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Code VS Killing Poll

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Re: Code VS Killing Poll

 

For me it depends completely on the campaign and character being played. One of my superheroes is 'in the line' in the war against ultimate evil. This campaign is not about fighting crime in a 4-colour universe, so killing is just something that can happen, even if my character doesn't go out of his way to kill people (he doesn't use his HKA indiscriminately, even if he never pulls his crippling punches). I have another character who is in a glossy 4-colour section of the campaign, so she has a strong CvK, though I can't remember how strong it is at the moment, because she needs to be rewritten due to me losing my original character sheets.

 

So I can't really agree with the sentiment that superheroes never kill. 4-colour superheroes rarely do for sure, but there's more to superheroics than 4-coloured crime-fighting antics IMO. ;)

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Re: Code VS Killing Poll

 

How can the necessary choice not be the right choice?

 

Well, a necessary choice is a choice made with a "pragmatic" set of prioritized values in mind. A right choice is a choice made with a "moral" set of prioritized values in mind.

 

I suppose you could say it's the tension between folks who argue that "the ends justify the means" and the folks who say that "the means taint whatever ends are achieved".

 

As for superheroes - I believe that superhero "code vs. killing" arises from a number of moral "philosophies" (feel free to add):

1 - I've got so much power on so many levels... I should never have to resort to killing. I ALWAYS have options other than killing. Otherwise, I don't deserve these powers. [Classic SUPERMAN]

2 - The taking of another sentient's life is never to be taken lightly. The very act, even in self-defense, should only be done in extreme circumstances and even then should be subject to moral scrutiny.

3 - I've lived a life of easy killing and must now make up for that. I will never kill again... if I do, I will return to what I was... a cold-blooded killing machine. [Er... this is actually Samurai X's thing. Great series... there was always this fear that the villain was SO deadly that Kenshi HAD to revert to Battousai the Slasher to defeat him...]

 

Hey - anyone out there remember Nexus? The guy who hadda go out and kill mass murderers or his dreams would kill him?

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Guest bblackmoor

Re: Code VS Killing Poll

 

Hey - anyone out there remember Nexus? The guy who hadda go out and kill mass murderers or his dreams would kill him?

 

Oh, yes: great comic. Nexus was one of the great, unique superheroes of the 1980s. (I lost track of the title after a while. I assume it eventually went downhill. Most things do.)

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Guest bblackmoor

Re: Code VS Killing Poll

 

Excuse me for being limited and childish' date=' but you just described the entire rationale behind my statement that superheroes do not kill.[/quote']

 

You "rationale" seems to be to dismiss the long, long list of counterexamples disproving your statement with either a) "she's not a superhero", or B) "that didn't count".

 

Do you think it might be worthwhile for you to reexamine your statement? Perhaps if you phrased it differently, you may not need to grasp at quite so many straws to defend it.

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Re: Code VS Killing Poll

 

WM is exactly right.

 

An instance that comes to mind is in the Spiderman movie when Green Goblin has MJ and the whatsit full of school kids, and he tries to make Spiderman choose which he will save. Instead of choosing one over the other, Spidey saves both.

 

It's also like Admiral Kirk says in The Wrath of Khan. (Whoops, wrong genre..) "I don't believe in the no-win situation."

 

The key here, as WM said, is that the GM has to leave an option open where, despite apearances, the Super can do both. This is genre convention. If you want heroes that don't kill, don't place them in situations where killing is the only option. The phrase "If you want silver age heroes, you need silvber age villains" covers the same issue.

 

From the D&D school, DM's who want Paladins role played "heroically" can't throw them in no-win situations where the everyviable option violates their principals in some fashion. They eit6her won't have paladins in their campaign, or the paladins won't be "heroic". Superheroes are no different.

 

It's also interesting to note the variance between characters who have the same level of C vs K. Both Superman and Batman have an absolute regard for life - ie the absolute C vs K. Yet, on many occasions, Superman is extremely uncomfortable with Batman's brutality in crimefighting. Bats doesn't have a code vs hurting!

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Re: Code VS Killing Poll

 

Of course I want good to win' date=' but I want good to work at it, make some sacrifices and question itself once in a while. [i']That[/i] defines what a hero is to me, super or not.

 

At its best, the Code vs Killing issue becomes a macro conflict. We're not really reading about Batman vs the Joker any more. We're reading about Batman vs Himself. He's beaten, but he'll just come back again. If I kill him, do I become him?

 

This conflict of moral principals can make a great story. That's why posters remember the "Superman kills Zod" storyline, and the "Cap with Gun" storyline when dozens of other instances where these characters have refused to violate their principals and emerged victorious nonetheless are forgotten. Because he dodn't find another way, the Hero does not believe he succeeded.

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Re: Code VS Killing Poll

 

Well.

 

Excuse me for being limited and childish, but you just described the entire rationale behind my statement that superheroes do not kill.

Well.

 

As I interpret Dust Raven's post, he states that he finds "it" (i.e. that definition of "Superhero") limited and childish, not you. Most people IMO (myself included) define a Superhero as "a Hero who has super-powers", not "a super-powered person with a specific set of moral values that (among other things) precludes them from ever killing someone".

 

Relax; it's just a game, these are just opinions, and generally speaking no one is here to denigrate anyone else's beliefs.

 

John T

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Re: Code VS Killing Poll

 

From the D&D school' date=' DM's who want Paladins role played "heroically" can't throw them in no-win situations where the everyviable option violates their principals in some fashion. They either won't have paladins in their campaign, or the paladins won't be "heroic". Superheroes are no different.[/quote']

D&D also uses a very rigid-seeming system of alignments that divide the moral character of every sentient being in the associated universe into nine discreet camps. Reality has never been like that, regardless of what the comic-code people and pro-censorship people and hiding-self-behind-political-correctness people want everyone to think.

 

There's always a certain level of "Reality" in the games I run, and play. Otherwise, the overall story doesn't hold my interest very long. I don't mind "Idealism" in my rpgs, as long as the dose is "realistic".

 

John T

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Re: Code VS Killing Poll

 

Well.

 

As I interpret Dust Raven's post, he states that he finds "it" (i.e. that definition of "Superhero") limited and childish, not you. Most people IMO (myself included) define a Superhero as "a Hero who has super-powers", not "a super-powered person with a specific set of moral values that (among other things) precludes them from ever killing someone".

 

Relax; it's just a game, these are just opinions, and generally speaking no one is here to denigrate anyone else's beliefs.

 

John T

Hear, hear! ;)

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Re: Code VS Killing Poll

 

The latter' date=' depending on their other actions. [/quote']

 

 

Must Be nice being able to judge others without having to live in their shoes...

 

 

 

During World War II. The circumstances excuse the action.

 

Uhm, no, actually in the 2nd or 3rd issue of his current series- to save the lives of a bunch of hostages, Cap snaps the neck of a terrorist leader on national tv, he then reveals his secret ID to the world so that the terrorists

will strike back at him as a person not at America as a concept. You're right Jack! He should have been a real hero and let all those people die! :stupid:

 

 

 

 

This was one of those extreme circumstance/last resort situations I mentioned. The circumstances excuse the action.

 

So then, it IS possible for superheroes to kill , in extreme circumstances?

Thank you for proving my point.

 

 

This was the first step in his downward slide toward supervillainy. Hardly a shining example.

 

No, actually, this is a momnet of heroism where an artisitic soul is forced to do the one thing he thought he would never do, to save his friends and, possibly, the world. The fact that he later became a villain had more to do with everything that happened to his family while he was away and knowing his presence could have saved them, big difference.

 

Iron Age comic book' date=' where "heroes" are little more than anti-social thugs with little moral sense. Again, hardly a shining example. [/quote']

 

Have you actually read the issue in question? She was forced to kill or have her bestfriend(and boyfriend)'s brains detonated all over the landscape. Its not like she mowed down nuns with an uzi.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Causing a death accidentally is a whole different animal from intentionally ending the life of another person. This example is thus off point, and not worth consideration.

 

(Though from a legal standpoint, the falderall that sent him to prison is nonsense. Any defense lawyer worthy of the title would have been able to get him off...)

 

 

Once moe, have you read the comics in question? Vance is a powerful telekinetic whose father had been beating for years. He had come back home to live with his parents because his father had promised it would stop. When his father started to hit him, Vance purposely lashed out at his father with a tk blast that had taken out powerful supervillains in the past! The only accident was that Vance used more power than he realized- his intention was to hit his father. And the reason that he was sent to prison was the same point I've been making all along- power differential. Had he hit his father with his fists and killed him, then he might have a case for accident. Had he lashed out in self defense with a chair or something, he might still have a case. But when a hero who can erect a protective forcefield to rpotect himslef tk blasts his father through a wall, that's not self defense- he ws not in any true danger. Although his past did allow him to get a reduced sentence.

 

Maybe you should actually know what you're talking about before you start make judgement calls from on high there Jack.

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Re: Code VS Killing Poll

 

But, in your specific example (not really disagreeing with your larger point), it's actually easy for Batman to kill. He does not kill lest he really becomes mad - it's a sinkhole that once he enters he won't get out of. And in that, he symbolizes that dark, veangeful place in us which he must rise above "or else".

 

PS - BTW, have you been avoiding the politics in NGD? Haven't seen you much, I think, there. Hope you're well!

As to your first point, is it more heroic of Batman to hold his principles as more important than the lives of those the Joker WILL kill. Its not like Joker will stop killing and Batman KNOWS no prison can hold him for long. So maybe he should do the right thing and kill the Joker, then he can quit fighting crime, turn himself in, or do whatever other things necessary to live with what he's done, instead of letting innocents die because he doesn't have the courage to do the only thing that will stop the Joker from killing again.

 

As to the second part, yes I have been avoiding politics, I currently have things going on IRL that are more important to me than arguing with people- and really that's all it is, no one changes their mind and everyone gets ugly(including myself, I must admit) and the world is no better for it.

Yes I am well, just started a new job for the company that I work for, doing tech support and have gotten my driver's license re-instated so I'm driving again too. I'm actually a little nervous how well my life is going right now... :whistle:

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Re: Code VS Killing Poll

 

Well.

 

As I interpret Dust Raven's post, he states that he finds "it" (i.e. that definition of "Superhero") limited and childish, not you. Most people IMO (myself included) define a Superhero as "a Hero who has super-powers", not "a super-powered person with a specific set of moral values that (among other things) precludes them from ever killing someone".

 

Relax; it's just a game, these are just opinions, and generally speaking no one is here to denigrate anyone else's beliefs.

 

John T

 

Actually, the sad fact of the matter is that often it seems that denigrating other's opinions is exactly what Jack is here for. He seems to be under the impression that his opinion is more important or more valid than anyone else's, which is not the case. He doesn't even attempt to phrase his responses such that, in his opinion, "superheroes don't kill"- he tries to portray it as objective fact, which it is not. And that is why he is childish and limited- because he refuses to admit that other ways of thinking might also be valid, not because he thinks superheroes don't kill.

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Re: Code VS Killing Poll

 

As to your first point, is it more heroic of Batman to hold his principles as more important than the lives of those the Joker WILL kill. Its not like Joker will stop killing and Batman KNOWS no prison can hold him for long. So maybe he should do the right thing and kill the Joker, then he can quit fighting crime, turn himself in, or do whatever other things necessary to live with what he's done, instead of letting innocents die because he doesn't have the courage to do the only thing that will stop the Joker from killing again.

 

As to the second part, yes I have been avoiding politics, I currently have things going on IRL that are more important to me than arguing with people- and really that's all it is, no one changes their mind and everyone gets ugly(including myself, I must admit) and the world is no better for it.

Yes I am well, just started a new job for the company that I work for, doing tech support and have gotten my driver's license re-instated so I'm driving again too. I'm actually a little nervous how well my life is going right now... :whistle:

 

BULL:

 

That is the easy thing to do. If you want to blame someone for joker getting out over and over again blame the fact that there seems to be no death penalty for him...

 

What makes Bats heroic is that when it would be easy he chooses to do what he beleives is RIGHT.

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Re: Code VS Killing Poll

 

For the record: SUPER-HEROES DO NOT KILL

 

IF THEY DO KILL:

 

There should be GREAT REMORSE

or

it is WAR

 

 

Further more, if they do kill there should be some serious ramifications for it, this is the point of the iron age i could not stand.

 

Superman kills three kryptonians, he goes insane with guilt

 

Spawn kills a goverment stooge, and they send more after him...

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Re: Code VS Killing Poll

 

For the record: SUPER-HEROES DO NOT KILL

 

IF THEY DO KILL:

 

There should be GREAT REMORSE

or

it is WAR

 

 

Further more, if they do kill there should be some serious ramifications for it, this is the point of the iron age i could not stand.

 

Superman kills three kryptonians, he goes insane with guilt

 

Spawn kills a goverment stooge, and they send more after him...

You seem to be close to my earlier remarks about there being aspects of the superhero genre which do not have the same moral content as classic 4-colour costumed do-gooding, ie. the 'war' campaign. So that superheroes who kill in the latter context are no less heroic, they're just involved in a different kind of game in a different setting. I've got that right then, yep? ;)

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Re: Code VS Killing Poll

 

Well, its been my experience that, if the villains keep escaping everytime the heroes (PCs) capture them, that eventually the Players will rationalize their PCs killing those villains (certain ones at least) instead to prevent them from killing more innocents. If the heroes are 'rewarded' by seeing capture as an effective means to crimefighting, then they will capture more often, rather than justified/unjustified killing.

 

So I try to avoid the 'instant escape mode' that some GMs fall into. The way I see it, how can I expect the heroes to face the consequences of their actions if they never see the villains having to face the consequences? Besides, there are plenty of other villains to keep the PCs busy (but not enough villains that the PCs can take them all out permanently- this isn't D&D or a video game).

 

 

Mags

You raise a good point that I've seen elsewhere but I don't think this time in this thread. Essentially, there's an inherent contradiction (IMHO) between the world of comics and most (not all) game worlds in that, as you point out that in comics the repeated-escape scenario is tolerated often beyond belief - that is (again IMHO) if the villain is either a killer or seriously hurts people. In those scenarios most people's disbelief is strained too much and in a game world any roleplayer starts thinking of killing.

 

Of course one way to avoid this, if you want the 4-color escaping villain, is to make sure he's like the traditional Riddler, a "simple" thief/mastermind who doesn't harm bystanders.

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Re: Code VS Killing Poll

 

You "rationale" seems to be to dismiss the long, long list of counterexamples disproving your statement with either a) "she's not a superhero", or B) "that didn't count".

 

Do you think it might be worthwhile for you to reexamine your statement? Perhaps if you phrased it differently, you may not need to grasp at quite so many straws to defend it.

Actually, however terse he may be, I think WM's point is still valid. The examples given aren't counter to his essential argument about the role of killing - it's extremely limited and heroes simply don't do it - not without great remorse or as part of a greater story arc.

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Re: Code VS Killing Poll

 

As to your first point, is it more heroic of Batman to hold his principles as more important than the lives of those the Joker WILL kill. Its not like Joker will stop killing and Batman KNOWS no prison can hold him for long. So maybe he should do the right thing and kill the Joker, then he can quit fighting crime, turn himself in, or do whatever other things necessary to live with what he's done, instead of letting innocents die because he doesn't have the courage to do the only thing that will stop the Joker from killing again.

 

As to the second part, yes I have been avoiding politics, I currently have things going on IRL that are more important to me than arguing with people- and really that's all it is, no one changes their mind and everyone gets ugly(including myself, I must admit) and the world is no better for it.

Yes I am well, just started a new job for the company that I work for, doing tech support and have gotten my driver's license re-instated so I'm driving again too. I'm actually a little nervous how well my life is going right now... :whistle:

Congrats re your life, and knocking wood in saying - that so you're safe... ;)

 

I think you're reading Batman how you desire as opposed to how the story is intended - but we shall agree to disagree, I think. I'm not sure you or I can say more here that would make a difference in our respective beliefs on the matter.

 

As always, appreciate your input, though (to be clear!).

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Re: Code VS Killing Poll

 

It applies directly to your quotation. I'm disappointed that you don't realize it.

 

Ah, well. Life goes on.

They did not apply, simply because my quote was dealing with a very specific situation. Both things you mentioned did not even come close to representing that situation.

 

That is why they don't apply to the quote. Also, they deal with things of a more general nature.

 

Obviously, you won't agree with this. But I won't discuss it further since it won't benefit this thread.

 

- Christopher Mullins

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Re: Code VS Killing Poll

 

Actually' date=' the sad fact of the matter is that often it seems that denigrating other's opinions is [b']exactly[/b] what Jack is here for. He seems to be under the impression that his opinion is more important or more valid than anyone else's, which is not the case. He doesn't even attempt to phrase his responses such that, in his opinion, "superheroes don't kill"- he tries to portray it as objective fact, which it is not. And that is why he is childish and limited- because he refuses to admit that other ways of thinking might also be valid, not because he thinks superheroes don't kill.

*shrugs* Whatever floats the boat, I guess. It only means something to the people who choose to be offended, something I've learned to do less and less with experience, practice and the occasional lost friendship.

 

He may, indeed, be here for that purpose. Having not met him, I'm not really qualified to say. I don't agree with the narrow and unilateral definition he places on the subject at hand, and his espousal of that definition may seem arrogant or deliberately offensive, but being offended is the choice of the listener, not the speaker.

 

*shrugs* I choose not to be.

 

John T

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Re: Code VS Killing Poll

 

For the record: SUPER-HEROES DO NOT KILL

 

IF THEY DO KILL:

 

There should be GREAT REMORSE

or

it is WAR

 

 

Further more, if they do kill there should be some serious ramifications for it, this is the point of the iron age i could not stand.

 

Superman kills three kryptonians, he goes insane with guilt

 

Spawn kills a goverment stooge, and they send more after him...

 

I can't buy into the idea that all Supers don't kill. I generally play with an eye toward realism and such a statement screams of the days where good and evil is black and white. I do agree with the statement that there should be repercussions for the act (Legal preceedings, revenge, etc.).

 

With that said, I actively discourage wanton heinous acts by the "Heroes" in my games and promote them acting like heroes. But I must say that I want my players to play their characters like people and that means that they can be driven to kill if the situation warrants it.

 

Someone posted earlier that comics creators shy away from killing so that they can bring back the villain in a later story arc. This holds true for the game as well. There is nothing worse than spending hours developing a villain only to have him slain by a bloodthirsty PC 2 minutes into the game.

 

In a nutshell, I try to prevent the heroes from killing for the same reason that most normal people do not normally kill. Not out of some predefined aversion but rather knowledge of the ramifications and a moral sense of wrong doing.

 

Of course your mileage may vary,

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Re: Code VS Killing Poll

 

For the record: SUPER-HEROES DO NOT KILL

 

IF THEY DO KILL:

 

There should be GREAT REMORSE

or

it is WAR

 

...

I must say that this is bit confusing. And I'm a bit surprised that it came from you JmOz.

 

I might be inferring this incorrectly, but it seems to imply that the only times that a Supehero is "allowed" to kill is if he has remorse, or if it's in a war.

 

If I've inferred the proper implication here, I'm confused.

 

Why should Great Remorse be a requirement for allowing a Superhero to kill?

Why should War allow a Superhero to kill?

 

Just Curious

 

- Christopher Mullins

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Re: Code VS Killing Poll

 

I tend towards the first listing with my characters. I always feel that my heroes should be better than the villians they fight. I did have one character who accidentally killed a villian. (He did not know the villian took 2x stun and body with the attack he was using.) Due to his code vs killing he quit using the power that killed the villian and eventually gave up suerheroing because of his always second guessing on how strong to make an attack and the mental anguish it was causing him that he had actually killed someone. (He was a doctor in his secret id and eventually just became the team doctor. There was also a really long trial in which he was aquitted.) I don't always choose a code vs. killing for my characters, but when I don't I always go with the 2nd listing. I might try to play a character with the last listing, but haven't tried as of yet.

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