EXERCISE That troubled bad guy past...thingy.

Discussion in 'DEVELOPING CHARACTERS & CULTURES' started by LogicfromLogic, Apr 12, 2015.

  1. Making a convincing bad guy

    No bad guy just started out being bad for no good reason. They didn’t just wake up one day and think, “I’m going to be a bad guy and do bad things.” Whether it is from psychological torture, behavioural health, or even simple reasons such as world domination, revenge, greed, there is always a reason. In this workshop, I want you to give me your best bad guy transformation. And it could be anything, I want to read it and be surprised. You can make it a short story, or a roleplay that you are already in!


    Terry, who used to be a normal man with a normal job, family, agenda, stared at that burnt face in the mirror. He’d lived a life with his wife and son, his friends and wonderful job. Nary had a day passed that he was lonely. He had a bright future, a bright shining look on life. He couldn’t help but wonder how his life had turned to such evilness; no matter how many times the company said that it was caused by a leak, he still felt cheated. His wife left him when he came home, unable to bare the sight of his once handsome face; it now looked torn and quite grotesque. Skin around his left eye had been seared off, exposing the eye itself which was nothing more than a charred black ball. He’d pleaded to keep it, hopes of regaining eyesight in that eye were bleak indeed.

    It was funny how he could be there for those he’d once called ‘friend’, but one glance at his face they turned and fled. Places where he used to have hair were bald and looked gaunt; skin clung to his skull as if it were going to fall off. Scars littered his face, his easy going appearance ruined. So as he stood there staring at that form in the mirror, bitterness grew. How could they? The world had turned their back on poor Terry, alone and hurt in the world. What had he done to any of them to deserve this? This hell he now lived. He balled his fists and slammed them into the mirror, letting out an angry scream. Darkness crowded the room as a figure suddenly turned from the mirror, his one eye the only thing visible through the darkness. That menacing cruel creature known as the Night Scar was born that day. Once a happy person, Terry John Hawkes turned into such an evil figure, a person that every citizen in Marketville feared, for they had created a monster…

    Can you tell me what his triggers were?

    1. Horrific accident that has caused psychological damage
    2. His friends and family left him because they couldn't stand to look at him
    3. Pure isolation from contact
    4. Damaging outlook on life

    I know that’s hardly a good example, but I was hoping to see how you folks write this scene in hopes of learning from you. Type away!
  2. Okay, so I was originally just gonna do a short bit, but then it got way outta hand. Here's my shot:
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    I lived in a city filled with heroes. Every day, gods dressed in spandex and capes walked in and out of city hall, cleaned up the streets, stopped villains, and posed for photos. Heroism was a job, one that takes little effort and pays so well. Just because you were bitten by a radio-active Jesus, and you decided to not use your powers like an asshole, you should be lauded and given keys to the city? Allow me to gag here in the corner.

    The capes don't bother with the cesspool part of the city - you know, most of it. Around city hall, the main streets, the tourist attractions, and all that, you got, what? Two-hundred heroes? Where I lived, heroes only showed up when they took a wrong turn somewhere, and they're gone as quick as they showed.
    Too ugly to save.
    It's in this part of the city that I grew up. I wasn't a perfect looker, but I was built, and I had a gusto that attracted a lotta ladies. There was only one lady to my eyes, though. She lived with her brother, running a down-town beer-and-pizza joint. The place was popular, and her brother was a gun-nut, so it's not like they were ever in any real danger.
    Well, one day, the dame saw me chatting up another girl, and she must've realized I gave her butterflies or something. She talked to me in the alleyway the next day. We were going to go out on a date! Best day of my life, right there.

    Yeah, I can see you there. You aren't impressed with my story yet - "Oh, it's soooo obvious she's gonna bite the dust". Yeaaaah, shuddup. I'm just getting started, y'hear?

    Set the clock forward about a month. I ran into hard times, and didn't have the money to take her places anymore. I got desperate, and got involved with the mob. I was well-built, and kinda intimidating if you squint - so they made me a bodyguard for some of the black-market dealers. The main guy I worked for, let's call him Blonde, was a real looker and could talk Mexicans outta a standoff. He had this way with temptation, like it was a tool and he was the master. Man raked in money like it was air, y'get me? I stuck with him, and I kept the snotty brats and goons away from him. I only had to use my guns once, and it was a warning shot. I was set, and my girl got all the nice dinners she wanted. I felt like if I didn't stop my smile myself, it would hit the clouds.

    Spin that clock another year. She starts to talk serious, and I got a little nervous - I wasn't ready to settle down just yet, y'know? But I couldn't tell her that.
    Don't judge me! You didn't see her face - the way her pretty eyes would make your soul bend.
    Anyway, I started looking into setting up my future - see if there was a less dangerous profession I could get into. Blonde liked me, and told me he would set me up with this guy, a friend of his - big-name mobster, was looking for an intimidating "accounting manager". My work at the shooting range was getting pretty good, and I knew my way around a fight, so I thought "If I pull this off, I'd be set for life".
    Boooooy was I right. Only a couple jobs in, and I had on my hands some several million bucks. I could settle down now.

    The day before we were supposed to leave for a better place, like, I dunno, Iowa or something, her brother finds out. He said he's not gonna let her go - he doesn't trust me, the bastard. I try to talk sense to him, but he only gets angrier. He tells me that he'd kill me before I would leave with her.
    What was I supposed to do? Tell him that I'd already quit the mob? Tell him that I could protect her with my small collection of guns?
    Finally, he offers a deal: He'll meet with me at a remote location, to settle it. A nearby candy factory - totally harmless. He even told me I could bring friends, if I didn't feel safe.

    So, I went to the meeting place. The silence was broken by the whirring of all the candy-makin' machines and these vats of liquid-mint. I brought some of my old business pals - mooks, but good ones. We waited about an hour, and had just decided that we'd leave when we heard this crash.
    A cape. The bastard had set us up with a cape.
    My pals get blasted with some kinda radioactive energy, and are knocked out cold. It's just me there, lookin' at this guy. I tell him I don't want any trouble, but he tells me (and I'll never forget that damn smooth voice of his), "Don't care. You're trouble."

    It was the brother's voice. It was the goddamn brother's voice, and he just picked me up and pushed me into one'a the vats of mint.

    I burned alive in there. I should have died.
    But I didn't - I managed to get out, with my whole body covered in burns. I got to an old friend, an associate of Blonde - he helped patch me up. He couldn't save my face, though.

    Nah, nah, it wasn't just the eyes, or the grin, or whatever. My whole face is like plastic. My big ol' grin, my pitch-black skin, the blood-red scars around my jaw and nose...
    She could never love me. Not like this.

    She deserved better than this. She deserved better than me! Oh god, what was I thinking? I would run away with her with bloody money? That wedding dress would'a been stained with all the greed of a dozen banks, and here I was thinking we were free.
    We were never free.
    We were trapped in the cesspool of the city, where heroes only show their face when its for a personal grudge, because out here you aren't people. You're an acceptable statistic.

    That brother. He took my life away from me. That pathetic example of a thing, something less than human, brought me down to his level.
    It only took one shot to kill him. It's not that hard when he's sleeping, you know - it's not like he was made of kryptonium or whatever. Boom, he's gone, just his bloody bits left here.
    It wasn't really satisfying enough, though. I realized that too late - I wanted to see him writhe with pain. I wanted to see him squirm. I wanted to watch him cry out for mercy, and to just laugh at him.
    After I shot his carcass a dozen more times, and maybe played with my knives for a while, I decided I'd settle for the next best thing.
    I left her body in the old pizza place - a viking burial, to which no-one would be able to tie to anyone. For the first time in my whole life. . . I felt free.

    That's why I'm here, kids. I chose what to do with my freedom. You wanted someone to handle the capes?
    I'm starting a collection.
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  3. A bad guy is defined differently for everyone, is it no'? Whether or no' I am a bad guy is up to ye. Everyone does wrong in their life, so doona judge on only one act unless one is all ye get. I will start my story by saying my name is Drustan and I am far from a saint, but so is everyone I know. There is one man in particular that I would consider a bad guy, and I believe it will be best if I tell his past. I hope ye did not expect this to be about only myself, because if ye did then ye are in for a bumpy ride.

    The boy was born to a middle class family who gave him the name of Jack Singer. Doona ask me if he has a middle name for I doona know. This boy seemed like any other and enjoyed all the activities of young boys. His da was excited and could see his son having a wonderful future. That is until Jack got into magic. His da thought of it as a waste of time but ignored it for the time being. Surely his son would get bored of it and move onto more practical things. This was no' the case.

    During this time Jack became friends with another boy, Ricky. They would hang out all of the time and Ricky would help Jack perfect his illusions. At this point we can move back to Jack's da. He became upset his son wasted his time with a meaningless hobby. To him, magicians were lowlife degenerates without a real job. The anger becoming too much, his da started abusing him mentally and physically, but no' too terribly. How bad the abuse was did no' matter. Jack was becoming dangerous.

    Feeling pushed away Jack started hanging out with the wrong crowd: smoking, doing drugs, all that 'fun' stuff. Thanks to Jack Ricky would never be considered a good person, and trust me, he would have been. He and Ricky started following a guy named Seth. I doona know what to think of Seth. He tries to be a good person but I feel there will always be a darkness in him. That does no' mean I do no' respect him. We all did. I joined no' long after. We had started our own little gang, and even though we never made the best decisions Seth always managed to keep us in line.

    Ye remember me saying how Jack was becoming dangerous? His da soon found that out. Jack told us how he had finally got tired of his old man, so he took out a knife and cut his da's arm. I will never forget how Jack laughed and licked up the blade of the knife as if he could taste blood still on it. This is when I realized something was very wrong with him. This was also when he got his nickname, Jackal. Ricky told him he was one sick puppy. I did no' agree. He was no puppy, he was a jackal.

    It was no' but a year later that Jack turned 18. My younger brother had always wanted to join our gang but I would only allow him to hang out occasionally. Aye, I have a brother but he was not important until now. He looked up to Jack, I doona know why, and since Jack always wore nicer clothes he bought Jack a fedora for his birthday. I made the biggest mistake of my life by allowing him to go find Jack alone. Och, I doona wish to continue this part, and to be fair, ye shall continue this part of the story by reading it in Jack's point of view.

    The sky was covered in dark clouds but the wind was quiet as Jackal walked down the deserted streets that his gang liked to wander, a backpack slung over his shoulder. His father had shoved as many of Jackal's possessions as he could into the bag and left the rest scattered on the lawn. Jackal had dumped the contents of the bag and filled it with only his important belongings. The bag was reloaded with another change of clothes and his magic supplies. Nothing else would fit. The only other thing he grabbed was the fedora he got earlier that day and placed it on his head.

    A few of the streetlights flickered on and off. The city seemed to have forgotten about this part of town. The buildings were intact and in decent shape but they were empty. If something was not done in the next year the buildings would forever be forgotten by those that had the knowledge to fix them, and would soon become a place where kids would dare each other to go into 'that haunted building'. For now it still held a small amount of hope.

    A scraping sound caused Jackal to stop walking. It had been hard to hear but he knew someone was there. To reinforce this thought a strangled sob came out of the nearest alley. He was not one to care about other's grief but he did not trust that whoever was there would not attack him as he walked by. Walking slow so the person would not hear him he approached the alley and peered into the darkness. It took his eyes a few seconds to adjust but when they did the sight was not what he expected.


    The other boy lifted his head. His face was tear stained and his eyes were wild with grief. Drustan did not make an attempt to speak so Jackal approached the trembling figure. If it was not for the slight loyalty Seth had ingrained in him towards the gang he would have walked away without a backwards glance.

    Jackal's eyes narrowed as he approached Drustan, whose trembling increased with each step. He knew he should turn around right now and walk way. Nothing good would come out of this but he was itching for a change of pace. He could see the hands clenched at Drustan's side and hear quick, shallow breathing coming from the boy. The look on Drustan's face told Jackal exactly what was wrong.

    "You let him die." Drustan said, choking out the words. "Didn't you?"

    A shrug of his right shoulder was the only reply Jackal would give. He let his tongue glide over his bottom lip as he waited for Drustan's next move.

    Drustan's face started to turn red and his nails dug indents into his palms. . "You murdered him!"

    Jackal lifted an eyebrow in contempt. "I am not the one who shot him." His shadow grew smaller as he took a step forward, the fedora tipping sideways. His eyes stayed on Drustan's face and watched as Drustan looked up at the hat that his brother had gifted earlier that day. A look of recognition showed on Drustan's face and Jackal knew the fire had been lit.

    He had anticipated an explosion of anger but he did not expect for his head to impact the wall as Drustan smashed into him. His head exploded in pain and he could feel a wetness in his hair, but he did not have a chance to worry about it before his air supply was cut off. Drustan had one arm under Jackal's chin, lifting his head and sending the fedora spiraling to the ground. Drustan's other hand was a tight grip around Jackal's throat. Jackal tried beating his fists against any part of Drustan he could reach but either the other boy did not feel it or he did not care. The latter was more likely. Jackal managed to wheeze out a question. "Do you think I would have ran if I had any other option?"

    "Aye." The grip tightened against Jackal's throat and Jackal struggled harder as he realized Drustan meant to kill him. He would not allow his former friend to end his life, not like this, but struggling was doing nothing and Drustan was too strong for him to pry the hand away. Black specks appeared at the edge of his vision. If something was not done soon he would greet the black gate of unconciousness and not much later the grim hand of death. His hands searched his pockets until he felt the cool touch of a blade. A half-smile, half-sneer showed on Jackal's purple tinted face as he reached down and slipped the knife out of his jeans. Without a second thought he brought the blade across Drustan's leg.

    Drustan released Jackal and Jackal fell to his knees. His left hand was placed against his throat as he struggled for breath and his other hand held the knife pointed toward Drustan. He dared not take his eyes off the Scottish boy who was ignoring the blood flowing down his leg. Time seemed to move slowly as Jackal caught his breath and Drustan looked for a way through Jackal's defense. It was as two demons were looking at each other, one with a way to justify his actions, the other with only empty reason.

    Having regained his breath a dangerous gleam cloaked Jackal's eyes as he stood up and took a step toward Drustan. Drustan took a step back as the knife was waved in front of his face. Another step forward. Another step back. Three steps forward and three more back. A couple more steps and Drustan was pinned against the dead end of the alley. The tables had turned.
    "You shouldn't have done that." Jackal said through a pressed lipped frown. His eyes bore into Drustan's as the knife came up to the boy's throat and pressed until a trickle of blood emerged. He was preparing to press the knife deeper when a pair of hands grabbed him and threw him to the ground. His back hit the cold ground and he shook his head, trying to shake off the pain. Jackal looked up to stare into the dark blue eyes of Seth.

    "Hold him, Ricky." Seth said, nodding his head toward Drustan. Once Ricky had done as Seth commanded Seth allowed Jackal to stand, holding him with a questioning glare.

    Jackal snatched his hat off the ground as he stood up, ignored Seth's questioning look and instead looked at Drustan. Ricky was blocking his access to Drustan and Seth made sure Jackal did not have much room to move from the wall. He was fine with that since the only thing he had left for Drustan was words.

    "I did have a choice."

    Drustan lunged at Jackal but Ricky held him back, struggling to hold the larger boy. Drustan's eyes made contact with Jackal's and he watched as a predator would prey. "I will kill ye, Jack. One day ye will regret this."

    Jackal waved away Drustan's warning and turned toward Seth. The other boy had not moved and still bore Jackal down with a gaze that demanded answers. Seth would not be getting these answers. At least not from him. Jackal's voice was detached as he said the next words, the last words he would ever speak to his former leader. "I am leaving. Move, Seth."

    Seth showed no sign of moving so Jackal elbowed his way past. He was surprised that Seth did not try to stop him but he did not linger too long on that thought. His actions had been told to one and soon the others would know. He could not be around for that. He quickly left the alley and headed in the direction he had been going before the confrontation. A few paces later Jackal heard anguish filled sobs as Drustan broke down.

    That was a very painful experience so can ye really blame me for the way I reacted. Does that make me a bad man? I do no' feel so. Later that day I found out that Jack suffered from moral insanity. Do I care? No' one bit. He is a dead man and no one can convince me otherwise. Ye may not feel he deserves to die, but would ye still think that if I told ye he nearly beat a boy to death. How the kid survived is beyond me. This is where I feel I became a bad man. I did nothing to stop that brutal assault, even though I was the only one who could have helped. I could go on but I doona wish to throw too much of a life story at ye. Just know, after that my choices continued to be the wrong ones and I followed my da, who is nothing but a bad man.
    #3 Icystorm, May 5, 2015
    Last edited: May 30, 2015
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  4. In the case of one of my villains, he was born into slavery. In his case, though, it isn't that he became evil because "suffering corrupted his heart".

    What happened is a demon went up to him and said "I'm looking to hire a dark knight who can save an evil witch locked up in jail, guarded by an archanelg. Now, you could spend the rest of your life a slave....or you could become an evil overlord! C'mon, it'll be fun!" He took him up on that offer. He's basically the opposite of a typical hero.
  5. "It is power. I care not from where it springs." -Neutral Evil Saying

    It was harmless at first. It was just magic to be used, a means to an end. It wasn't good, but it certainly wasn't evil. I mean, hell, they were already dead. Their souls had either moved on or roamed elsewhere. The bodies were just mere husks. Sure, they could rot in peace nourish the earth, but it's free labor! And they don't care! Humane slavery, I thought. What's wrong in owning a slave who has no need to protest? They weren't human anymore-- the part of them that made them so had already left them. They were empty corpses. I just gave them life. If I wanted, I could save the king millions in military costs. Just make the undead into soldiers. They'll rush madly into war and shred any opposition. No mind. No guilt. No fear. No payment neded. And the military would only grow, as we could reanimate the other side's soldiers, too. I tried approaching the court one day with my idea. The king and his Grand Vizier were the only ones who looked interested. Everyone else regarded me with terror, shock, and motions of the Sign of The Divinity. I had brought two undead with me as a showcase of my power and what I had to offer His Grace and the kingdom as a whole.

    "Think of the possibilities, Your Grace," I said. "No more men being slaughtered needlessly. No more wives without husbands. No more children without fathers. No more parents without sons. No more need to pay ten thousand wages. No more need to feed ten thousand mouths, or to house ten thousand heads. No more need to hire new soldiers, as we can use the fallen enemies as replacements. My only desire is to aid the kingdom, my only fee a modest place by your side."

    The king seemed to consider my offer to help as the Grand Vizier and the High Priest both whispered in his ears. He then declared I be arrested on charges of Heresy, Use of Evil Magics, Gravedigging, Corpse robbing, and Disturbance of The Dead. Enraged at this, I ordered my undead minions to protect me and fled, raising new undead from the local graveyard to aid me in my escape. For years after they sent headhunters, Crusaders, Priests, and warriors.

    I only wanted to help. And they denied me. Criminalized me. Assaulted me. Well, I would show them. I would turn their very fathers against them, I would bring the bony fists of their ancestors down upon their heads.

    I spent the next few decades studying and perfecting my craft, writing down my findings in a book, a Grimoire. I was building an army. However, I knew my body was decaying rapidly. My skin was pale, my body malnourished, my hair white. I felt my time coming. So I prepared. Not to go with Death, but to ward him off. I prepared a spell for the next three years. A powerful one I had only used a few times before, to bind a soul back into it's body, and preserve the corpse. The products were my Generals, a likeminded few with no love for the King or the Church. Minutes before I feel my body take it's final breath, I activate the spell. Everything goes dark, and I fell like I'm floating. For just a moment, I seemy body laying on the ground. Lifeless. I was a spirit above my mortal shell, floating in the air. The magic circle around it lit with a green flame, and I was sucked back down. My eyes shot open and I instinctively gasped for air. I looked around. The air was cold. As was my skin. I checked the mirror. My eyes were sunken and yellow, my flesh pale as death. But I was not a spirit. It had worked. I had become what no man had dared to be come for three thousand years: I became a Lich.

    An age has gone by, and both the Throne and Church have been passed through four more generations since my exile, but I still feel the same anger and disgust I felt the day I was incriminated. My spies as brought back rumors of a dark force lurking in the old castle to the east of the kingdom. I know they speak of me. Let them. It will not matter soon. For soon I will be strong enough to destroy the Kingdom and the Church. And every one of their pawns. Everything will die in my wake, and be reborn new, immortal. People will know my power, and I shall rule over those who dared to insult me all those years ago. With every year, every war, every generation, every plague, I grow stronger.

    And soon, soon they will know my wrath.