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Subverting Acts of Villainy?

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  • Subverting Acts of Villainy?

    Hi folks - Happy New Year!

    I've seen mention of people subverting Infernal ACTS OF VILLAINY - but is there a thread or post with examples?


    For example, Szoreny's "BEST ENEMY RECOGNITION" applies to positive or negative intimacies - so long as you work to bring the target into your orbit.
    • The "evil" version might be Joker / Riddler leaving clues or kidnapping Robin to lure Batman into their orbit - awesome.
    • The "subverted" version.... could be simple dating. You're not required to be antagonistic at all. Just pursue & date your equal. Be a power-couple.
    Or Kimbery's "AGONY SAVORING MERCY" - which requires not killing enemies who can threaten you. Technically, Batman's "don't kill" rule would let him apply it every time he imprisons the bad guys. You could totally be a hero with this one.


    Or Elloge's "FATAL FLAW SOLILOQUY" requires revealing a weakness or vulnerability to an enemy - that could harm you, your possessions or your friends.
    • What if you're Mr. Freeze revealing your cryogenically frozen wife's condition to Batman? You reveal a vulnerability - but is Batman going to target her? If anything, your revelation could play upon your enemy's Compassion, pity and empathy to explain your plight (and the motivation for your behavior).
      • Or I imagine "lines that should not be crossed" scenarios. An Infernal might be protecting a mortal loved one - that's their weakness. BUT if the mortal dies, they have zero reason to continue restraining themselves and might then murder everyone in the area. This technically fulfills the flaw. And it's usable by an anti-hero.
    Examples like this are what I'm looking for.

    I'm especially curious to see if/how someone would subvert what appear to be more murderous Acts (like Cecelyne, Malfeas, Metagaos). But I'll take anything.

    I'm even curious if someone has any homebrew ACTS OF VILLAINY that are designed for such subversion.

    This is all super-related to "Deal with the Devil" and "Logic Bomb" tropes in old legends - in which heroes can subvert bargains in ways even devils can't fathom.


    Acts of Villainy are an excuse to play the bad guy - but what clever ways would you subvert and fulfill them?


    Through indiscriminate suffering men know fear and fear is the most divine emotion.
    It is the stones for altars and the beginning of wisdom.
    Half gods are worshipped in wine and flowers. Real gods require blood.
    - Their Eyes Were Watching God

  • #2
    Two of those are fanmade AoV so are hard to discuss.

    TED's about revealing your plan is the subject of a memetic example of subverting Yozi intentions:
    "And once I've broken up your drug ring, I'm going to use all your dirty money to start an orphanage! [diabolical laughter]"

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Exthalion View Post
      Two of those are fanmade AoV so are hard to discuss.

      TED's about revealing your plan is the subject of a memetic example of subverting Yozi intentions:
      "And once I've broken up your drug ring, I'm going to use all your dirty money to start an orphanage! [diabolical laughter]"
      I want to say that's...SWLiHN's? TED is the whole "And now you must *marry me*" thing.

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      • #4
        I didn't think they were fanmade so much as "unofficial" - as Robert Vance was a writer, no? So there's a certain credibility when something is written by someone who had previously written charms and other such content (and he considered these Acts of Villainy better than his charms).

        I'm not sure if subverting Yozi intentions is the right word - it wouldn't make sense for SWLIHN to want you to brag - so much that their myopic, hyper-focused natures don't see anything out-of-place to begin with in these acts. In other words, I don't think Malfeas consciously decides "I'll let you reduce your Limit if you murder people and put a calling card out" --- but it's more of a reflexive, unspoken and automatic "you're incarnating Malfeas mindset in that moment, such that the psychological pressure of Limit is decreased". This would be in line with the multitude of Infernal charms that are both Permanent and Psychological (warping Virtues & senses) --- unlike Solars or Abyssals, 2E Infernal kits aren't "magical tools" you turn on-and-off, but often permanent changes to what you are and how you view the world.

        Potatoes.

        The "subversion" is more about defying the tropes - on the surface, people expect knee-jerk cartoon villains - but in practice, you can do all kinds of things.

        For example, SZORENY and TED can both be "subverted" by dating. SZORENY about pursuing a power-couple relationship; TED by pursuing a commitment-phobe (or maybe a Lunar mate with legitimate reasons to doubt your intentions).

        SWLIHN can't see a possibility in which her plans don't work out - but she's also the embodiment and slave to Hierarchy (hence why she's subordinate to Malfeas & Cecelyne, etc). So imagine how sad it is to have perfect plans, to serve your role perfectly, and still see all your servitude rewarded with failure? As for subversion, I was thinking less silly examples (like the drug-ring orphanage) and more like the end of LIMITLESS (where someone tries to blackmail the protagonist - but he has calculated so far ahead, he outlines what will happen, and confidently intimidates the blackmailer into backingoff).


        This isn't "haha, the Yozis are so dumb" so much as "ha...ah....this is kind of sad - each 'Act of Villainy' could actually be satisfied in much more productive ways if the Yozis weren't so hyper-focused and unable to see outside their niche". (But against the raw chaos of the Wyld - and the fact that even component-demons risk "breaking off" from their Yozi pantheon - I can see why the Primordials would need to hyper-focus and obsess behind a concept/idea/theme to the point of excluding anything outside it).

        Hmm.

        Idle thoughts. I'll have to keep looking. I'm super curious to see how people subvert the tropes (not to disparage the mechanics or mock the system - but more like, I think there could be some really clever ideas when people with super-cursed powers find a way to flip the sword on it's edge).


        Through indiscriminate suffering men know fear and fear is the most divine emotion.
        It is the stones for altars and the beginning of wisdom.
        Half gods are worshipped in wine and flowers. Real gods require blood.
        - Their Eyes Were Watching God

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Salagimsim View Post
          I didn't think they were fanmade so much as "unofficial" - as Robert Vance was a writer, no? So there's a certain credibility when something is written by someone who had previously written charms and other such content (and he considered these Acts of Villainy better than his charms).
          I believe that at the time he wrote those, he was not yet employed as a freelancer.


          I have approximate knowledge of many things.
          Watch me play Dark Souls III (completed)
          https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDtbr08HW8RW4jOHN881YA3yRZBV4lpYw Watch me play Breath of the Wild (updated 12/03)

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Salagimsim View Post
            For example, SZORENY and TED can both be "subverted" by dating. SZORENY about pursuing a power-couple relationship; TED by pursuing a commitment-phobe (or maybe a Lunar mate with legitimate reasons to doubt your intentions).
            TED's doesn't actually require your paramour to be a commitment-phobe.

            "In order to gain the benefits of this act of villainy, the Green Sun Prince must first acquire an Intimacy that compels him to seek to unite with some particular person, preferably one who has no interest in such a union and ideally one who is vehemently opposed to such a union." (Emphasis mine.)

            In context, "preferably" and "ideally" don't mark those things as actual requirements. The Ebon Dragon would certainly prefer that you date someone who isn't interested in you...but you can just date whoever. The Act of Villainy still works even if they like you just fine.

            (Of course it never occurred to the Ebon Dragon that his Chosen might try to form genuinely happy relationships. To him, that isn't what marriage is about at all. Just one more thing about the Green Sun Princes that isn't working as planned.)

            You don't get to benefit from the Act of Villainy every time you go on a date of course, only after making an "important stride" toward marriage. Your mileage may vary on what counts as a major step in a relationship, I guess. (It's still optimal for you to move on to a new relationship eventually. But lots of relationships just don't work out. Nothing wrong with that, it's perfectly normal.)

            Exquisite Bride Obsession is the easiest Act of Villainy by far.

            EDIT: Okay, I should have properly re-read the other AoVs. Best Enemy Recognition might actually be even easier than Exquisite Bride Obsession. If you're romantically pursuing someone of your approximate status and power level, you could be doing both of them at once!

            It seems like you could also trigger Best Enemy Recognition through some sort of friendly rivalry. (I mean, it could even just be a generic friendship, but if you're hanging around with someone in an amicable way then you're not really "taking steps" to draw them into your orbit. It's a lot easier to justify the Act of Villainy if you're sending them challenges, or something.)
            Last edited by Jefepato; 01-12-2019, 11:17 AM.

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