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Code VS Killing Poll

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Do you prefer to play Superheroes that:

 

1. Will not Kill (Code vs Killing Ver Com, Total)

 

2. Will kill under extreme duress (Com, Stro)

 

3. Seek to avoid it, but will if the situation demands it (Com,mod)

 

4. Feel its a war and if there are casualties that is the nature of war (No CAK)

 

5. Justice sometimes demands death (Vigilante Mentality)

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Guest bblackmoor

Re: Code VS Killing Poll

 

The easiest, from a playability perspective, is #3: won't kill casually, but will if the situation seems to warrant it. That causes the least trouble and offers the most flexibility, both for the character and the game as a whole.

 

And for what it's worth, when I am GM, your #2 (extreme reluctance to kill) is the assumed default, just like having two eyes and two legs. One does not get points for it. It's just the way normal people are.

 

So unless the character's background strongly indicates otherwise, either #2 or #3 is what I tend to play.

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Guest Soulcatcher

Re: Code VS Killing Poll

 

I would tend to go with #3 which is: Seek to avoid it, but will if the situation demands it (Com,mod). This one provides the most RP possibilities in my mind.

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Re: Code VS Killing Poll

 

I tend to encourage #2 in my campaigns, but let the players pick for themselves where they want to settle on 1-3.

 

There have been exceptions depending on the campaign in question.

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Re: Code VS Killing Poll

 

I have a slight preference in favour of some form of CvK but mainly it's whatever's appropriate to the setting. If it's Silver Age then you gotta have CvKs. Golden Age had some killer vigilantes. In the Iron Age killing is practically compulsory unless you're doing the retro-SA Iron Age, which I don't think anyone is.

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Guest bblackmoor

Re: Code VS Killing Poll

 

Superheroes don't kill.

 

That's clearly a false statement. It isn't common, and it's (as far as I know) pretty much universally frowned on, but it happens from time to time.

 

That is, unless you are using a definition of "superhero" which means "what everyone else means by 'superhero', except the ones that have killed or ever will kill anyone". In which case, "superhero" can mean anything you'd like it to mean.

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Guest Worldmaker

Re: Code VS Killing Poll

 

That's clearly a false statement. It isn't common' date=' and it's (as far as I know) pretty much universally frowned on, but it happens from time to time.[/quote']

 

Somehow I am unsurprised that you are unable to understand a fairly simple sentiment as this.

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Guest bblackmoor

Re: Code VS Killing Poll

 

Superheroes don't kill.

 

Incidentally, the Joker would say that most people would kill, cheerfully, if they had the right reason. That most people don't kill doesn't indicate any great strength of moral fiber: it simply indicates they haven't had a really good reason.

 

Not that I think the Joker would necessarily be the best person to ask about the subject, but this thread reminded me of Killing Joke, and I really liked that book, so I figured I'd mention it.

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Re: Code VS Killing Poll

 

Batman doesn't kill normally. However when the vampire storyline came along, out went the code vs killing.

 

Doomsday was another argument against superheroes don't kill. Dropped off at the end of time to save everyone. Back in the Silver Age, in the pages of All Star Squadron, Superman and the Justice Society along with the Marvel Family killed several ordinary people in the waters outside of Great Britian(Okay, so it was WWII)

 

Really depends on the campaign. Mostly, I try to avoid using the CvK unless that's part of the character concept. Reluctant to kill? Yes.

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Guest bblackmoor

Re: Code VS Killing Poll

 

You know, I hadn't thought about this subject for a long time (not since Killing Joke was published a few years back). It's interesting to skim through the archives and see how the subject of superheroes who kill is handled in the source material. As Doug McCrae points out, once upon a time, killing the bad guys was unexceptional. Later it became a subject of controversy.

 

Curiously enough, the year I was born, this was the subject of an ongoing plot in Legion of Superheroes (one of my favorite comics back when I was a teen). There's a synopsis of that on the Star Boy of the Legion of Super Heroes site. Briefly, Star Boy kills someone, possibly with justification, and the whole League votes on whether to kick him out. I could easily see that being a subject of a Justice League Unlimited episode today. I guess everything goes in cycles. :)

 

[edit: corrected spelling]

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Re: Code VS Killing Poll

 

Superheroes not killing was an artifact of the comics code.

 

From a gaming perspective, I prefer to play #1 or #2 in most of my PCs. Occasionally #3 if the setting warrants it. But I'm not very good at playing grim and gritty PCs as a rule. I can GM such settings, because I'm painting in broader strokes than if I devote all that attention to a single PC.

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Re: Code VS Killing Poll

 

The most obvious factor is that killing is illegal. A killer hero is a criminal, not a crime fighter.

 

I generally go with CvKs for my PCs. Perhaps with some scope for "in case of war, break glass".

 

Comments on other people's comments:

 

Vampires aren't generally regarded as being covered by CvKs.

 

Batman and Robin's CvKs preceded the Comics Code by well over a decade.

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Re: Code VS Killing Poll

 

I like playing your Super Boy Scout Characters who not only take the 20pt version of Code vs Killing (Common/Total)-interpreted to mean i will not kill nor use an attack at a level which could kill, nor will i permit others in my presence to kill (ie jumping in front of a killing blow meant for a seriously weakened villian),but i will not attack another hero as i believe in the end it is each persons choices which define and or dam them, of course any "Hero" who frequently kills ceases to fall under my definition of a hero.

I frequently also have Protect Innocents (Common/Total) as well.

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Re: Code VS Killing Poll

 

The notability of Batman #1 is at multiple levels. First, Batman now had two villains to fight which meant fighting a little more carefully. Second, after a climax of a battle with some monstrous giants where Batman gunned them down, Whitney Ellsworth made a clear statement that Batman would never again be allowed to use a gun or kill someone by other means. Ellsworth simply did not buy Batman’s statement in the issue that even though he hated to kill sometimes it is necessary. This official ban from Ellsworth was the first step in an upcoming ethical code that would be a positive sign from DC particularly when in the 1950s controversy arose regarding violence and sex in comics.

 

http://www.batmanytb.com/index5.htm

 

Interesting, too, that the Joker was supposed to die in his first appearance, but the editor nixed that, too, in order to have recurring villains like Dick Tracy. :)

 

The impact of the comics code (or at least leading up to it) is when we got all the bizarre alien stories and rainbow Batman stuff. Often pointed at by comics fans as a reason for "Marvel is better, they never did stuff like that." Well, imo, they very well might have if they existed at the time. Because the heat was on about comics wrecking kids.

 

ANYWAY...

 

It depends on the character I've chosen to play and the campaign. I have some heroes that kill without much compunction and some who wouldn't kill anything (unless it was, say, a supernatural monster or something). Mostly I'm in the middle when it comes to char creation, but my longest lasting char was pretty vicious.

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Re: Code VS Killing Poll

 

This would tend to mean any character with a Hka or Rka is not a superhero, especially if your wandering around with a gun or sword.

 

Superheroes are a ideal that the character and player have to live up to, superheroes dont kill but the character need not have the disadvantage. He just dosent cos its against what being a hero stands for. Superheroes arnt police of military or just good guys , they are paragons and ideals for the world to look up to.

 

If the character is in a genuine war rather than merely protecting innocents from criminals and supervilains then they will probabily kill, but now they are supersoldiers not superheroes.

 

I vote 2 and 3

 

also i dont think 1 is possible for any character, Totally will not kill under any circustances is a insanity not to mention morally reprehensible.

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Re: Code VS Killing Poll

 

Superheroes don't kill.

I've been in this debate before. In brief, I think that's untrue/unfair if we are discussing all the subgenres; there are certainly Iron Age comics that I think paint genuine superheroes as killing on occassion. I don't think we'll go anywhere with this, but I feel that such a broad statement is condemnatory to an entire and valid subgenre.

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Re: Code VS Killing Poll

 

While I'm not in the Superheroes Don't Kill camp, I'm definately not in the Superheroes Should All Be Psychopathic Murderers camp either. The concept of superheroes is a real world concept, and subject to real world ambiguity concerning what constitutes a "superhero". It's all up to the campaign theme and tone to determing if superheroes don't kill, or if they just shouldn't.

 

As a point, I've seen and played in many "don't kill" games and found the CVK to be a hoard of free points. Campaigns that require it tend to have villains that take hostages and kidnap people, rather than kill them. He hero always saves those threatened with death, because if he doesn't, he's failed and could never live with himself (so he always saves them). The only thing really entertaining about games like these is that there doesn't always have to be a threat of death. Villains used mind control lasers. Villains would never shoot a hostage because a corpse can't be used as leverage. but ultimately, campaigns like this should disallow the CVK Disad as it would be assumed to be part of any player charater automatically.

 

And any campaign that gives points for a CVK is a game where superheroes kill. Maybe not often, maybe not ever in the course of the game, but it happens within the campaign world and shouldn't be overlooked.

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Re: Code VS Killing Poll

 

Yes, to be fair, I don't think there's any justification to call psychopathic vigilantes "heroes".

 

I think there is room to call a particular Punisher-like type a "superhero", but only if: all killing is done carefully; it is limited to "military operative" types, the agents who are working in vast orgs or as otherwise "killers for hire" themselves; and it's done in a world setting where justice is rather clearly not going to be done otherwise.

 

Fine line, yes, but I can see it.

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