☩ death knight ☩
Sir Basil said:According to 1d4Chan, this is impossible. The characters that try to make things better will inevitably fail, are already morally lost, and will be punished for even trying. But I, for one, enjoy watching them try, even if I know they’re going to fail. The characters are always in doubt. And that includes doubt about whether or not they’ll succeed. Just a sliver of doubt - that’s enough for a character to have hope.
A mighty swing at the grimdark genre — the Emperor would be proud. I've got a few comments and questions for you but I'll pitch them one at a time.
The protagonists would fail to heal the world, but you would agree they're capable of improving their own lot in life? I believe you included examples of grimdark characters doing so in this very guide. It's not as glorious as winning the war, but winning enough battles along the way can be enough to seal a victory for the soul.
I'm unsure how you're using the term internal. Obviously the protagonist will often battle external threats, many of which they'll overcome; as well as struggle to recruit other characters over to their cause/crusade, some of whom will join our hero. Each victory, from my perspective, is simultaneously internal and external.
And while I agree the hero cannot change the fate of the world, they can change the present state of their 'neighborhood,' for better or worse. And so I don't view the heroes as having failure built into them, that's reserved for the setting. I don't have issues separating the two.
The difficulty here is the vagueness of the terms "significant" and "good". Where does either start and end? Would a Space Marine Chaplin pulling his Chapter out of the choking grip of chaos taint count as significant? How about good?I think an external victory - I.E making a significant difference in the world for good - is contrary to Grimdark as I define it.
The difficulty here is the vagueness of the terms "significant" and "good". Where does either start and end? Would a Space Marine Chaplin pulling his Chapter out of the choking grip of chaos taint count as significant? How about good?
How about a sprawl gang lord fighting her way to the top of underworld, bringing much needed street justice along the way? It's all grimdark in my eyes.
I think the takeaway here is I'd appreciate it if you tag me whenever you start your next 40k/30k roleplay! :) I'm guessing you would put a lot of love into it.
Thank you! I tried to focus on the basics of the trope, while also talking about some of the more complicated, morally complex themes within it. Maybe could have stood to be a little more focused, but. Glad to hear that you enjoyed it! :DThis guide was intriguing and well written! I know a lot more about the grimdark genre now! Thank you for your effort!!
Slightly off-topic here, but there actually is an official tabletop RPG for 40K out there, if you're into that.Full disclosure , I've never touched a WH40K game in my life ! I'd like to play one, if it was more RPG-like, and less war game like !
Slightly off-topic here, but there actually is an official tabletop RPG for 40K out there, if you're into that.
More importantly, awesome guide.
In my mind, grimdark is inherently absurdist: I don't see a way in which a world can realistically have 99.9% of things go horribly wrong in the same way as it can't have 99.9% of things go perfectly right, particularly on a massive scale. Grimdark is just a more gothic expression of cool for its own sake, without any particular purpose.
But at the same time, how can you not be a fan of that? Grimdark is one of the few places where you can seriously and unironically pull that off while simultaneously exploring philosophy and symbolism for pleasure instead of it being some stuffy intellectual chore in a lecture hall or literature class.
It's beautiful, it's awesome, and you just can't help but love it.