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Conservation of Evil


Steve
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After watching "Gotham" and Nolan's take on Batman, I'm struck by how an evolution of the criminal element takes place in Gotham City, the Old Guard of mafioso types giving way to the masked "freak" types. Call it the "Gotham Effect."

 

It's kind of like an evolutionary event going on, or maybe a principle of "Conservation of Evil" in a way. The evil is more spread out and diluted before masked vigilantes start thinning their ranks, but then a new form of evil rises in its place, much fewer in number but more capable. Instead of Don Generico and his made men, there's now a handful of costumed freaks to combat the heroes.

 

Has anyone else encountered the Gotham Effect in Dark Champions campaigns, starting out with a city that only has ordinary street criminals but later evolving to include masked villains? Or were the villains already there before the PCs first put on masks?

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It's more of a devolution actually. Reversion to the days when crime was just getting organised.

 

The effect of the vigilantes is to break up the large gangs into lots of smaller factions. The costumed freaks become the leaders of these smaller organizations by a combination of force of personality, capability and ruthlessness. Then they fight it out in attempts to control what the old bosses had.

 

And the vigilantes keep taking down the smaller bosses to prevent this

 

This raises the sensational crimes but causes regular crime to fade into the background.

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It's more of a devolution actually. Reversion to the days when crime was just getting organised.

 

The effect of the vigilantes is to break up the large gangs into lots of smaller factions. The costumed freaks become the leaders of these smaller organizations by a combination of force of personality, capability and ruthlessness. Then they fight it out in attempts to control what the old bosses had.

 

And the vigilantes keep taking down the smaller bosses to prevent this

 

This raises the sensational crimes but causes regular crime to fade into the background.

Local newspaper: "Masked Vigilantes taking the law into their own hands are a plague on our fair city! The result? Masked Villains crawling out of the woodwork in pursuit of the same fame as their so-called opponents, leading to crime in the streets! We must put an end to this. We already HAVE constumed crimefighters--they're called THE POLICE!"

 

Local shopkeepers: "I dunno about that, but I do know that Don Generica's goons don't come around every week to collect on my 'fire insurance' anymore. And I don't worry about my mother walking home from the garment factory every night anymore--not with Captain Hero (et al) patrolling the streets. Thanks, masked vigilantes!"

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