Hopefully the vast majority of you(I can speak like there’s more than one of you since I got more than fifty visits in the last few days.) weren’t freaked out when I started talking about European air mobility issues. Hell, maybe one or two of you gave a flying toss.

We’re going back to talking about plain boring old RPG’s again, hope that’s alright with ya’ll.

I play a decent amount of female characters. There’s a reason for that. The most major is the horrifying soulless badass I made out of one my long running NPC’s. She’s been a constant influence for a lot of my major female NPC’s especially the evil, manipulative ones, you can also bet your bottom dollar that if I’m making a female character, I’m at least tipping my hat towards her, the psychotic bitch.

So this post is twofold, discussing creating and motivation for characters and discussing “evil” within the context of an RPG.

I recently started playing Rogue Trader, a rather fantastic RPG based in the 41st millenium that manages to insert just enough GRIMDARK(tm) to give you the necessary flavour but also adds the much more enjoyable element that you’re a space pirate with a giant ship that can carbonize cities.

I realised after a little while that Ayasharee Van Reuteur is more accurately based on Admiral Kane(sp) from Battlestar Galactica. Yes, I’m fully aware that Admiral Kane, from Battlestar Galactica, was a complete bitch. Are you seeing a pattern here?

It’s a retroactive realisation and more guilt by associationrather than blatantly copying every aspect of the character, but there are still plenty of strong links.

I guess I realised it after I made Ayasharee, in her first act upon assuming the role of Lord Captain, weld her own father to the outside of the ship. Why? Because I don’t want them to just call me Crazy Aido for the sake of it, but also since, hey, that’s what I see this character as being like, so, hey, that’s what she’s like. But it also brings up this whole amusing moral swamp that some systems deal with and some don’t. The character of Admiral Kane in BSG doesn’t give a flying hoot when she leaves an awfully large quantity of people to die in space and on at least one occasion goes through the more direct approach to corporal punishment.  Where precisely am I going with this? Well, who’s to say Admiral Kane is, necessarily, evil to her rotten little core? She certainly has a fairly skewed set of morals, but that doesn’t mean she sits on top of a throne of skulls and calls for virgin sacrifices.*Personal note: Do both of the above.* I imagine for any of her subordinates, life isn’t all that bad a ride. True, the end of year assessment is a bit of pain in the ass, but so long as you knuckle down, she’ll go the whole hog for you. So, if I were, for example, a junior officer on board said ship, I’d feel I had a supporting, nurturing command system and be more inclined to ignore the haunting screams of the innocents we’d murdered.

So my character is inwardly focused and believes in rewarding her own troops before say, considering anyone elses’ basic human rights. Did I say that was right? No. Did I say that armed forces or navies throughout the world should take that approach? Hell no. But it’s certainly amusing to see what happens when we apply it to an already GRIMDARK(tm) universe and see what colour the printout comes out. Let’s call it a social experiment.

But more importantly, I don’t think my character is typically evil and that’s where the real fun lies. Too many RPG’s have some kind of inbuilt moral code. If you want to be able to do “x” then don’t for god’s sake do “y”, or some such. I suppose it’s ok when you play some games. But when something makes it so cut and dried, then you are always either twiddling your moustache with maniacal glee or radiating on the top of your pyramid of self funded orphanages. What do we learn? It’s good to go your own way sometimes. That, and I shouldn’t play a paladin, ever.

Of course, in my own strange way, I’m not saying a stratified system of good and evil is bad either. If we take pathfinder for example, and even playing a paladin, that can be a very serious challange, especially if your GM is a complete dick.

So what are we left with? Evil, pure unadulterated evil, and easy rationalisation for piss poor roleplaying? I hope not, but I can see it happening. Alternatively, we raise the standard of gaming when someone decides to play the decisive dickhead with will of iron. Hopefully what happens here is someone reads this and goes out to play their respective badass to the best of their ability.

 

On one final note: My other female character, Anierra Ierionessa, turned out almost completely opposite from how I thought she would, namely in terms of her having a very strong moral code, as well being inclined to stand up for it. This for me is a bit of a triumph since I hadn’t really decided on how to play her when the campaign started, so it’s nice to get little surprises like this.

 

Next: Slash Fiction

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