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isocade

Heroes, Villains, and One-Dimensional Characters

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isocade    90

I was going to put together a video for this, but I'd much rather have it all out in text so people could respond to individual parts if they so wished. I want to spark debate and discussion, but most importantly I want to keep things civil and calm.

For future reference, I'm not trying to insult or agitate any specific group or person in question.

Not too long ago, I was taken hostage and tortured for much longer than I would've liked. Keep in mind, this was by complete strangers, with their reason being "I'm a bad person". It really made me think about how evil characters are interpreted on DayZRP, and how cartoonishly evil and ridiculous they truly are.

This sparked me to address my thoughts and ideas on how the antagonist characters are done and presented to some friends and then ask around between staff members and community members on what the whole deal was, get elaboration on rules, et cetera.


[align=left]"Any actor who judges his character is a fool - for every role you play, you've got to absorb that character's motives and justifications." - Alan Rickman

The general opinion I received was-

"A character does not need a legitimate IC or OOC reason to be evil or do evil things."

I've not been part of the community for as long as most people, I do not know if this was the accepted idea before, but I do know that it is, from my experience, the accepted idea now. I come from a different kind of community, one in which things such as motives, goals, development, character story, flaws and strengths are easy to see and discover if you put in the time and effort.

The difference between that community and this community is the amount of people in it. That community was roughly 12 - 20 people. This community is in the hundreds in terms of population and everyone lives in different timezones. Obviously that makes it more difficult for people to learn about the backgrounds, motives, and goals of a character on an individual basis, however that doesn't mean that the people should not make engaging, realistic, and in-depth stories.


"Evil is relative - and what I mean by that is that our villains are as complex, as deep, and as compelling as any of our heroes. Every antagonist in the DC Universe has a unique darkness, desire, and drive." - Geoff Johns

What I've noticed-

There's a hefty amount of antagonist characters who are evil for the sake of being evil, which takes little to no effort and most definitely does not build a good story, or give people the resources to build a good story off encounters with said characters. From my perspective, DayZRP Lore Masters and multiple Admins (Like Terra, for example, with her thread in the Lore & stories section), take immense pride in creating fantastic, elaborate stories that are both engaging to the people involved and the people watching from the sidelines. Not to mention, Lore Masters take it upon themselves to work directly with people who post group ideas to ensure that group stories and lore fit well with the story and lore of the server, and do the best they can to help mature and grow the stories they see.

The point I'm trying to get to is that despite all this, there's a severe lack of actually good villains. For every good hero, there must be an even better villain, otherwise the story will fall short. The villains I've seen and heard of on DayZRP, outside of a handful of examples, have practically no real defined goal or motive for their actions, nothing that could actually justify their interactions with people, only things in which a person could look at, shrug, and reply "Eh, good enough, I guess".


"The fact is that the antagonist in a movie the usually the most fun to play. You can stretch the role and do so much with it." - Robert Z'Dar

What I'm trying to say-

Antagonists are absolutely required. I'm not saying "There should only be good people" or "Bandits should be restricted". However, I am saying that if someone is to play an antagonist, they should put a lot of time and effort into making the antagonist dynamic, believable, and most importantly, realistic. They should put as much time, or possibly, even MORE time than those who make simple neutral or good guy characters. Of course there are good antagonist characters that have time put into them, and I'm not ignoring those characters or saying that they don't exist. They clearly do and they are absolutely fantastic. However, nothing throws off a person more than someone who acts or speaks without reason. It's a sign of a poorly thought-out routine, or story, or character. I'd like to see people put in a lot of story and depth to a character, I'd like to see people create a personal story that has a clear beginning, middle, climax, and end, I'd like to see people create good roleplay.

Think of Jack Warren and the Brokers for example. Jack Warren is well established as a slave trader and the Brokers are well established as a human trafficking group that deals with the trading of people as products. They didn't just one day abruptly go "Let's become slavers". They built up toward it and made an effort to turn a simple idea into a massive and powerful antagonistic faction that has legitimate goals, motives, and reasons for everything they do.

A lot of the antagonist roleplay typically sucks or is below average, but when it's good, it's absolutely fucking astounding how good it can actually be. The Pagan Revenants, The Brokers, a few other individuals here and there, they're all good examples of how something small and insignificant at first can be grown through proper development and storytelling to build up to a villain role in a place like this.

Keep in mind all of this also applies to hero characters as well. This wasn't made with just targeting antagonists in mind, although I focus immensely on it. All of these points could easily be turned to fit the concept of a hero character. Why is the character being a good guy hero? Do they actually have any reasons? Are these reasons realistic or cartoonish?

This also, in theory, applies to people who make the, as the community calls it, "Supersoldier" character. A character who once was or "currently" is part of a military or is based out of an armed forces unit like a PMC or a mercenary group. What reason do they have showing up in Chernarus? What do they hope to accomplish in the epicenter of the infection? Are these reasons realistic or cartoonish?


"People's behavior makes sense if you think about it in terms of their goals, needs, and motives." - Thomas Mann

The discussion bits-

I didn't make this thread just to rant, I made this thread to spark discussion, debate, and for lack of a better term, controversy. I want to hear opinions, facts, arguments, everything you guys and gals have on your mind about this. I just ask that you keep it mature and civil, because I am NOT against antagonists, robbery, torture, or hostile actions, but I AM against one-dimensional characters with no real motives or reasons for their actions.

What do you think a good villain or antagonist is?

How do you think villains or antagonists could be improved?

Is the line "I'm a bad person", a justifiable excuse for an antagonist? How so?

Do you think the way antagonists are currently handled is damaging roleplay?

Alternatively...

What do you think a good hero or protagonist is?

How do you think heroes or protagonists could be improved?

Is the line "I'm a good person", a justifiable excuse for a protagonist? How so? If you said yes for this, but no for the antagonist (or vice versa), what makes that difference okay?

Do you think the way protagonists are currently handled is damaging roleplay?

And finally...

Do you think we need more or less antagonists/protagonists? Why is that?

Do you think the issue of one-dimensional characters should be more apparent and worked on? Why so?

Where do you think the issue lays? Laziness of a player? Inexperience in roleplay? Circumventing rules?

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The Marshal    353

This is an interesting argument, and a good one at that. I believe thought should be put into all characters, and no matter what a character should be fully fleshed out and make sense. Hell, my main character was meant ultimately to be an alt played for only a week while my main healed, but so many people loved the 'good beyond all measure' Federal U.S. Marshal that it stuck around, and developed to present day over the course of over a full year.

Some people just play bad characters because they want to do bad things, and they just make themselves as generic as possible so they can just enjoy doing the bad things with little to no thought, which I don't think is ok. I've had a few run-ins with that, not the smallest mention is a major character I started this character with who was supposed to be Marshal's brother in arms, yet over the course of 3 days he turned on me and tortured me because 'I wasn't there and these new bandit friends were'. Meh.

Problem is, it will always be a problem as long as people see this type of behavior as acceptable because it's "How someone wants to play their character".

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Para    312

Isocade you do bring up a very relevant and interesting argument, allow me to elaborate on what I've seen. Some I agree with, some I think has its reasoning.

I've tried pretty much all styles of RP. I've played a bandit for the sake of being one, I've played 2 hero characters, a nationalistic chernarussian character and now I'm playing a Mercenary for hire. I tend to have a dislike for bandit characters that just are that way because they can be.

Anyway, lots of new roleplayers join DayZRP and do follow the bandit path. From what I've seen it's often the first thing that comes into their head. To rob people for stuff and to kill. If they're completely new to rp, I can honestly understand why most of the time. Lots of new RPers do have several hours on DayZ public (or some form of it) which is essentially pick up stuff and shoot other people. As an outsider stepping in they often don't have knowledge of what RP actually is about and often seem to not understand the idea behind developing a character. This happens quite often in my eyes however lots of good new players start to join groups and develop themselves really positively which is great.

In my eyes, many of the groups do portray themselves as Villains but only circumstantially. I play a mercenary for hire who will quite happily kill an entire settlement full of people if the right payer comes along. The Masquerade play psychotic characters that love to fuck people up for the sake of it. Point is there have been loads of groups that play bandits of all sorts of varieties.

If we wish to talk about the protagonists, then I can tell you know it is very difficult to play a true protagonist and not get bored. As a protagonist you're always reacting to what you find, see and hear. You can't attack for the sake of it because you are essentially the heroes who still believe in what it right and what it wrong. It leaves a lot of the time being really dull and boring and consequently hero groups fall down and break apart. Additionally, it's very easy for hero groups to collapse due to hostilities. Often bandit groups are preferred (higher numbers) and there's often quite a lot of hostile groups to deal with. As a result, hero groups are often demolished within weeks of their existence. If you do it wrong as a hero group, you get far too much to deal with very quickly.

To bring up your supersoldier point, I hate super soldiers. I've had quite a few people hostage (usually new RPers) who don't emote or rp out any pain, walk around with as much gear as possible (in full military clothing) and play the game as if it's public without the killing. It's just, depressing when the other side is so tough they can't feel pain to be honest because everybody feels pain to some degree or you wouldn't be able to move. But, just because somebody's character was in the military it doesn't make them a super soldier. They could be an ex-military and have all sorts of reasons to be here. Soldiers do not bother me, it's the soldiers that act like they're Superman that do bother me. The biggest thing people tend to confuse though is the military influence in chernarus. Aside from their own accord, soldiers had no real input in chernarus. It was a country left to fend for itself mostly so some cases of soldiers make no sense whatsoever.

Furthermore, I think one of the biggest problems associated with the points you bring up is the media. Many new RPers join because they see a youtuber or streamer play and very very frequently those media idols play hostile / bandit characters. Thus people see that as the thing to do in RP and want to try it out. Obviously being new, a lot of them tend to muck it up quite a lot.

Do feel free to argue back at some of the things i've said :P

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Vic    0

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All joking aside, I will respond to this by answering some of the questions you have asked here in red. 

What do you think a good villain or antagonist is?

Well, a good villain or antagonist is someone who feels as if what he is doing is for the good. For his own role, He might be torturing you because he's trying to keep a daughter of his safe. Or maybe he's attempting to blow up an embassy building of a country that had murdered his family in a bombing and is attempting to seek justice. My point is a villain isn't a true villain if they aren't doing something they do not exactly agree with. Villains are real people who have had terrible things that have happened to themselves. 

How do you think villains or antagonists could be improved?

I took me like two seconds to google an actual list and got one in like a second. Shouldn't be a reason why we have some pretty mediocre villains. 

  • He’s convinced he’s the good guy
  • He has many likeable qualities
  • He’s a worthy enough opponent to make your hero look good
  • You (and your reader) like when he’s on stage
  • He’s clever and accomplished enough that people must lend him begrudging respect
  • He can’t be a fool or a bumbler
  • He has many of the same characteristics of the hero, but they’re misdirected
  • He should occasionally be kind, and not just for show
  • He can be merciless, even to the innocent
  • He’s persuasive
  • He’ll stop at nothing to get what he wants
  • He’s proud
  • He’s deceitful
  • He’s jealous, especially of the hero
  • He’s vengeful

Is the line "I'm a bad person", a justifiable excuse for an antagonist? How so?

Fuck no. That is an absolute shit reason. 

Do you think the way antagonists are currently handled is damaging roleplay?

About 50% of the players that play a villain style character do it bad which engraves this image into the new/more sensitive players minds which leaves to horrible threads like "Im sick of this server because bandits and blah" which gives guys like myself a horrible image. 

Alternatively...

What do you think a good hero or protagonist is?

The thing about  good hero is that to some he may be perceived as a villain. It's all matter of perspective really. So the traits of a great villain might make a great hero.

How do you think heroes or protagonists could be improved?

Make them more human. And for the love of god, stop basing characters off the super soldiers in the Walking Dead.

Is the line "I'm a good person", a justifiable excuse for a protagonist? How so? If you said yes for this, but no for the antagonist (or vice versa), what makes that difference okay?

Like stated for the villain. fuck no. 

Do you think the way protagonists are currently handled is damaging roleplay?

Not at all, I believe that a bad villain could be more disastrous to the state of rp than a good guy. Being a villain is an art form many need ot learn to create as to being a hero is much different.  

And finally...

Do you think we need more or less antagonists/protagonists? Why is that?

I'll be honest, what is needed is less of both and more of the human characters. Flawed characters. You see, someone who is neither a hero or a bandit. One that just goes with the flow. Reason being is that everyone wants to be one or the other with out any character development. Which is why we cannot get a read on who they are when they attempt to play there characters. Perhaps put yourself in the shoes of the characters. "Hm, do I see myself shooting this girl for robbing me of my ammo?" 

Do you think the issue of one-dimensional characters should be more apparent and worked on? Why so?

Absolutely, if you expect to work on being a villain. You need to perfect the art of being a hero first. Otherwsie when you make a villain, he will have zero humanity as a person which is needed in a character even a villain. The majority of my character have weak spots, flaws, and even dislikes about himself. 

Where do you think the issue lays? Laziness of a player? Inexperience in roleplay? Circumventing rules?

Like stated above, practice makes perfect so to sum this one up. Inexperience is the reason. 

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MrBlairdom    12

Extremely good thread, well organized and well argumented. It not only offers a reason for evil characters to question their own existence, but also does that to the good-doers out there. Bravo, Iso, bravo :)

I liked Vic's answers to the questions you asked, specially to the third question.

I will provide my own answers as this is quite a good discussion.

What do you think a good villain or antagonist is?

No matter what one decides to be, it's the reasoning behind it that will most likely dictate most of his actions. One thing that we all must acknowledge is the fact that the good guys will always be limited by the evilness of their enemies. I cannot forge an army of good people in order to stop an unstoppable force of....unorganized people who attack lonely travelers. It just feels like an oversized solution to a minor problem.

In conclusion, a good villain is that one guy that does not have to think too much about his next move, because his next move comes naturally out of his initial reasoning. Causality and effect.

How do you think villains or antagonists could be improved?

People need to want more from their own characters. To challenge themselves, their creativity. It's harder to create a memorable, hateful and yet adored villain. Being evil for the sake of being evil only worked with the Joker. Moreover, a villain must advance, has a huge desire to see his plans become real. Petty criminals will always be petty criminals. But when you want people to take you seriously and see you as a villain, a true Nemesis...well, you must back your reputation up with actions. Actions that speak for themselves.

Is the line "I'm a bad person", a justifiable excuse for an antagonist? How so?

No. It's as if I KoS someone and when asked why, I simply reply: Because I can. What makes you a bad person? Why did you become a bad person? Again - reasoning.

Do you think the way antagonists are currently handled is damaging roleplay?

Just like Vic said, yes. I will not elaborate too much on the matter though.

What do you think a good hero or protagonist is?

The same reasoning behind the villain.

How do you think heroes or protagonists could be improved?

Why and How. Why are you being a good guy? How do you manage to stay a good guy? The answers to these questions should provide a good basis on building a hero.

Is the line "I'm a good person", a justifiable excuse for a protagonist? How so? If you said yes for this, but no for the antagonist (or vice versa), what makes that difference okay?

Nope.

Do you think the way protagonists are currently handled is damaging roleplay?

I don't think playing a neutral/good guy can actually damage roleplay that much that it needs to be changed. Mediocre, casual good guys can just be ignored if needs be.

Do you think we need more or less antagonists/protagonists? Why is that?

As long as people dont go bad more and more, I think we can manage with what we got.

Do you think the issue of one-dimensional characters should be more apparent and worked on? Why so?

To give your character some depth, to inspire others to improve. Good or bad.

Where do you think the issue lays? Laziness of a player? Inexperience in roleplay? Circumventing rules?

Most of the times, I'd have to say that it's probably - inexperience.

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Melvin    84

You don't see good villains because they are great at doing what they do and covering their tracks. My character, Mr Chang, has influenced many events along the DayZRP lore line while still being looked at as a dumb meme. ;)

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DerSchnitzler    359

First off, amazing thread! I think that we can all agree that you put a lot of time and work into this. Furthermore, I think everyone here had at least one bad HostileRP encounter. Just look at the RunningManZ for example and his DayZRP video! Those guys wer just fucking horrible, let's not lie here!

Personally I think that puting a lot of time, dedication and work into a character and his or her backstory is really important, especially for some sort of villain. The questions you asked were exactly that what basicly anyone should ask themselves before creating another useless, first-sight-permascaring, uninteresting bandit to deal with. Why is he/she evil? What did his/her childhood look like? Does he/she have a (serious) mental disorder? Basicly anything along those lines would be apriciated when creating an evil character.

But also the hero characters should ask themselves these questions. Hell, anybody should upon creating a new char. What makes them uniqe? What is their reason for beeing in Chernarus? I swear to god, if I hear the "Vacation"-excuse or the "Woke-up-in-a-hospital"-excuse one more goddamn time I'm just gonna leave that guy imidiately. For every character, try to think of an interesting backstory, what makes them the person that they are today?

And to end it all off, I'll leave you with a quote you should maybe consider thinking about when creating your next character:

"Don't only think outside the box. Think outside of the room the box is in!" - Me, 2016 (Yep, I came up with another quote)

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Guest   
Guest

True villans are not those that show themselves as such, true villans are people that hide that well, that you might start loving, and caring for them, until one night when they will kill you, or use you for a more major scheme.

They are damaged people, that have serious problems, and have a cause that they are lost in it.

The people that robbed you and torture you for no reason, they are basicly psychopatic savages, basicly players that are to lazy to work on their characters on actually making them evil, and not basicly stone age humans.

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Commissar    119

-snip-

Great thread, and a much needed discussion.

Ive been involved in acting/drama for the last 4 years now, practice and learning the technique taught at that school, so we have had plenty of discussion about some of the things you mentioned. And that also lead me into writing my own material as will. I think one problem here is that people don't know how to play bad/evil characters that will get good feedback from the server, and allot of those people are new members to the community, I/we see allot of new players involved in reports for robberies and tortures, and how it was not very good. Even though every experienced member that gives advice says don't play a bandit/evil character right away, they still do. It took me around 4 months to start playing an evil character, (the first 4 months I played a hero character, my first character, Lankin) and I'm not claiming it was perfect but I got some good feedback from it. Now Ive had a total of 4 evil characters. Each one slightly different from the last, and my RP playing these types got better with each one (though I will admit sometimes I still make the odd mistake with them, but hey I am human). Giving my background in acting/writing I go into allot of details with my characters, good or bad. And that helps when it comes to making decisions in game.

An important point to make is that an antagonist isn't always a bad/evil  and sometimes it isn't actually human/animal character at all.

But to answer your questions:

What do you think a good villain or antagonist is? - In terms of TV and Film, they are memorable. They think that they are doing the right thing. You are attracted to them and so are other characters in the story (Attractive Qualities). The reasons that they have for doing something are good/interesting reasons. Reasons that you might find yourself doing. Which in turn means they are actually real people, with real problems like you and me. The antagonist is usually the opposite if the protagonist, (I like Milkshakes, I hate Milkshakes... WAR) theres plenty more reasons but that will do for now, but another important point to make is that all villians are antagonists but not all antagonists are villians.

How do you think villains or antagonists could be improved? - This is an IG question,  read the paragraph above, make sure the characters has those points mentioned, do some research into evil characters, whether they are real or fictitious.

Is the line "I'm a bad person", a justifiable excuse for an antagonist? How so? - In TV/Film, no. Those characters are boring, on the servers, yes, but bare in mind you will still be boring. Some IRL killers from the past killed for no reason, simply because they were bad, and thats actually quite scary. But even though we are trying to be realistic as possible on the servers, having a reason will make people like your RP/character more OOC.

Do you think the way antagonists are currently handled is damaging roleplay? - Some do it well and others don't, hopefully those who dont do it well will improve.

What do you think a good hero or protagonist is? - Just remember that hero and protagonist are two different people, protagonist isn't necessarily a good person. But they have the same points as the villian/ antagonist. I think the main point that makes a good Protagonist is that they have something to lose and in turn something to gain. And we can emotionally connect with these characters/reasons.

How do you think heroes or protagonists could be improved? - On the server I am not to sure, because we are all the Protagonists of our own stories, like I said Protagonists are not always the good guys, in film/tv 90% of the time they are. I guess on the servers, you should try and have a main antagonist you are trying to stop and the reason you are doing this people OOC will connect with it.

Is the line "I'm a good person", a justifiable excuse for a protagonist? How so? If you said yes for this, but no for the antagonist (or vice versa), what makes that difference okay? - Just like my answer for the other question, in TV/Film, no. There has to be a reason for us to connect to and not lose interest. On the servers, yes, even though it is boring, just like the 'I'm a bad person' question, try and have a reason, it will make your character more interesting.

Do you think the way protagonists are currently handled is damaging roleplay? - Some do it well and others don't, hopefully those who dont do it well will improve. (Same is other answer really)

Do you think we need more or less antagonists/protagonists? Why is that? - This should be hero/villians and no, I think there is already a good balance.

Do you think the issue of one-dimensional characters should be more apparent and worked on? Why so? - I think people should have more interesting reasons for doing whatever it is they do, but the thing is, maybe they already do, its not as if they are going to tell you it IG. But I think if they are called into a report and are asked why they are doing what they are doing they should have to give a valid reason, which they are required to do anyway, and if that reason isn't good enough then they should be asked to find a better reason before continuing that character.

Where do you think the issue lays? Laziness of a player? Inexperience in roleplay? Circumventing rules? - I think its a mixture of a few things, not putting much thought into the character, inexperienced RP'ers, not knowing what makes characters interesting, trying out bandit/evil RP to soon. There is more reasons, but I think what I have written here is enough.

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Ami.Knight    9

One of the main issues I've run into with hero/villain characters most recently, is many of them seem to be based of metagaming honestly. Many people I've seen will roll up a hero or a villain just to be able to join a specific group, to or play with a specific player they are ooc friends with.

It's one of the things that really kills immersion for me and makes me rank a character as poorly thought out. I can understand wanting to play with a friend granted, but when you are not really building a character for that specific purpose, and not fleshing them out to make it believable, or WORSE when your character just makes a sudden 180 on their established personality, just because they are bored with current roleplay, with either NO or MINIMAL reason for it (especially something set up OOC'LY) then it just completely flies in the face of playing your role.

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Nihoolious    1248

One of the main issues I've run into with hero/villain characters most recently, is many of them seem to be based of metagaming honestly. Many people I've seen will roll up a hero or a villain just to be able to join a specific group, to or play with a specific player they are ooc friends with.

It's one of the things that really kills immersion for me and makes me rank a character as poorly thought out. I can understand wanting to play with a friend granted, but when you are not really building a character for that specific purpose, and not fleshing them out to make it believable, or WORSE when your character just makes a sudden 180 on their established personality, just because they are bored with current roleplay, with either NO or MINIMAL reason for it (especially something set up OOC'LY) then it just completely flies in the face of playing your role.

So making a character based on the group you join is metagaming...

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Ami.Knight    9

One of the main issues I've run into with hero/villain characters most recently, is many of them seem to be based of metagaming honestly. Many people I've seen will roll up a hero or a villain just to be able to join a specific group, to or play with a specific player they are ooc friends with.

It's one of the things that really kills immersion for me and makes me rank a character as poorly thought out. I can understand wanting to play with a friend granted, but when you are not really building a character for that specific purpose, and not fleshing them out to make it believable, or WORSE when your character just makes a sudden 180 on their established personality, just because they are bored with current roleplay, with either NO or MINIMAL reason for it (especially something set up OOC'LY) then it just completely flies in the face of playing your role.

So making a character based on the group you join is metagaming...

I think maybe I made that unclear. I personally find it to be metagamed yes, when someone makes a char for the sole purpose of rolling with a specific group. I mean that is quite literally the definition right there. "Using ooc knowledge for IC gain." You knew this group was villains so you rolled a villain so he would be accepted.

However I don't personally see a problem with that as long as the character has been thought out more than "My char is part of group X"

The part that bothers me is when either there has been no thought put into the character beyond the above example, or when an existing character makes an unbelievable 180 in personality just to do so when it clearly opposes everything established about said character.

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Raptor    175

A good villain tries to blend in with the population and then strike when you least expect it. But thats just one way to play a villain I guess.

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Dishes    159

I do agree with a lot of this, especially the part about villains. Now there are a lot of really fucking good evil characters out there with very nice thought out characters, but then there are also a ton that are just evil for the sake of being evil and can't ever be fixed. It's really just a thing that happens and it can be very case by case, not everyone puts as much into their characters as others, and not everyone is as experienced in writing/RPing as others.

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Joffrey    893

I play a bad guy a lot of the time, I try to make the decisions that make the character at least somewhat believable. But sometimes its fun to play something outrageous and fantastic, as it is a game. You know? Fantasy and all that jargon.

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isocade    90

I'm glad and grateful I got a bit of discussion and debate out of you fellas, it definitely makes a world of difference here.

One consistent thing I've noticed amongst most of the posts is the following paraphrase-

"A good villain blends with the crowd and covers his/her tracks."

This is something I agree with wholeheartedly and may be a primary reason as to why I don't see many good villain characters outside of the popular and well known ones. Sometimes the distinction between hero and villain may be hard to tell given the circumstances or simply because one or the other is in hiding, and this can definitely bring about some confusion.


Another thing I see is- 

"All villains are antagonists but not all antagonists are villains."

Quotes from the lovely Lankin, thanks for all the feedback mate! You made it very clear I made a literary mistake that might cause some confusion.

I should have chosen my words better, but the distinction I'm trying to make or rather the generalization is "protagonist = hero" and "antagonist = villain", at least in this thread. Don't get them confused or mixed up however, a hero is just a "person who is admired and idolized for their courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities" while a protagonist is "the leading figure or part of major characters who lead the story". Meanwhile a villain is "a character whose evil actions or motives are important to the plot" while an antagonist is "a person who actively opposes or is actively hostile to something or someone".

Basically, I made a mistake during the writing and instead of writing "Heroes, Hero", I wrote "Protagonists, Protagonist". Likewise with "Villains, Villian" and "Antagonists, Antagonist".


Para brings up a few good points with the following-

"There are many varieties of bandits and bad guys."

That is very true, and there should be (or is, rather) some clear distinction between bandit groups with a purpose and villain groups with a purpose.

Bandit definition pulled off Google; "a robber or outlaw belonging to a gang, who typically operates in an isolated or lawless area".

Meanwhile the definition of a villain is seen prior, "a character whose evil actions or motives are important to the plot".

Thievery, banditry, and robbing can help push a plot or improve it, but in my personal opinion, it doesn't drive a storyline on it's own very effectively unless done in a grand scale, like robbing an entire base for example. From my experience, it would appear as if many bad guys try to supplement the loss of proper storyline when robbing people through the use of kidnapping and torturing someone. However, this, also in my opinion, damages the quality of the roleplay and the believability of the character and their motives. That is though, subjective and situational. This most definitely applies if done to complete strangers or mere acquaintances who have little to no interaction with the bad guy, but if there is plenty of history between the two, it can signal as a character changing event for the bad guy or the victim. For example, if the person originally was a good guy but something has made that character change, they can use their friend (or former friend) as a launching pad for their story that they wish to create, which adds further depth and intricacy to the storyline of the other person as well! It's all about give and take.

Talking about varieties, I feel as if it could be easily described in a "letter-grade" system, so to speak. A to F, with the reasons, motives, actions, and justifications being more in-depth, well planned, and intricate as the chart rises up to A. On the other hand, such a chart or guide could be seen as insulting to someone if they interpret it the wrong way, since it could be seen as someone telling them that the roleplay they do isn't of a high quality. In some cases, this might be true, in other cases, it's open to interpretation.

Para also went on to say-

"It's very easy for hero groups to collapse due to hostilities."

From my perspective, this is because of the overflow of hostile or passive-aggressive groups or characters who do not pick and choose their battles, but instead, take on all-comers at all times. When I was part of Overhaul, they claimed to not be a hero group and always spoke of how they would go after people who messed with them, however Overhaul was messed with several times and they never responded to the attacks or hostilities, which in turn made us look very weak and feeble. Whether a group is hostile, neutral, or friendly, they will look weak if they do not respond to attacks, but not all the time mind you.

Not all groups take this into consideration and they instead charge ahead into every battle possible and risk themselves constantly as a result, which then puts them into the open before they have a chance to completely strengthen and gain power. This brings them into public eye and draws attention to them, and this will eventually cause death of their cause through constantly getting struck, fighting, failing (or succeeding), and rebuilding (or waiting for the next fight).

When hero (and villain) groups realize this, they'll pick and choose their battles more often than not, and that'll help to build story even more.


Para brings up more but I'll touch on it at a later post, very tired and hungry right now so I need to fix that.

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isocade    90

Talking about varieties, I feel as if it could be easily described in a "letter-grade" system, so to speak. A to F, with the reasons, motives, actions, and justifications being more in-depth, well planned, and intricate as the chart rises up to A.

I just now came up with a draft for said chart, and will probably make a long and drawn out post on the guides and tutorials section on evil/villain based characters. Can never have too many guides. I look at this chart as a sort of building block guide and assist to help people further improve their characters, since you can always and easily mix and match the various types of villains in order to create an even better one than those described here. 

S-List Villain : A villain who is both reluctantly evil because of bad deeds done to them. Their motives are also difficult to find fault in, and if you were in the same position, you may be inclined to do the same thing. (A mix of A-List, B-List, and C-List.)

A-List Villain : A villain whose motives and reasons are hard to find fault in and are arguably better than the heroes motives and reasons who may oppose them.

B-List Villain : A villain who reluctantly evil because of the situations they find themselves in.

C-List Villain : A villain who is evil because they are retaliating against misfortune and bad deeds done to them.

D-List Villain : A villain who is evil only through doing what they need to do in order to survive. (Meaning: They genuinely are forced to be evil in order to survive. Not being fully kitted out and robbing then torturing someone because "I do this to survive".)

F-List Villain: A villain who is simply just evil or lusts for power.

Any readers, old or new, tell me what you think. Would this be accurate? How could it be improved?

Keep in mind that in order to play a proper villain, it can't be just your opinion or viewpoint that makes you a B-List or an A-List villain, it's the opinions and viewpoints of the people opposing you. No matter how much time you put into making a really in-depth and good character, the detail will only be noticed if other people take the time to notice it.

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Itslit    5

Dislike people that only torture/kidnap people as their main form of RP, you're boring and edgy mate.

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