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How common are Total Psychological Complications?


pawsplay
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9 hours ago, pawsplay said:

As much as they are upheld as standards of a Silver Age Code Versus Killing, the evidence suggests Cap and Superman both have a merely moderate Code Versus Killing, and with both having a carve-out for honorable participation in an actual, existential war. And Batman, depending on the version, might have a merely strong CVK. I really am not having much luck identifying any actual comic book characters with a total CVK. Cap avoids killing, Superman is so powerful he feels obliged not to, and Batman regards himself as a private citizen without the authority to perform executions. But none of them actually condemn the taking of life entirely.

Have you checked out Deathlok with Michael Collins? When he became Deathlok (and not by choice) he killed because he wasn’t under control of the Deathlok. Killing is what broke him out of it. The interplay was the computer would constantly tell Michael that doing this would be easier and Michael would tell the computer No find another way. He did kill some soldiers later BUT only after he was convinced that they were lobotimized.

9 hours ago, pawsplay said:

As much as they are upheld as standards of a Silver Age Code Versus Killing, the evidence suggests Cap and Superman both have a merely moderate Code Versus Killing, and with both having a carve-out for honorable participation in an actual, existential war. And Batman, depending on the version, might have a merely strong CVK. I really am not having much luck identifying any actual comic book characters with a total CVK. Cap avoids killing, Superman is so powerful he feels obliged not to, and Batman regards himself as a private citizen without the authority to perform executions. But none of them actually condemn the taking of life entirely.

Have you checked out Deathlok with Michael Collins? When he became Deathlok (and not by choice) he killed because he wasn’t under control of the Deathlok. Killing is what broke him out of it. The interplay was the computer would constantly tell Michael that doing this would be easier and Michael would tell the computer No find another way. He did kill some soldiers later BUT only after he was convinced that they were lobotimized.

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On 4/29/2021 at 11:00 AM, pawsplay said:

And Batman, depending on the version, might have a merely strong CVK.

Batman was a vigilante and had no compunction killing.  It was only later that they would periodically paste anything else onto his behavior.  yes I know about cartoons and the recent stuff (90s to present) but, screwing up the characters us a major reason I gave up buying them years ago. 

 

I would like to be able to get some of the early Batman, especially the era where he carries 45s.

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The way to define a psychological complication is twofold.

 

First, they are defined not how often the situation comes up, but rather how often the character perceives that it comes up.  In other words, its not like a missing eyeball where the situation is defined by absolute reality, but rather by the character's reactions to the world and their situation.

 

Second, they are defined by how they are not absolute.  If a person has no legs, they cannot walk without some prosthesis, no matter how hard they try.  But if they simply believe they cannot walk, then they are able to, its just a matter of willpower and being convinced of it.

 

Even if you can make the argument that most superheroes have killed in the past, that doesn't negate their psychological complications, because every version has an out: they can kill, but they don't want to.  A TOTAL psychological complication is defined thusly (mind you the wording is slightly contradictory):

 

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Character becomes totally useless or completely irrational in the situation, and will not change his mind for any reason; EGO Roll at -5 (minimum) required to change actions (if the GM allows such a roll at all)

 

They can do the thing they are against, with a -5 EGO roll, but the circumstances and situation needs to be extremely compelling.

 

Plus, remember that comic book depictions are not always consistent or reasonable.  Different authors have different interpretations of the character, few have had an ironclad, absolute definition like, say, Batman under Denny O'Neil's leadership for decades, which locks them into a clear pattern and strict personality.  So you can have outlier comics (see?  See?  Superman pulled that guy's head off in Issue 2372!) which do not necessarily define the character overall.

 

Plus, comic book characters change over time.  As noted several times, when superheroes were first coming out, they were little more than unusually powered pulp action heroes, like the Shadow or Doc Savage.  The heroic person and ethic of superheroes didn't always apply right at first, so Superman and Batman would not only just let someone die they could save, but actively murder people.  That changed over time as comic books developed.  So what you see in those days doesn't really apply to the way comic books and superheroes are defined now.

 

 

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I would like to be able to get some of the early Batman, especially the era where he carries 45s.

 

I've seen some reprints and they're very hard to read because the lettering is so poor and the printing quality is so cheap.

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So to restate the question, how often in the comics do we encountered heroes who must take a full phase to act before committing a lethal act, and require an Ego roll at -5 to do so, no matter who easily justifiable or even necessary the act is?

 

I think this whole concept evaded a lot of discussion in RPGs because for a couple of decades, comics were purposefully written to avoid showing hard choices or realistic consequences of violence.

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So to restate the question, how often in the comics do we encountered heroes who must take a full phase to act before committing a lethal act, and require an Ego roll at -5 to do so, no matter who easily justifiable or even necessary the act is?

 

Routinely, even typically in the Silver-Bronze era.  Less commonly in the Iron-Cinematic era.  And it is more common in the Comics Code-major publishers than alternates.

 

I mean half the stories in Legion of Superheroes and X-Men were about trying to train the wild man killer to stop being so violent by people who insisted we don't kill as heroes.

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