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 Post subject: Villianous Idiocy
Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2019 12:05 am
  

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Champion

Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2007 9:46 am
Posts: 2143
Location: SDF-1, Macross Island
Query:
Is it a genre convention in comics (as well as gaming) for a villain to be, for lack of a better term, an idiot.

What I mean is that in plot driven narratives, protagonists often have plot armor, and antagonists will give protagonists an advantage through their incompetence.
In gaming, the idea is that the characters are "supposed" to succeed (although some games like CoC are not so bound to that convention), and if it gets too difficult, a lot of GMs will fudge rolls, have NPCs show up, etc. to help the PCs.

The reason I bring this up is I just watched Brightburn, and while it was not a great movie, it did show just how squishy humans are when confronted with a super-being. Contrast that movie with a typical DC or Marvel movie and note that the villains often seem to give an advantage to protagonists via self-inflicted incompetence.

Even if a villain is fairly low-powered (or even non-powered), if they are competent in the planning and execution of their plans, many heroes may actually fail a few too many times to be considered "heroes." What happens when heroes run across competent, ruthless villains? Would your PC's succeed or would they find themselves outclassed, even if, on paper, in genre, they should win 99% of the time?

-STS

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 Post subject: Re: Villianous Idiocy
Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2019 11:38 am
  

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Knight

Joined: Sun Dec 27, 2015 1:13 pm
Posts: 5401
On-paper only tends to help in straight-up fights, and I think there have been cases in comics where villains are constantly winning for quite a while before a hero manages to begin impeding them.

Brightburn sounds like it's basically channelijng the 'Superboy Prime' rampage that happened during Infinite Crisis, that's more a matter of some heroes being ridiculously stronger than some villains and what would happen if they turned bad and didn't take their standard "world of cardboard" approach to enemies as guys like Supes tend to do so that there's less splat.


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 Post subject: Re: Villianous Idiocy
Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2019 3:52 pm
  

Hero

Joined: Wed Jun 25, 2014 12:49 am
Posts: 1340
"So, Lone Star, now you see that evil will always triumph because good is dumb." - Lord Darkhelment, shortly before being an idiot and letting the hero win.

It's a trope of nearly every genre.

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 Post subject: Re: Villianous Idiocy
Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2019 6:25 pm
  

Adventurer

Joined: Fri Sep 22, 2006 10:54 am
Posts: 704
dreicunan wrote:
"So, Lone Star, now you see that evil will always triumph because good is dumb." - Lord Darkhelment, shortly before being an idiot and letting the hero win.

It's a trope of nearly every genre.


Something I’ve mentioned before, and still might want to try the next time a game gets going: a throwback character who, yes, okay, has an all-purpose defense like invulnerability just in case his big gun doesn’t work; but who routinely fires up Control Others as his go-to move, and who primarily just uses it to — spark clichéd reactions.

After all, “questions will be answered truthfully” because the target will “do absolutely anything the controller requests (other than kill himself or a loved one)”, right? So ask the bad guy to gloatingly monologue, as per the ‘villain’ trope. Or ask him to put his enemy in an easily-escapable situation. Or challenge a guy to a fair fight, as if he had something to prove: the key is, you never ask for anything that’d get anyone killed; you pretty much just ask for stuff that, if we read it in a comic book, we’d say, “oh, yeah, that’s how these stories play out, sometimes; saw it just last week in a back issue, the overconfident masked villain who sure relishes playing his little games, it’s a classic.”


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 Post subject: Re: Villianous Idiocy
Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2019 9:11 pm
  

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Dungeon Crawler

Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2015 2:16 pm
Posts: 227
Location: Rifts Denmark
Comment: 44 years in denver, but now in grand rapids.
And honestly, the players simply choosing to focus fire while the bad guys dont is giving them an advantage right out of the gates.


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