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If my character does this thing, is he a bastard or a monster?:
My main character is on the side of the angels, but he gets a bit too hardcore in pursuing justice. His motto, he at one point says, is "Let justice be done, fuck all the rest." He's willing to do anything to see that good triumphs over evil. Outside of the struggle, he's a bit of a Jerkass, but not an unlikeable one. So at one point there's a guy, a high-ranking Naval officer, who is not really a villain, who could do the right thing at some little cost for himself. He's also a closeted homosexual, in a balanced relationship with another officer, something the main character uses to blackmail him into doing the right thing. So is the blackmail in this instance a case of kick the dog, or does it veer closer to the moral event horizon?
Bone MachineI'd say Kick the Dog thus far. So long as he hasn't coldly ruined the guy's life and is still well-intentioned...
edited 25th Oct '11 9:45:49 AM by DoctorDiabolical
I think neither; he's a Well-Intentioned Extremist who takes necessarily evil actions for a (hopefully) good outcome.
Wimpy Mc SquishyI agree. Blackmail isn't really Complete Monster territory. Unless that blackmail were to completely ruin this guy's life.
He's not a Complete Monster by any stretch of the imagination; he sounds like he might become a Knight Templar or Well-Intentioned Extremist, though. Depends on if he's more devoted to his ideals or to his goals. I wouldn't even call it a Kick the Dog moment, since he isn't doing it for the purpose of being a dick.
edited 25th Oct '11 4:07:24 PM by tropetown
I agree with QQQQQ, he's neither. It feels too 'slimy' to be a Magnificent Bastard act, but it by no means is in Complete Monster territory.
edited 26th Oct '11 11:48:59 AM by nrjxll
I agree, it's means to an end. However, you can be a good person and ALSO a bastard or monster. Does he feel bad about having to do it? Has he exhausted other methods before resorting to coercion? If the answer to either of those is no, then he's a bastard, but still potentially a 'good' one. Also, if the officer refuses, would he follow through and release the blackmail? A lot of heroes dabble in blackmail and extortion, but typically wuss out if their bluff gets called, on the basis that hurting the target after the fact won't get them what they want and is basically just retribution rather than a means. Actually following through is a big nudge towards antihero territory.
He doesn't feel bad about it, though he isn't thrilled, either. And blackmail is the only means to the end he wants. And he would do it in a hearbeat, as he's the "gotta walk the walk if you talk the talk" type.
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