any way. Ketchup and chocolate ice cream. Two great things by themselves, but they don't mix.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2016 8:14 pm
  

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still, the idea of supernatural evil (and to an extent, SN good) as being more of a Blue and Orange morality situation would help make them more unique

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Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2016 8:21 pm
  

Explorer

Joined: Sun May 29, 2016 3:45 am
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Does anyone know where Blue and Chaos demons fit into the cosmology, and which books I can read to learn more info? Creatures of Chaos doesn't really go into a lot of detail about how exactly Chaos Demons differ.


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Unread postPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2016 10:34 am
  

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Monk

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Comment: The Munchkin Fairy
RainbowDevil wrote:
Does anyone know where Blue and Chaos demons fit into the cosmology, and which books I can read to learn more info? Creatures of Chaos doesn't really go into a lot of detail about how exactly Chaos Demons differ.


They come from different hells and are unrelated to hades or dyval demons/deevils.

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Sometimes, you're like a beacon of light in the darkness, giving me some hope for humankind. ~ Killer Cyborg

You can have something done good, fast and cheap. If you want it done good and fast, it's not going to be cheap. If you want it done fast and cheap it won't be good. If you want something done good and cheap it won't be done fast. ~ Dark Brandon


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