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Default Joystiq - RPGs Deserve A Better Class of Criminal

July 29th, 2012, 04:14
Joystiq writes about the quality of villains in RPGs. The article is aimed at jRPGs and, for the most part, I think we fare better on the wRPG side but it's still valid for a lot of games:
Like much of America, I saw The Dark Knight Rises last weekend. Like much of America, I left the theater completely enamored with the vicious (and occasionally ridiculous) villain Bane.
My first thought: "Holy crap, Bane sounds exactly like Deckard Cain."
My second thought: "Why don't RPGs have villains this awesome?"
Okay. Maybe it's unfair to ask every role-playing game to be more like the $250 million blockbuster that everyone on the planet went to see last weekend. And it's absolutely unfair to expect polygonal enemies to exude the personality of a real human being on a thirty-foot screen. But can't RPG makers learn something from the chilling villains in Christopher Nolan's wonderful superhero trilogy? Can the Joker help tell better stories?
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July 29th, 2012, 04:15
Hmm, Jon Irenicus in BG2, The Master in Fallout, Werdna in Wizardry I and IV, Exodus in Ultima ]I[, The Guardian in U7:BG?

NWN1 had an article suggesting when developing villains to use Baron Vladimir Harkonnen as the ultimate example.

Didn't Ravenloft borrow from Dracula. I remember too how much found we had running into Lang Fu and Baron Hauptman in Cthulhu fun

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The comparisons of Bane as a villain archetype are kind of weird if you ask me because he's one of the worst in Batman's Rogues Gallery. Him and Killer Croc don't fit into the classic Dick Tracy type weirdos and meglomaniacs The Batman has pursued over the decades; they are just a bunch of bulging muscles. Look at the horrid Batman and Robin movie for instance where he's just Poison Ivy's pet.

However, both characters live on because what they were involved with important story arcs: the new robin; and batman's broken back. What the Nolan brothers and the actor did with the character however was impressive, once again showing Nolan can bring something new and heady to this old silent movie ripoff.

Developer of The Wizard's Grave Android game. Discussion Thread:
http://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showthread.php?t=22520
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July 29th, 2012, 07:40
Originally Posted by Lucky Day View Post
Didn't Ravenloft borrow from Dracula.
I think you're referring more specifically to the character Lord Strahd von Zarovich, who did arguably have facets of his character derived from Dracula. The Ravenloft universe itself was a setting that was more based upon Gothic literature in general.

Also, I must be one of the few on the planet that didn't go and see this Batman film.

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July 29th, 2012, 08:59
Originally Posted by Pessimeister View Post
Also, I must be one of the few on the planet that didn't go and see this Batman film.
Nah… I'm certainly in no hurry to see it either.
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July 29th, 2012, 10:23
Odd, me neither.
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July 29th, 2012, 10:38
Personally, I rather fing the good ones being "uncool" and neglected - NPCs, that is, not of course the player's character, because that would be counter-productive.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/EvilIsCool
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/GoodIsBoring
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.ph…inMakesThePlot
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.ph…ificentBastard

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.ph…odAndGoodIsBad
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.ph…strializedEvil

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July 29th, 2012, 21:58
Yeah, it was Lord Strahd I was thinking of (just as Baron Hauptman is a cross between Dracula and St Germaine). I hadn't played Ravenloft at all - we all moved on to Cthulhu when that came out.

The new Batman movie is GREAT! Not Dark Knight great and quite a bit jumpy at times but its a great watch. Plus its NOT in 3D so you don't have to put up with a dark screen trying too hard with special effects.

It borrows a lot from three or four various sources of Batman lore and links the plot in nicely with the first two movies.

Back on topic, Tom Hardy who played Bane, put on 30lbs for the role and his voice is mimicking a Romani/Gypsy he knows. The choice and emphasis on certain words he uses makes it difficult to understand him at times (not to mention the mask) but you get used to it.

he's a really good villain in this film.

if you look at Nolan's films his choice of villains has been great: Scarecrow; Ras A; Ghul; the Joker; Two Face; Bane and one other I won't mention (spoiler). All great characters.

If the character seemed too silly he ended up putting really dark, psychological twists on them that even the comics and Tim Burton wouldn't go. The new idea of Batman as "a guy in bat suit". The scariest of all of course is Katy Holmes.

I am reading on IMDB the original idea involved Two Face and the Riddler but the latter was scratched as being to close the the heath ledger Joker.

Bane offered a contrast in character type which I think is a great lesson in writing sequels or follow up stories.



We've done a poll on favourite bad guy/end boss in an RPG right?

Developer of The Wizard's Grave Android game. Discussion Thread:
http://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showthread.php?t=22520
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