Friday, October 3, 2014

More Evil

I've blogged about evil before. But Alexis had a good post yesterday that gives an excellent description of the difference between what he calls "Disney evil" and "ordinary evil" (the latter being the type of evil you find with disappointing frequency in our own, real world), and the benefit of injecting a bit of the latter into your gaming. It's part of his ongoing series on introducing adventures and motivating players, and its well worth a read.

Just FYI: the new heartbreaker I'm working on features evil of a "fantasy evil," which is somewhere in between, though closer perhaps to "Disney evil." Its atrocities are things like turning people into monsters and undermining civilization and making the world into a playground for the forces of Darkness. It's non-ordinary stuff, for sure.
; )


  1. My games probably have too much 'ordinary' evil and not enough 'fantastic' evil. That said, I probably try to imply some of the details that Alexis doesn't flinch from.

  2. A lot of gamers can't come to grips with other folks experssion of evil. Look at Carcosa and the response some folks had to a handful of evil spells in that game. Orcs becoming misunderstood greenskinned savage but noble warriors in many strains of gaming shows how folks just can't deal with evil.

  3. Re: Carcosa - I bought the pdf ages ago, and gave it a skim read. It was only much later when I came across the furore regarding the rituals. Evil wizards are evil, eh? And being fantastical, MORE evil than mundane humans. Who'da thunk it?

    1. No kidding. A lot of folks have bwhahaha evil that is really little more than selfishness. Being a jerk does not make one evil, there's a lot more to it.

  4. Its a tough call, in some ways. On one hand, a lot of our theorizing is how to make the gaming experience more 'realistic,' and on the other hand, it's still an escapist game.

    I do think that the big-bad can be a bit less 'muahahah!', more real or insideous, however one wishes to write them up. But at the heart of it, no matter how evil we model our baddies, history will one-up us. (Funny, my wife and I were just discussing this) Pyramids of skulls? Passe. Genocides? Industrial-scale. Ritualized tortures and mutilations? Culturally-ingrained across continents.

    So, like any of our world-building, we can use these events and examples to inform our creations and atmosphere. Add the grit. Show the dirt and bruises and blood of 'civilization'. Know that all those examples above never thought of themselves as 'evil', but as conquerors, the just, or sent by higher powers. Use that to create your baddie.