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Code VS Killing Poll

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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.

 

Right. As somebody earlier pointed out, Supes and Bats earlier personalities were harder-edged. Both were still operating under "pulp" rules, but around 1940, both characters got cleaned up a little (In Batman's case, I think it was the addition of Robin that gave the stories a softer tone and in Superman's case, I think it might've had to do with the cartoon and/or radio show that made him more wholesome).

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Re: Code VS Killing Poll

 

Actually, the only logically, rationally moral reason to not hurt someone else, is because it creates an environment that is more threatening to the self. EVERYONE refrains from harming others because essentially it is harming themselves. We have no motivation that isn't ultimately selfish...

 

... there is no absolute "platonic" moral platform. That first sentence above can be, and likely would be modified by every person on this board to say "Some people refrain from hurting others because it's immoral..." adding "... except when it isn't immoral, as in protecting yourself, others, property, state sanctioned execution... etc." Punching someone in the nose to stop them from harming you is hardly immoral, as it serves a very specific, logical, rational need for humans. My short term survival is more important than the long term ramifications of this punch. Thus it s moral.

 

To be the one initiating violence... to force your ideas or will on them, to take their property or coerce them... that actually violates rational, logical human action, because instigating such behavior sets a standard that says, "Its ok to do the same thing to me." It is inherrently self-destructive, and would be for all humans... thus it is logically unethical/immoral.

 

Those who practice altruism (as all humans do to some extent) do not do this out of some absolute... they do it out of basic human need to take care of others so that I will be taken care of, myself. It may not be conscious... and sometimes it may be the wrong choice (humans always make decisions on limited perceptions and lack of information) and cause more harm than good, but overall, as a human practice, it creates a more stable, productive environment... it supports human existence in the aggregate... so that is a moral act.

 

Morality just isn't an absolute yes/no or always/never type thing. It is flexible, and hazy and variable and relative... because people are flexible, hazy, variable and relative.

This is your opinion?

 

1) You claim everyone is motivated by ultimately selfish needs.

2) Apparent altruism is conscious or subconscious "enlightened self-interest."

 

I don't buy that.

1) There are people who sacrifice their lives and their future everyday for the greater good. Some of them aren't particularly religious.

2) This is basically a circular argument. It's just too easy for you to say to someone they just think they are altruistic but that you know better.

3) How do we know the subconscious motivations of all of humanity?

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Guest bblackmoor

Re: Code VS Killing Poll

 

There are people who sacrifice their lives and their future everyday for the greater good. Some of them aren't particularly religious.

 

Indeed. By the same token, there are people who perform horrible acts on themselves and their fellow human beings even long after any sensible person would have learned that it made the actor's life worse.

 

Human beings are a perverse, superstitious lot. Most of them can't grasp basic concepts like cause and effect, or probability, and the rest of us really aren't much better. As a species, our natural state is to be irrational. :doi:

 

Saying we're motivated by self interest is fairly good as far as generalizations go, though. I'd say it's true more often than it's not true. Kind of like the weekend weather forecast on a Tuesday.

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Re: Code VS Killing Poll

 

Right. As somebody earlier pointed out' date=' Supes and Bats earlier personalities were harder-edged. Both were still operating under "pulp" rules, but around 1940, both characters got cleaned up a little (In Batman's case, I think it was the addition of Robin that gave the stories a softer tone and in Superman's case, I think it might've had to do with the cartoon and/or radio show that made him more wholesome).[/quote']

 

That's about the time Supers stopped killing in the comics - early '40's. NOte that this is long before the Comics Code, which came along in respnse to "Seduction of the Innocent" in the '50s.

 

While I'm not sure what caused the shift from pulp style to kinder, gentler supers, I know it wasn't the comics code.

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Guest bblackmoor

Re: Code VS Killing Poll

 

While I'm not sure what caused the shift from pulp style to kinder' date=' gentler supers, I know it wasn't the comics code.[/quote']

 

The Comics Code was a result, not a cause.

 

Read this: Seduction of the Innocents and the Attack on Comic Books. It's not a peer-reviewed thesis with an endless bibliography, but it's entertaining and it hits the important points.

 

[edit: added obligatory caveat]

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Re: Code VS Killing Poll

 

As a GM, my biggest problem with PCs that kill, is that it usually seems to stem from the player being in a bad mood or simply not taking the game seriously.

 

If the killing makes sense for the character and the situation, I personally won't mind, however he/she might have to answer to the authorities and other PCs.

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Re: Code VS Killing Poll

 

He's not a superhero. He's the wrath of God incarnate. He's above superheroics.

I'd add that in the late 60s/early 70s Spectre was more closely aligned with DC's thinly-veiled revival of horror comics. In the '90s run Ostrander was definitely doing something that was quite good but wasn't 4-color.

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Re: Code VS Killing Poll

 

Well, all arguably true. OTOH, he wears a costume, has a nom de guerre, a strict moral code, used to have something approximating a Secret ID/alter ego, and was a longtime member in good standing with the JSA(and, occasionally, the JLA).

 

It'd be pretty easy to confuse him for a superhero.

Depends on which version of Spectre - in the 60s/70s and the late 90s he didn't wear a costume as such, that's just what he looked like. In his Golden Age/JSA days he was more like what you describe. As his 60s/70s incarnation in Adventure Comics as pure wrathful vengeance, it's hard to see any superheroics; the stories (mostly, other than later in that run within Adventure when I think they were under pressure) don't feature any supervillains or anything that can challenge him (again, in most), he just goes and slays killers in new and interesting ways.

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Re: Code VS Killing Poll

 

I hope this isn't too off topic, but I have always wondered do Rpgs make death and killing too easy an option sometime. Honestly, most of us talk easily about how we'd kill this person or dispense "Justice" in this situation. But how many of us have really ever taken a life? Or would ever want to position where we have to make that choice? Allot of cops that kill, even in situations required to save their own lives, require at least a little couselling to come to grips with the situation. Its a big thing in their lives. In games, its quick, often easy and often without repercussions. Of course its also fictional, but that can still color our reactions to violence and death.

 

I'm of the perhaps naive opinion that most sane people have "Code vs Killing" to some extent. At least a reluctance to use lethal force in most situations. I know I would hesitate before pulling the trigger on someone except in the most extreme situations. I like to think I would feel something after the fact, at least some small kernel of remorse if for no other reason than I have been changed by the act.

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Re: Code VS Killing Poll

 

I'd add that in the late 60s/early 70s Spectre was more closely aligned with DC's thinly-veiled revival of horror comics. In the '90s run Ostrander was definitely doing something that was quite good but wasn't 4-color.

 

OT: Why do people always ignore the 80's run? I always thought it was the best Spectre series. (Although, I was also a big fan of the recent one.) The stories were very intelligent and well-written.

 

The early issues from the 60's were definately superhero, with the Spectre taking on some bigger-than-life magical supervillians. ("They fought for possession of the Earth, with the Earth itself as a weapon!") In an issue of Brave and the Bold, The 60's Spectre teamed with The Flash and in one of the early issues of The Spectre included Wildcat. It wasn't until the later issues of the 60's series and Aparo's Adventure Comics run that the Spectre became more horror than superhero.

 

Since the Spectre has long been one of my favorite superheroes and one of the two characters that got me hooked on comics originally (the other character being Superman), I certainly disagree that with the statement that he is not a superhero. His origins and methods may be different, but he is still and has always been a part of the genre.

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Re: Code VS Killing Poll

 

I hope this isn't too off topic, but I have always wondered do Rpgs make death and killing too easy an option sometime. Honestly, most of us talk easily about how we'd kill this person or dispense "Justice" in this situation. But how many of us have really ever taken a life? Or would ever want to position where we have to make that choice? Allot of cops that kill, even in situations required to save their own lives, require at least a little couselling to come to grips with the situation. Its a big thing in their lives. In games, its quick, often easy and often without repercussions. Of course its also fictional, but that can still color our reactions to violence and death.

 

I'm of the perhaps naive opinion that most sane people have "Code vs Killing" to some extent. At least a reluctance to use lethal force in most situations. I know I would hesitate before pulling the trigger on someone except in the most extreme situations. I like to think I would feel something after the fact, at least some small kernel of remorse if for no other reason than I have been changed by the act.

 

Well said, and an important part of my arguing on this thread. My issue is that it seems that as soon as one person says, "My characters have killed in my superhero game" or something to that effect... a certain number of people jump all over him/her and give them grief about it. No one stops to ask, "So how did that effect your games? What were the circumstances? How did it make you feel?"

 

The whole point I've been trying to make on this thread, is if you take the "heroes don't kill ever" route, and force your players to conform, you miss out on the opportunity to really explore, as limited as it will be, how it feels to kill.

 

Example: Had a great player, Tim (we miss you, man, come back to A2!) who played a normal in battle armor running around with some of the most powerful true metahumans on the planet. He joined them, because they were doing things to change the world... and he had a chance to do the same. He also hated the iconography of supers... never used his code-name except on missions, and was the pratical, bottom line thinker of the group. (Brilliant play... I'd never had a player who could make the gadgeteer concept work in such a dramatic, effective way.)

 

Anyway, in one mission, they were in rural Brazil... a side group of lower powered guys working with the big guns, but Shirow/Gearhead was along. They were trying to find a woman with the ability to "activate" metahumans... the Key she was called... and they ran into Scorpia, her Scorpion agents... working for Terror Inc. and a larger aggregation of badguys that were manipulating world events.

 

They defeated the villains, captured Scorpia, who has a history dating back to the early '80s in my campaign, of multiple terrorist actions, and dozens of known deaths on her hands. Shirow happens to be alone with her, as she is tied to a stump. He is questioning her, as to how they found the girl, etc. At the end, before he walks away, Shirow turns to her and says, "I've got your record. You've killed a lot of people. Why?" She just smiles and says, "Same reason you do what you do. I'm good at it, and I like it."

 

Shirow unbuckles his helmet, looks her in the eye, face to face... then says, "You can't live then..." and pulls his gun and blows her head off.

 

Cut scene: Small village, quiet, suddenly the heavy kaboom of a shotgun... birds fly up from the field... the other characters in other parts of the village, all turning their heads with a look of surpise...

 

We were shocked. The whole table was like "HOLY CRAP!" It was dead silent then, just us looking at Tim. He didn't smile... he didn't make "KEWL!" noises. He just said, "It was necessary..."

 

I remember another player saying, "Damn... blown away in the mud of no-name village. Seems appropriate." By that he meant, not just for her, but for a lot of them, they could expect an end like that. Death begets death.

 

Gearhead became even more surly, more focused, more pragmatic after that. His relationships suffered, he was even more bitter... but "It was necessary..." was enough for him. (One of only two times in 17 plus years I've had a PC actually murder someone in my games.) It was harsh, brutal, and really forced us all to think about just how far we'd go. None of it was taken lightly.

 

In the end, Gearhead sacrificed himself to end WWIII, eaten alive as a power source for armor powered with corrupt crystal-tech, in order to stop Dragonnette from taking over the world. He did that with the same sad resignation that he pulled the trigger on Scorpia. "It was necessary..."

 

Highly memorable, brutal, ugly stuff at times... but every ounce the superhero, IMO.

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Re: Code VS Killing Poll

 

It's time for Nuadha to join this geekily pointless discussion!

 

OK, so I read the first 24 pages and gave up. This thread is just too long to read all in one sitting!

 

Still, I was thinking it was time to add my 2 cents.

 

First of all, to answer the original question:

 

I've played all 5 types and had fun with all of them. I would guess that most of my characters have been type 2 or type 4. If I play a character that avoids killing, they tend to avoid it in all but extreme situations. Characters that do kill, look at it as a war....or in one case, a matter of honor. (The character was a Samurai that believed that it dishonored his opponents if he left them alive.)

 

As far as the genre goes, I think the genre is a lot more open then some genre purists would make it. I am a big fan of silver age "campy" comics and a particular hero with a code against killing. (hint- He wears primary colors and has a flying dog for a pet.) However, I've also really enjoyed some "mature" and "realistic" superhero stories and think that there are times when it could be necessary and even moral to kill one's opponent. For some characters, I never want to see them be forced to make that choice. I have long been bothered that Byrne wrote a story where Superman had no other choice. However, in that scenario, I think he did the right thing. I also enjoy some comics that put our heroes in more realistic scenarios where right and wrong is not always clear cut and the "right" option may be to kill someone.

 

I think fans that keep such a narrow vision of what the superhero genre can and should be stifle the possibilities AND give superhero fans a bad name. I think comics like "Plastic Man" or "Formerly Known as Justice League" or the Marvel Ages line should be on the shelf alongside comics like "Identity Crisis," "X-Statix," "The Punisher" or "The Ultimates." The genre should explore all sorts of questions of morality and still have other titles that are just fun and capers.

 

Do fans of Dashiell Hammet or Raymond Chandler argue that "The Cat Who...." aren't mysteries? Should Science Fiction only include "hard sci-fi" books and not include George Lucas space operas? Do all bad guys in Westerns need to wear black while the good guys wear white? Like these genres, superheroes can be a lot of things and some people may prefer certain styles but that is no reason to tell people what can or can not be part of the genre. (On a side note, I used to work in a Waldenbooks and once had a customer tell me that we shouldn't put Star Wars in the science fiction section because it wasn't "true sci-fi." As far as he was concerned only 10% of the books in the sci-fi section belonged there, the ones that were completely rooted in science.)

 

[EDIT- Fixed the glaring typo.]

 

Excuse my spelling

 

The problem is you are confusing two things:

 

Genre and Medium

 

The Genre is super heroes, the medium is Comics.

 

I agree that the Medium can and should support a wide range of genre's: HOWEVER one of the genre conventions of the Super Hero is a code of ethics involving in part no killing.

 

Also it is important to note that as other genres have done before we see a branching out and a seperating of a new genre, we will call it Costumed vigilantes for a lack of a better name that while related to the supers genre has really in some ways become its owen genre with it's own rules...

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Re: Code VS Killing Poll

 

Excuse my spelling

 

The problem is you are confusing two things:

 

Genre and Medium

 

The Genre is super heroes, the medium is Comics.

 

I agree that the Medium can and should support a wide range of genre's: HOWEVER one of the genre conventions of the Super Hero is a code of ethics involving in part no killing.

 

Also it is important to note that as other genres have done before we see a branching out and a seperating of a new genre, we will call it Costumed vigilantes for a lack of a better name that while related to the supers genre has really in some ways become its owen genre with it's own rules...

 

And this is the main bone of contention. I totally disagree...

 

Think of the genre of Mysteries... (as in the novels) It is a large, umbrella concept that covers a lot of sub-genres... Thrillers, Who-Done-Its?-Cozies-Techno-Thrillers-Hard Boiled-Caper-Crime-Tough Detective-Noir-Political Thriller-Legal Thriller-Medical Thriller- etc. etc.

 

Superheroes is just like that. It is the Genre underwhich many other sub-genres might fall, Four Color-Grim n Gritty-Super Soldier-"Insert" Age, etc.

 

So when people have the audacity to come on these boards and tell me an others, "You aren't playing superheroes! That's not superheroes!" I can only try to argue rationally for so long and have only one last thing to say... :tonguewav

 

(And on that note... I'm outta heah!)

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Re: Code VS Killing Poll

 

I disagree.

 

I have no problem with the style of play in question (What ever floats your boat), while I do not like it personal (taste over objection).

 

I feel however that while at first the genre did include the ocasional costumed vigilante that it eventualy turned into it's own sub genre and has at this point branched off into it's own right. But in the end this does come down to semantics to a bit.

 

I would also propse that "Mysteries" is not a proper genre as you can have a mystery in many different genre's (Such as fantacy, sci-fi, or even superheroes)

 

My pet peeve is that people don't realise that there is a difference between medium and genre.

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Guest bblackmoor

Re: Code VS Killing Poll

 

HOWEVER one of the genre conventions of the Super Hero is a code of ethics involving in part no killing.

 

Okay, that's just absurd. That isn't even a matter of opinion: it's just plain wrong. If you do choose to believe that, you're playing the wrong game: Champions is a game about superheroes, and in Champions not all superheroes have a Code vs. Killing.

 

I'm not going to respond to this topic anymore (at least not for a good while). It annoys the people who disagree with me, it annoys me, and at this point I'm just repeating myself, so there's no benefit to anyone in my helping keep it going.

 

[edit: added last paragraph]

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Re: Code VS Killing Poll

 

 

My pet peeve is that people don't realise that there is a difference between medium and genre.

 

 

RPGs aren't a Medium, either. They are a unique mode of expression, but a medium is the paper on which the character is printed, the book in which the rules are printed, the dice you role, pictures of characters, etc. RPGs are a mode of creative expression (a very unique one at that) that has numerous mediums to help express it, and covers a possibly limitless variety of genres and sub-genres.

 

As close a definition of medium could be "means by which something is communicated" but following definitions clarify that as physical means... "intervening substance" or "material or form used by an artist" etc.

 

Mode, or method of communication is what an RPG is... not a medium.

 

(Oh... from Oxford American Desk Dictionary, by the way)

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Re: Code VS Killing Poll

 

Excuse my spelling

 

The problem is you are confusing two things:

 

Genre and Medium

 

The Genre is super heroes, the medium is Comics.

 

I agree that the Medium can and should support a wide range of genre's: HOWEVER one of the genre conventions of the Super Hero is a code of ethics involving in part no killing.

 

Also it is important to note that as other genres have done before we see a branching out and a seperating of a new genre, we will call it Costumed vigilantes for a lack of a better name that while related to the supers genre has really in some ways become its owen genre with it's own rules...

 

I'm sorry, but where did you get the idea that I had confused these things? Yes, I'm fully aware that comic books publish other genres. I have collected several fantasy titles and have really enjoyed "Strangers in Paradise." However, this attitude that superheroes can only be the way you picture it, is exactly what bothers me about this thread. I like my "Captain Whitebread" superheroes, however the way I see the genre, it is about characters with great powers, usually in modern day settings, using their powers to do good, as best they can. Some heroes are idealistic characters who rarely (if ever) make mistakes and always find away to stop the bad guys without killing. Others are more human. That is a stylistic difference. It's just like comparing a western from the 50's to a modern western like "Unforgiven." Some are more black and white. Some have shades of grey. Neither one is inherently better than the other, although we all have our preferences. Personally, I prefer variety. Recently, I've been re-reading "The Longbow Hunters" and some of my old 100 page giants that reprinted silver and golden age stories. I love them all and would never think to try and limit a genre that I love.

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Re: Code VS Killing Poll

 

I'm sorry' date=' but where did you get the idea that I had confused these things? Yes, I'm fully aware that comic books publish other genres. I have collected several fantasy titles and have really enjoyed "Strangers in Paradise." However, this attitude that superheroes can only be the way you picture it, is exactly what bothers me about this thread. I like my "Captain Whitebread" superheroes, however the way I see the genre, it is about characters with great powers, usually in modern day settings, using their powers to do good, as best they can. Some heroes are idealistic characters who rarely (if ever) make mistakes and always find away to stop the bad guys without killing. Others are more human. That is a stylistic difference. It's just like comparing a western from the 50's to a modern western like "Unforgiven." Some are more black and white. Some have shades of grey. Neither one is inherently better than the other, although we all have our preferences. Personally, I prefer variety. Recently, I've been re-reading "The Longbow Hunters" and some of my old 100 page giants that reprinted silver and golden age stories. I love them all and would never think to try and limit a genre that I love.[/quote'] Is this a semantic argument that you and the Oz are involved in or are you saying that Punisher and Superman should be lumped in together as superheroes?

 

Are you willing to admit that there are some pretty strong differences in genre convention for the two characters?

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Re: Code VS Killing Poll

 

At the end, before he walks away, Shirow turns to her and says, "I've got your record. You've killed a lot of people. Why?" She just smiles and says, "Same reason you do what you do. I'm good at it, and I like it."

 

Shirow unbuckles his helmet, looks her in the eye, face to face... then says, "You can't live then..." and pulls his gun and blows her head off.

Scorpia should really have said she did it cause she was abused as a child or some such.

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Re: Code VS Killing Poll

 

Well said, and an important part of my arguing on this thread. My issue is that it seems that as soon as one person says, "My characters have killed in my superhero game" or something to that effect... a certain number of people jump all over him/her and give them grief about it. No one stops to ask, "So how did that effect your games? What were the circumstances? How did it make you feel?"

 

The whole point I've been trying to make on this thread, is if you take the "heroes don't kill ever" route, and force your players to conform, you miss out on the opportunity to really explore, as limited as it will be, how it feels to kill.

 

But, to be fair, not everyone WANTS that type of experience when they roleplay. I know sometimes I certainly don't. Its a sensitive topic or it should be and allot of people don't want to get that intense. They want a little escapist fun where they get bash the bad guys and put them in jail until next week. Its not better or worse than any other style.

 

Just to illustrate how different this can be. You're story about what happened to Scorpia was quite shocking to me. I'd consider that character a murderer, plain and simple and had I been playing would have tried to take him into the authorities. Failing that simply refused to asscociate with him. Summarily excuting captured prisoners crosses that line for me. In a current

PBEM I'm in, I have a character that is going threw something similar. Her "Teamates" are considering killing an NPC member because they are scared of his powers. Their casual discussion of murder is slowly but surely driving her to the "other" side. It just seems freaky and cold blooded.

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Re: Code VS Killing Poll

 

Yes there are different conventions whithin the genre of superheroes and Miller's Daredevil or Grell's Green Arrow is going to be extremely different from silver age Superman comics. If you want to say, "There are different sub-genres to superheroes and I prefer four-color games where heroes never kill and are never put in the situation where killing would be the only 'good' choice" then I'm with you. I love four-color comics. However, to say that stories in which super-powered heroes may have to make the choice to kill someone are not superhero stories, I have to disagree. nor, could I argue that superheroes shouldn't kill. Depending on the story being told and the character we are dealing with, killing may be appropriate. Do I want to see stories where Superman roasts every inmate in Arkham (or Stryker's) with his heat-vision? Heck, no. That isn't the type of stories I like to read about Superman. I want Superman to be the ideal. I want most of my four-color superheroes to me untarnished. That doesn't mean that superhero stories can't be told (and sometimes told well) with less than squeaky-clean superheroes too.

 

In fact, in roleplaying I prefer roleplaying games where my superhero character can angst over the choice of whether to kill and if he chooses not to kill and because of his choice something horrible happens, I will enjoy my character suffering for that as well. In roleplaying it is interesting to play out those choices in a realistic manner and in real life it is never as clear cut as it is my Superman comics. Let's face it, if Supes existed in the real world, he's have to make a lot more tough choices than he makes in the comics and he would have plenty of reason to question his code. Does this mean he wouldn't keep his code against killing? No, I believe he would. He would just have to constantly deal with the guilt and self-doubt when the Parasite escapes again and goes on another killing spree that he could have prevented.

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Re: Code VS Killing Poll

 

(my apologies if any of these were already said, I'm still plowing through the 597+ back posts as I write this)

 

Over the course of time, my characters' attitudes towards lethal force have varied, but the average of their attitudes lies around the law enforcement rules of engagement -- if it's necessary to stop an immediate threat to human life, then yes. Otherwise, forget it.

 

Note -- 'necessary' takes on a new meaning when you have superhuman options available to resolve scenarios that normal cops wouldn't have.

 

Example -- Bad guy with gun is about to shoot a little girl. Detective Montoya, GCPD, who's standing 30 feet away, has only one effective response option here... shoot the bad guy.

 

Batman, OTOH, has a couple more options besides simply popping the guy in the head -- such as "knock gun out of hand with batarang", and/or "throw flash-bang grenade".

 

And Superman has even *more* options -- shockwave attack into the ground to knock the mugger off his feet, a superspeed Half-Move-And-Disarm, snatching the bullets out of mid-air, spot-welding the gun into uselessness with his heat vision, or just evacuating the hostage at superspeed.

 

Ironically, the more power you have, the easier it is *not* to kill people.

 

 

Of course, the aforementioned average of my characters opinions is just that -- an average. I've had characters whose rules of engagement were those of a Marine on the battlefield, and just as uncompromising -- and I've had utter innocents who have actually thrown Usable By Others At Range Resistant Defenses on the bad guys in the middle of fights to keep my own teammates from seriously injuring them.

 

But the general average for me is a "law enforcement" rules of engagement type mentality -- after all, that's what most superhero/supervillain conflicts *are*, law enforcement situations.

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Re: Code VS Killing Poll

 

Yes there are different conventions whithin the genre of superheroes and Miller's Daredevil or Grell's Green Arrow is going to be extremely different from silver age Superman comics. If you want to say, "There are different sub-genres to superheroes and I prefer four-color games where heroes never kill and are never put in the situation where killing would be the only 'good' choice" then I'm with you. I love four-color comics. However, to say that stories in which super-powered heroes may have to make the choice to kill someone are not superhero stories, I have to disagree. nor, could I argue that superheroes shouldn't kill. Depending on the story being told and the character we are dealing with, killing may be appropriate. Do I want to see stories where Superman roasts every inmate in Arkham (or Stryker's) with his heat-vision? Heck, no. That isn't the type of stories I like to read about Superman. I want Superman to be the ideal. I want most of my four-color superheroes to me untarnished. That doesn't mean that superhero stories can't be told (and sometimes told well) with less than squeaky-clean superheroes too.

 

In fact, in roleplaying I prefer roleplaying games where my superhero character can angst over the choice of whether to kill and if he chooses not to kill and because of his choice something horrible happens, I will enjoy my character suffering for that as well. In roleplaying it is interesting to play out those choices in a realistic manner and in real life it is never as clear cut as it is my Superman comics. Let's face it, if Supes existed in the real world, he's have to make a lot more tough choices than he makes in the comics and he would have plenty of reason to question his code. Does this mean he wouldn't keep his code against killing? No, I believe he would. He would just have to constantly deal with the guilt and self-doubt when the Parasite escapes again and goes on another killing spree that he could have prevented.

I'm saying Punisher and a guy who kills hoods with arrows is NOT a superhero. I'm not saying a superhero NEVER kills but it's not exactly a big part of their m.o. I AM saying a superhero NEVER executes though.

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Re: Code VS Killing Poll

 

Actually' date=' the only logically, rationally moral reason to not hurt someone else, is because it creates an environment that is more threatening to the self. EVERYONE refrains from harming others because essentially it is harming themselves. We have no motivation that isn't ultimately selfish... [/quote']

While I agree with most of this, you're forgetting something. What does rationality and logic have to do with morals? If you are doing something because you want to, or because it helps you, it is a selfish act. If you do something because it's the right thing to do, it is a moral act.

... there is no absolute "platonic" moral platform. That first sentence above can be' date=' and likely would be modified by every person on this board to say "Some people refrain from hurting others because it's immoral..." adding "... except when it isn't immoral, as in protecting yourself, others, property, state sanctioned execution... etc." Punching someone in the nose to stop them from harming you is hardly immoral, as it serves a very specific, logical, rational need for humans. My short term survival is more important than the long term ramifications of this punch. Thus it s moral.[/quote']

Thus it's necessary, not moral. The short term needs going to the bathroom are more important that crapping my pants, but that doesn't making sitting on the toilet a moral act. (sorry for the graphic, but it's the first thing that came to mind.)

 

To be the one initiating violence... to force your ideas or will on them, to take their property or coerce them... that actually violates rational, logical human action, because instigating such behavior sets a standard that says, "Its ok to do the same thing to me." It is inherrently self-destructive, and would be for all humans... thus it is logically unethical/immoral.

I think that it is perfectly rational and logical for a human to take control of others. We are social animals and a herd/pack mentality. We must have a leader, and each of us must be that leader. Instinctively, this is how each of us thinks. And instinctively, each of us accepts it when someone does it to us. Of course, being sentient, our instincts are somewhat subdued, allowing us to make conscious decisions based on things other than our needs.

 

Those who practice altruism (as all humans do to some extent) do not do this out of some absolute... they do it out of basic human need to take care of others so that I will be taken care of, myself. It may not be conscious... and sometimes it may be the wrong choice (humans always make decisions on limited perceptions and lack of information) and cause more harm than good, but overall, as a human practice, it creates a more stable, productive environment... it supports human existence in the aggregate... so that is a moral act.

Taking care of others is really just a different kind of control. Part of the take command instinct. People who help others are taking command of someone else's life, however briefly. Granted, the result might help the person, but that's the whole idea in every case. Take command and help the pack. Again, it's not moral. It's instinct.

 

Morality just isn't an absolute yes/no or always/never type thing. It is flexible, and hazy and variable and relative... because people are flexible, hazy, variable and relative.

Yes it is. :D

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Re: Code VS Killing Poll

 

RPGs aren't a Medium, either. They are a unique mode of expression, but a medium is the paper on which the character is printed, the book in which the rules are printed, the dice you role, pictures of characters, etc. RPGs are a mode of creative expression (a very unique one at that) that has numerous mediums to help express it, and covers a possibly limitless variety of genres and sub-genres.

 

As close a definition of medium could be "means by which something is communicated" but following definitions clarify that as physical means... "intervening substance" or "material or form used by an artist" etc.

 

Mode, or method of communication is what an RPG is... not a medium.

 

(Oh... from Oxford American Desk Dictionary, by the way)

 

I was refrencing Comics as a Medium not gaming

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