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    Default Character Conception problem; Religious yet Savage?

    I need some ideas on how to portray a certain character.

    For one, he's highly learned. Also very religious. ...But enjoys executing and torturing people.

    Now, you might suggest the classic Miko Miyazaki (God wills it, so killing/being a douche is okay!) style Knight Templar...

    But at the same time, most of his killings were politically oriented; ie: for his own personal profit... So it's not like he can claim he was doing God's work.

    Thus my conundrum... how do I work with a duality like this?

    (As a note, despite this being in the gaming forum; the character is based off a historical figure and I'm writing it as a dramatization of historical events. I figure this subforum's emphasis on the creative process made it more applicable than the media subforum.)
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    Default Re: Character Conception problem; Religious yet Savage?

    Seems pretty obvious to me.

    "How can I do my God's work without shinies? I need the shinies. I deserve the shinies!"
    Last edited by Connington; 2008-10-30 at 03:48 PM.

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    Default Re: Character Conception problem; Religious yet Savage?

    The failures motivate him to even greater fanaticism. He's awful, and he knows he's awful. But if he can only achieve (whatever his goal is), he'll be able to go to his grave knowing he was the last one to have to do any of that. He just killed a man in cold blood? It makes him even more resolute that his ultimate cause is right.

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    Default Re: Character Conception problem; Religious yet Savage?

    I'd say LE to NE could work, case could be made for either.

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    Default Re: Character Conception problem; Religious yet Savage?

    For one, he's highly learned. Also very religious. ...But enjoys executing and torturing people.

    Sounds like a typical follower of a cruel, evil god, with a dash of Hannibal Lecter. Except for the whole "eating people" thing.

    for his own personal profit... So it's not like he can claim he was doing God's work.
    Thus my conundrum... how do I work with a duality like this?


    It's not really a duality. Ferverent religious types can go overboard very easily. Maybe his religion encourages that sort of thing. Maybe he just tortures people who he feels have done "bad things" according to his faith, and the kick he gets out of it is a side bonus (i.e. "I'm just doing my job; it's not my fault if I enjoy it"). And in either case, I'm sure he wouldn't see a problem in making money doing the Lord's work.

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    Default Re: Character Conception problem; Religious yet Savage?

    He is surrounded by fools who are not faithful enough (if they share his god) or worship an inferior deity, and that it is his duty to remove them and place himself, the only one truly worthy of the position, in power, in order to better serve the interests of his god.

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    Default Re: Character Conception problem; Religious yet Savage?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paragon Badger View Post
    I need some ideas on how to portray a certain character.

    For one, he's highly learned. Also very religious. ...But enjoys executing and torturing people.

    Now, you might suggest the classic Miko Miyazaki (God wills it, so killing/being a douche is okay!) style Knight Templar...

    But at the same time, most of his killings were politically oriented; ie: for his own personal profit... So it's not like he can claim he was doing God's work.

    Thus my conundrum... how do I work with a duality like this?

    (As a note, despite this being in the gaming forum; the character is based off a historical figure and I'm writing it as a dramatization of historical events. I figure this subforum's emphasis on the creative process made it more applicable than the media subforum.)
    Emphasis mine: Oh yes he can. Doesn't make it true, but he can sure as hell make the claim (he may or may not believe it himself, of course), and who's going to argue with a religious authority who mutilates and kills those who get in his way?

    You just described the classic corrupt inquisitor. Someone not concerned with justice and truth so much as removing anyone who slips up of line while he's watching.
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    Default Re: Character Conception problem; Religious yet Savage?

    A thing to note, he serves the christian god.

    @Lemur: His faith is authentic, or at least his dedication to faith is. I think of the old irish stereotype of a deeply religious catholic who sins on a daily basis. :P

    Very frustrating.. I wish England kept some better biographical records aside from family lines. x_x
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    Default Re: Character Conception problem; Religious yet Savage?

    If he needs do justify it in his own mind, say that they were politically opposed to his/the Church's rule, and therefore opposed to God's rule, and therefore were God-hating heretics who needed to be purified before they spread their corruption and anti-God/anti-Church principles to anyone else. Make him so self-righteous that he perceives anyone opposed to him as being opposed to God's work that he does, and therefore his enemies are the enemies of God.

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    Default Re: Character Conception problem; Religious yet Savage?

    Not the Christian god I worship, but that's another story. I don't want this to turn into a religious thread.

    Wow, this guy scares me. I wouldn't call he savage, this kind of evil is much worse then that, but I would call him brutal.Does he feel guilt at the acquiring of the shinies?
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    Default Re: Character Conception problem; Religious yet Savage?

    Quote Originally Posted by Biffoniacus_Furiou View Post
    If he needs do justify it in his own mind, say that they were politically opposed to his/the Church's rule, and therefore opposed to God's rule, and therefore were God-hating heretics who needed to be purified before they spread their corruption and anti-God/anti-Church principles to anyone else. Make him so self-righteous that he perceives anyone opposed to him as being opposed to God's work that he does, and therefore his enemies are the enemies of God.
    This.

    He's blinded by a combination of faith and natural greed/cruelty, and in his mind has combined them both into an extremely dangerous combination of self-righteousness and brutality.
    Last edited by vicente408; 2008-10-30 at 04:33 PM.

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    Default Re: Character Conception problem; Religious yet Savage?

    He could be like the albino monk from the divinci code, and commit evil acts for God then punish himself through self-flagulation. He knows its evil, he knows it's sinning, and he feels terrible about it. But he doesn't stop, he just whips himself nightly.

    Or you could have the sinning priest who is compelled to commit vile acts because he's just crazy and hopes nobody will ever find out, like a modern day pedophile priest.

    Or he could be like the Magneto from Marvel 1602. It's not wrong when WE do it, becuase we don't do wrong! God approves when WE do it.
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    Default Re: Character Conception problem; Religious yet Savage?

    "To the pure, all things are pure." Titus 1:15 *shudder*
    Certain. . .interpretations of that verse could describe this characters emotional state quite well.
    Last edited by Ravens_cry; 2008-10-30 at 04:41 PM.
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    Default Re: Character Conception problem; Religious yet Savage?

    What's the conundrum? You describe a historical medieval/renaissance Catholic inquisitor to a tee, really. A learned man of the cloth who has no qualms with - or even enjoys - torture and killing, and does it for profit. Slap on some justifications about the will of the deity and rewards for the righteous (this works out nicely in almost any RPG, since deities do reward piety in the here and now), and you're done.

    What do you need to work? It sounds like a classical villain in every way, with countless of examples in media.

    Check out Small Gods by Pratchett, and Inquisitor Vorbis therein.

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    Default Re: Character Conception problem; Religious yet Savage?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paragon Badger View Post
    A thing to note, he serves the christian god.
    So he's in medieval times and serving the christian god. What's wrong with approximating this with an evil-aligned D&D deity?
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    Default Re: Character Conception problem; Religious yet Savage?

    Also he could just view himself as more equal. He views himself as someone who has transcended original sin through education and religion, and everybody else as lesser, because they haven't.
    I would really like to see a game made by Obryn, Kurald Galain, and Knaight from these forums.

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    Default Re: Character Conception problem; Religious yet Savage?

    Some things we are supposed to be extremely circumspect in talking about.

    Best to specify its in D&D context only.

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    Default Re: Character Conception problem; Religious yet Savage?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paragon Badger View Post
    I need some ideas on how to portray a certain character.

    For one, he's highly learned. Also very religious. ...But enjoys executing and torturing people.

    Now, you might suggest the classic Miko Miyazaki (God wills it, so killing/being a douche is okay!) style Knight Templar...

    But at the same time, most of his killings were politically oriented; ie: for his own personal profit... So it's not like he can claim he was doing God's work.

    Thus my conundrum... how do I work with a duality like this?

    (As a note, despite this being in the gaming forum; the character is based off a historical figure and I'm writing it as a dramatization of historical events. I figure this subforum's emphasis on the creative process made it more applicable than the media subforum.)

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    Default Re: Character Conception problem; Religious yet Savage?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paragon Badger View Post
    A thing to note, he serves the christian god.

    @Lemur: His faith is authentic, or at least his dedication to faith is. I think of the old irish stereotype of a deeply religious catholic who sins on a daily basis. :P

    Very frustrating.. I wish England kept some better biographical records aside from family lines. x_x
    In that case, the next thing I think of is Guard Juris' suggestion of self-flagellation (or some similar punishment). He may enjoy torture, and he may or may not truly feel bad about it, but he continues to punish himself viciously out of a sense of duty or justice.

    In fact, this route opens up an interesting route for this guy's psyche: if he genuinely believes he deserves to be punished, than he probably believes that everyone deserves punishment as well (all men are sinners, etc.). This line of thinking would reinforce his torturous practices, since he will not feel so much remorse for maiming and killing people if somewhere in his mind he thinks they deserve it somehow.

    Plus since he deliberately harms himself, he will have a much different idea of what level of torture is "appropriate". A sort of "I do this to myself every day, so you should be able to handle something a little bit worse once in your life" kind of thing, which further reduces his sense of sympathy and pity for other people.
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    Default Re: Character Conception problem; Religious yet Savage?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ravens_cry View Post
    Not the Christian god I worship, but that's another story. I don't want this to turn into a religious thread.
    Same here.

    Anyway, I'm sure you'd find other historical figures who fit this character concept.

    Torquemada, for example.

    The Hammer of heretics, the light of Spain, the savior of his country, the honor of his order.
    That sounds like the typical fanatic paladin. I believe there was also a Web Enhancement on the Wizards site for Exemplars of Evil about an LN inquisitor of St. Cuthbert who loved torture and used it to consolidate his political power. He was followed by an equally fanatic LG half-ogre paladin/gray guard who wore demonic armor. I think the character concept definitely works.


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    Default Re: Character Conception problem; Religious yet Savage?

    The justification I can imagine someone like this using runs as follows:

    1. The faith requires me to be nice to people.
    2. Some crimes are so great that the criminal forsakes his right to be 'people'.
    3. This criminal commited one of those crimes.

    4. (2,3) This criminal is no longer 'people'.
    5. (1,4) I am not required to be nice to him by my faith.

    Basically, it's a form of dehumanising the people you want to hurt. Perhaps the rules of the faith do not protect pagans and heathens. Perhaps those not of the faith have no souls, so they don't count as real people when you're doing moral philosophy. There are probably more justifications.
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    Default Re: Character Conception problem; Religious yet Savage?

    Quote Originally Posted by Prometheus View Post
    So he's in medieval times and serving the christian god. What's wrong with approximating this with an evil-aligned D&D deity?
    Maybe because the Christian God isn't evil?

    Anyway, most people have hit this hammer on the head. His own greed corrupts his faith, so he interpets passages for his own benefit. Think of the slave masters who preached that slavery was okay.
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    Default Re: Character Conception problem; Religious yet Savage?

    Quote Originally Posted by Saint Nil View Post
    Maybe because the Christian God isn't evil?

    Anyway, most people have hit this hammer on the head. His own greed corrupts his faith, so he interpets passages for his own benefit. Think of the slave masters who preached that slavery was okay.
    He's implying that the Christian religion in Medieval Europe had many Evil traights.

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    Default Re: Character Conception problem; Religious yet Savage?

    Ever play FFT? The character of Delita shares some similarities.

    My own suggestion: His piety and social standing convince him that he is better than other people, such that he is allowed to exploit others for personal gain.

    Better example: Judge Claude Frollo from Disney's Hunchback of Notre Dame. Malicious, sadistic, lustful and hardcore Catholic.
    Last edited by afroakuma; 2008-10-30 at 08:57 PM.

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    Default Re: Character Conception problem; Religious yet Savage?

    Sounds like an amalgam of Torquemada and the Richelieu villain of the Three Musketeers.

    How deep into this guy's psyche do you really need to get, anyway? It would seem that, for your purpose, the historical examples you know about would be enough to use this fellow.
    Last edited by Coidzor; 2008-10-30 at 09:14 PM.
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    Default Re: Character Conception problem; Religious yet Savage?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paragon Badger View Post
    I need some ideas on how to portray a certain character.

    For one, he's highly learned. Also very religious. ...But enjoys executing and torturing people.

    Now, you might suggest the classic Miko Miyazaki (God wills it, so killing/being a douche is okay!) style Knight Templar...

    But at the same time, most of his killings were politically oriented; ie: for his own personal profit... So it's not like he can claim he was doing God's work.

    Thus my conundrum... how do I work with a duality like this?

    (As a note, despite this being in the gaming forum; the character is based off a historical figure and I'm writing it as a dramatization of historical events. I figure this subforum's emphasis on the creative process made it more applicable than the media subforum.)
    You just described the Spanish Inquisition.
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    Default Re: Character Conception problem; Religious yet Savage?

    Quote Originally Posted by BardicDuelist View Post
    You just described the Spanish Inquisition.
    His players will never expect it, at least.

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    Default Re: Character Conception problem; Religious yet Savage?

    Hi Paragon Badger,

    If you're playing in Europe, you have a lot of variety to play with, even though there has been at least two or three religions throughout the Middle Ages, and sometimes even more popes (at the same time!) First of all, what part of the era are we talking about? If you play in the early Middle Ages you have just the Western (Roman) and Eastern (Greek) churches, the former more centralised than the former. Later there will even be a schism in the Western church, splitting it among as many as three popes. The period before 1000 CE in particular is quite interesting as it marks the birth of the "Cleric" as popularized by DnD: mace-wielding men of the cloth who fight for (what they think is) the Grace of God. In fact, look for info on Odo of Bayeux: I'm sure you'll like him! (wikipedia has just as good a description as anyone, and it's short and sweet, although the french version is better than the english one.)

    The Renaissance brings the Reformation, and of course a split between Catholics and Protestants. Of course this era sees the birth of the Inquisition, but a Protestant twist on this idea can be fun, perhaps. A few Protestant denominations of the time were really, really not tolerant of what they termed sinful (and let me tell you that list could be long...)

    Anyways, hope it helps.

    EDIT: I saw your link yo the Earl of Worcester. I don't think my post is relevant to you anymore, but still, do with it as you want...
    Last edited by Dyvim Matt; 2008-10-30 at 09:34 PM. Reason: Not sure this is relevant anymore

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    Default Re: Character Conception problem; Religious yet Savage?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paragon Badger View Post
    A thing to note, he serves the christian god.

    @Lemur: His faith is authentic, or at least his dedication to faith is. I think of the old irish stereotype of a deeply religious catholic who sins on a daily basis. :P

    Very frustrating.. I wish England kept some better biographical records aside from family lines. x_x
    Ok you opened the door enough for me to say it. Why do you need help comming up with Ideas on how to play this type of character? You just said he was christian. History if full of priests that are this exact personality type. Just look into well any European political history invavling the church. And the inquesition. Petty cruilty, mony grubbing and personal power is pritty much what alot of priests, bishops cardinals and popes did.

    PS oh he didnt just describe the spanish inquesition but all of them. All of europ had them.
    Last edited by Hawriel; 2008-10-30 at 09:33 PM.

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    Default Re: Character Conception problem; Religious yet Savage?

    Ok you opened the door enough for me to say it. Why do you need help comming up with Ideas on how to play this type of character?
    Because I want to be different?

    The problem is;

    He's genuinely of 'the faith', as in, he is very devout and doesn't use religion as a tool. The man isn't even a member of the clergy.

    BUT, at the same time, his motivations for personal gain are not veiled in religious 'knight templar'ism. His faith is NOT a motivation for his brutality, political gain is.

    So, to sum it up... He doesn't use religion as a tool, and he doesn't kill for religion's sake. He's genuinely desirous of being faithful and simultaneously goes against the very tenants of his religion...

    I need a character who is both religious and brutal without falling into the Miko Miyazaki Knight Templar territory. It's tough.
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