What do you think of my villain

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Salsacookies, Mar 5, 2015.

  1. Basically, I had this idea I really like, but I'd rather not put something out that seems too angst filled or "I'm a sad character so pity me" like, so here's my post. Rake it through the coals!

    (I think one of our villains should be a robot dragon.

    It was made by dwarves who lived in dragon-infested mountains as an assassin of dragons. It would live amongst them and kill them one by one. that it did very well. However, as it lived and killed among them, it began to want to become a true dragon, and loathed that it was unable to stop killing them, and learn to become one of them. This yearning finally broke him as it was about to land the final blow on one of the most powerful dragons of the mountains. He basically told it that it was made by the worms of the mountains, and because of this, it could never become one of them.

    It killed that dragon, and returned to where it was made, and completely destroyed the mountain kingdom, and slept in its ruins... until an unwary group of heroes woke it up, and unleashed the False Dragon's hatred across the whole world)
     
  2. This backstory sounds unique and fascinating to me! I think you should put some thought (not saying you haven't already) into the mechanics of the dragon, how it works, what allowed it to blend in so well among them, what would happen if it got hurt/broken while in the mountains, and how the self-awareness started
     
  3. Had an interesting idea for its start of self awareness. According to the GM, the dragons in his world are like the monsters in Monster Hunter, so there's the context. Anyways, my idea was that it saw its reflection in a pond and proceeded to fight its reflection. After a while of this, it realized that it was fighting itself, and it realized it looked like what it was fighting. Need to think of a new straw to break the camels back, since the dragons are just huge predators, and not of human intelligence. Thoughts?
     
  4. Big thing you need to consider is that while a degree of magic in in play, dwarves would probably observe some precautions when making any form of artificial intelligence, lest a scenario like you mention come into play and it ceases to do what it was designed to do. If dragons are simply animals, and not the intelligent and sentient creatures you see in other fantasy stories (for instance, Smaug from The Hobbit), then the robot dragon wouldn't need to be all that intelligent, its programming could pretty much just be how to mimic how a dragon moves and where they are located. If its sole purpose is to kill dragons, then it wouldn't really need to blend in with them socially, it just needs to fool them from a distance to close the gap.

    A big issue that I don't really see a work around without some kind of powerful illusion enchantment or some such is how it is supposed to disguise itself, visually, as a dragon, and since a lot of animals identify each other and communicate through scent, it would have to have not only a convincing looking skin on the outside, but it would also have to generate and emit scents like other dragons if you want it to act like an infiltrator of sorts. But even then, that stuff would get damaged in duels, and if its purpose is to kill other dragons, it wouldn't have to get chummy with them. Kill on sight, kind of thing.

    Having something like this being that intelligent and realistic is something I don't really see happening in a fantasy setting because AI robotics and all of that is really deep into futuristic sci-fi territory where technology is far beyond what it is now, and usually when you picture dwarves, you imagine magically inept but genius engineers who can make all sorts of incredible machines, but it's always obvious that they are machines. Usually it's kind of a steam-punk vibe for the more advanced dwarves in fantasy stories.

    Another thing to consider is its moment of self-awareness that you mentioned, where it sees itself in the pond and attacks it and has a revelation that it is like the creatures it is supposed to kill. That, in all likelihood, wouldn't have changed its disposition since if it's only as intelligent as other dragons and it doesn't pass the reflection test (which is where an animal can recognize itself in a mirror/ reflection), then it would think it's just attacking another dragon, like it's supposed to. But if it's a machine, it should have means to identify dragons based on more than a straight image. Even if it did attack the reflection, thinking it was another dragon, it would probably disengage as soon as the image was shattered. It wouldn't identify the reflection as itself, per say, and it would be well aware of what its body looks like in the same way you or I can tell we're human just by looking down.

    I do, however, get the impression that the character you're making is supposed to be a true artificial intelligence that is self-aware and capable of learning and independent thought and rationalization. Unless something changes in its programming or it has its values altered, it shouldn't decide to go against it original purpose because dragons are still a threat to dwarves and other sentient creatures. It would be a hunter, and hunters don't mourn the animals they harvest. This also brings me to the question of how does this robot power itself? Does it consume what it kills, or does it derive its energy from elsewhere? These are things you might have to consider, and it might be a source of tension for the robot where it has to weigh its mission verses its self preservation.

    A few ideas for how you can make the robot's intelligence work;

    It could be successful enough that dragons begin to dwindle in numbers, and this leads to the robot evaluating that the dragons are not a threat until their population returns to a viable population, thus considering its mission completed and the intelligence having to create new perimeters that the dwarves didn't foresee. If they are also its fuel source, then it needs to be cognizant that if it is entirely too successful, it is putting itself at risk. This could lead to behaviour that goes against its initial programming and put it at odds with its creators and, in a way, appointing itself as a game warden for preserving what's left of the dragons. Maybe it is a true AI and it decides on its own that its orders are unethical because dragons are simply animals like any other. It may decide that dwarves are instead a more representative evil since they're the ones building machines to kill other creatures for them.

    It could be damaged and reprogrammed, either by its mind rebooting and imprinting itself on the first creature it sees, which may be another dragon, and it becomes more feral and dragon-like in mentality and simply enters the ecosystem thinking it is a dragon, or by a third party that either wants to save the dragons or turn the robot against its dwarven masters. This might be one of the more plausible options since an AI can be reprogrammed because it's simply data/ an enchantment, and any competent programmer/ mage that is familiar with the technology may be able to alter the robot's mind if they have access.



    The next two suggestions are if you feel like trying something a bit more challenging or turn this character into a villain.

    It is damaged, similar to the second suggestion, and it starts to go insane because its processes are all messed up. This could lead it to all new and dangerous behaviours, and it no longer adheres to its original programming. There's all sorts of ways you can go with this, maybe it turns on the dwarves, or starts attacking other creatures or races, deciding they're its fuel source, and basically acting like a horrifying creature that cannot be controlled. Maybe it still continues to kill other dragons, or maybe it determines all life needs to perish.

    Finally, it is intelligent enough to decide that once it completes its mission, it has no use to the dwarves anymore and may be deactivated. Perhaps, like you seem to be hinting at, it decides its more like the dragons its meant to hunt and instead of killing them, studies their social structure and ends up, some how, becoming the alpha dragon and depending if dragons are solidary creatures or pack animals, either forms several powerful members into a pack or manipulates them by triggering wanted behaviours to meet its end goal. Perhaps it is fully aware it's a robot and it decides that it could do better than its current form and it decides to turn on the dwarves and seek to improve itself constantly with new technology and power.

    Anyways, that's just a few thoughts off the top of my head. Hope it helps!
     
    • Thank Thank x 1
  5. Thank you @Dervish

    I really like this idea that
    The GM decided that the dwarves stole an elven item to give the dragon life, so it's a robot powered by magic, so I have the feeling it will have to be taught to be genocidal of dragons, and it doesn't go so well
     
  6. Glad to have been of help! It has the potential to shape up to be a really cool character idea. When you're doing something so outlandish, it's fantastic to get creative with it!