Author Topic: DM/GM 101: Credible Heroes (and Even Superheroes)  (Read 635 times)


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Offline Lord Palatine

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DM/GM 101: Credible Heroes (and Even Superheroes)
« on: May 16, 2013, 08:03:21 PM »
The word hero may seem odd but lets look at this realistically, we roleplay characters that we want to stand out at least a little.  Nobody writes books about or roleplays Joe Schmuck the Mundane, people want to hold a character sheet for Joe Broadsword the Badass.  But, Joe Broadsword can be a badass and still be what I like to call a credible hero.

In order for a character to be a hero they first have to be able to lose, to hurt, to bleed, and to die.  If someone is immortal and impervious then they can't be a hero, they have nothing to lose.  There is nothing brave about doing something that you and I would consider dangerous if there is no danger to the character.  If a person can't be harmed, die or if they can't fail then they reduce slaying their foes or defeating great evil to the same danger level as taking a nap on the couch.

In the great wealth of literature we find the hero, broad of shoulder, narrow of hip, keen-eyed, long flowing blonde hair, he rides faster, shoots straighter, is an expert at anything that that needs to be done. How boring is that? First of all, these faultless paragons are neutered as a character, they have to spend all their time being noble so they need a sidekick to round out the one-sided nature of their character, and thus Batman needed Robin, the Green Hornet needed Cato, the Lone Ranger had Tonto, but Roy Rogers may have had Smiley Burdette as a sidekick, but he also had Dale Evans.

But why is Dale a sidekick? Think about it for a second, the traditional hero is all of those Dudley Do-Right traits where are the scroungy-looking heroes that couldn't be be stuffed into the traditional hero mould if you greased them down with a can of lard. What about Rooster Cogburn spin-cocking a Winchester rifle in one hand and blazing away with a Colt Navy six-shooter in his other gnarled paw, none of this "I'll save you!" stuff, nope, ol' Rooster Bellowed across a field "Fill your hand you son-of-a-bitch!"


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