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Author Topic: Citadelian Brainstorm: Motivations for evil/Antagonism?  (Read 1105 times)

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Offline Shadoweagle

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Citadelian Brainstorm: Motivations for evil/Antagonism?
« on: November 13, 2006, 02:33:52 AM »
So, I was perusing the main site, as you do, and I noticed yet another mention of an 'Army of Darkness' rising up to take over the world and so forth. Naturally my thoughts would have been as most of everyone elses would be; "Wow, haven't heard that one before!"

Anyways, I then decided to ponder on this for a moment; there seems to be several classical types of evil people or antagonists in storylines, and it's all well and good if people wish to use these ideas, but surely with the great minds stored within the citadelian walls, we can ponder up some new or less-used motivations for people to be 'bad guys'.
Obviously, this isn't an el grande "Make a brilliant submission!" challenge; just a friendly forum brainstorm. I don't even really mind if nobody comes up with anything, it was just nagging at me so I thought i'd make a post and see what people can think of.
Let me start!

Classic [Cliche] motivations
  • Power over land/location: The whole rising up an "Army of Darkness" to conquer schtick.
  • Personal Power: Raistlin. Any necromancer/lich etc... 
  • Survival: Vampires. Any mythical creature which has humans as the main food source.
  • External Pursuation: Possessed by demon/ghost/item. The ring of power turning the wearer evil.

Other motivations
  • Religion: Religious extremists. Anyone motivated by a deity/religion to do nasty acts.
  • Love: Stealing to buy them gifts? Assaulting people to show off physical strength? Killing the husband of your lover so you two can be together?
  • Dishonor: They have been dishonored in some way by you, so they demand a duel!   
  • racial : See the Volgotoi Ogres submission by Wulfhere. The Volgotoi see eating the remains of their enemies as the right thing to do. However, humans think them evil because of this.
  • Insanity: Bieng so addled in the brain you don't know better.
  • Desire to die: Life is bland to them, so they begin doing reckless, dangerous or cruel things, not much caring if they get hurt/killed in the process. Possibly motivated by depression?
  • Testing humankind: Think the bad guy of the "Saw" movies (forget his name).

Does anyone have any other thoughts and ideas?
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Offline Scrasamax

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Re: Citadelian Brainstorm: Motivations for evil/Antagonism?
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2006, 03:07:51 AM »
Nihilism - ultimately seeing the world as being without redeeming value, the only thing to do is to bring it to its end early rather than letting the taundry thing play out.

Egotism - While not quite power for the sake of power, the villian must validate and actualize themselves, an act of self-assertion that just happens to involve armies of the undead and the sacking of kingdoms.

Perverse Love - as per Gabriel from the movie Constantine, the Villian isnt truely seeking the end of all, but is actually seeking the temper what is, to make it more pure and stronger.

Sado/Masochist - sexual tones aside, this villian is really quite suicidal and desires nothing more than death, yet cannot bring himself to the final act, instead he must draw forth the heroes worthy of killing him, they must be worthy for they must be greater than the reason he wants to die.

Anarchy - A political dissenter, this villian wants to change the system by completely destroying it, though has no ideas about what will come after. The moment is what is important, nothing else.

Necrophile - again, downplaying the sexual aspect, this villian is in love with death, and is so infatuated with the pomp and ceremony of funerals and the quietude of the cemetary that he desires to see the death of organizations and of entire races and kingdoms.


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Offline manfred

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Re: Citadelian Brainstorm: Motivations for evil/Antagonism?
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2006, 06:12:38 AM »
Anarchy 2 - A political dissenter, this villian wants to change the system by completely destroying it, and he has very concrete ideas about what will come after - not rarely, installing himself on the top, or someone close to him. Or believes the anarchy itself will make all things right.

Sado/Masochist 2 - sexual tones aside, this villian simply likes other people to suffer, or derives power from it.

Purifier - it is suffering that brings the best out of people; therefore, as tragical it is, they must be made to suffer. Include whatever noble cause it is necessary to do 'minor' evils for, to mobilize the crowd for the right thing.

Holy Mission - actually, it is YOU that are the bad guys - and they won't stop at any noblest or basest deed to eradicate this affront to morality, the only true way of life, their right to XXX, or whatever.

Low time preference - the villain may have a perfectly legitimate goal (become rich, have influence, achieve justice) or not, but doesn't want to wait - or has not the time to achieve it. Hence the "shortcut" and "collateral damage" on the way encountered.

Too much pride - it was a mistake. But a mistake can never be admitted, so measures have to be taken to keep it secret.

Not my rules - a rational being with values and rules that are very incompatible with the interacted society. (A restatement of racial from above, but more general.)

Boredom - what happens if we push this button... or... this man... or... this kingdom? I bet something interesting.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2007, 04:08:42 AM by manfred »
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Offline Ria Hawk

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Re: Citadelian Brainstorm: Motivations for evil/Antagonism?
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2006, 03:50:35 PM »
They Don't Know Better - Whether it's because they are entirely unfamiliar with the system, they're stupid, or they really don't know the difference between good and evil, they really don't understand that what they're doing is evil.
Sometimes angels fall from grace, and sometimes heroes die.

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Offline Dozus

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Re: Citadelian Brainstorm: Motivations for evil/Antagonism?
« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2006, 06:46:41 PM »
Revolutionary Philosophy - The old government is stale, oppressive, and far past its expiration.  A glorious leader is rallying the people to eliminate the old guard.  You are a mere tool of the state, a cog in the machine that must be destroyed.  The revoluationaries see your death as a just act in the glorious uprising.

Grudge - The enemy has a lot of issues, be it childhood abuse, missing parent, or traumatic memories.  You just so happen to remind him of that which he despises, and so you bring out the worst in him.

Desparation - An immense debt, a dying lover, a child in need - whatever the reason, the enemy feels they are forced to do evil to have a good come about.  They may regret or even hate what they are doing, but it still must be done.

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Offline Dragonlordmax

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Re: Citadelian Brainstorm: Motivations for evil/Antagonism?
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2006, 05:31:01 PM »
Mislead - He wants to do what's right, but he's going about it entirely the wrong way.

Heroic Failure - He may have failed at helping people, but if he can't be adored, he'll be feared.
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Offline necromancer

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Re: Citadelian Brainstorm: Motivations for evil/Antagonism?
« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2007, 03:52:54 PM »
Control Freak This guy is tired of being victim to things beyond his control, so much so that he wants to control everything, his life, death maybe even an entire kingdom.

Magical Madness This villain was turned insane by a powerful soceror of because of fallout from a great magical battle.

Selfish Whatever he want he gets, no matter who gets in the way. Most likely a nobleborn.

puritist This xenophobic man wants to purge the world of lesser races like humankind for example.
A necromancer is only evil in the eye of those who hate him and only hated by those who do not understand him.