Needs Help: Defector From Decadence

Deadlock Clock: 13th Feb 2017 11:59:00 PM
Total posts: [61]
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I don't know if it's the name or the description that's the problem here. Maybe both.

The title "Defector From Decadence" implies someone who gives up a life of wealth, leisure, high social status, etc. You know, decadence.

The page description, however, makes this about anyone who gives up their old allies because they don't like them anymore: "A character who joins either the protagonists or antagonists not so much because he agrees with all their ideas as he can no longer tolerate the opinions or actions of his old group."

That's just plain old being a defector—decadence has nothing to do with it. Theoretically, a broke guy getting annoyed with his broke friends and going to hang out with rich people instead would be a "Defector From Decadence" under this description.

So, either the name needs to be changed to fit the description, or the other way around. Perhaps the best option is to make two separate tropes, one for the general case of getting fed up with your old group, and a subtrope specifically for getting fed up with your life of leisure?
2 SeptimusHeap27th Oct 2013 11:50:06 AM from Laniakea , Relationship Status: Mu
A Wizard boy
Tag fixed. Page tags need to be Wiki Words.

Anyhow, while I can see the concern, the number of wicks makes me think we'll need a Wick Check for further action.
The page image looks like it is describing the trope of a character giving up on their luxuries.
^Indeed it does. That's why I think the trope was originally about abandoning luxury, hence the title, image, and page quote, but the definition was somehow altered.

(Also, I feel like I have a vague memory of a time when the trope meant defecting from actual decadence, but my mind could be playing tricks on me.)

EDIT: I've started a Wick Check to see which definition of the trope people are using, but I have a feeling it's going to be difficult as most examples take the form of "[Character] defects from [Group] because of [Reasons]". Without further description or familiarity with the work it's hard to know if the character's former lifestyle was a decadent one, or if their defection results in them abandoning such a lifestyle.

People also seem to be using it as a synonym for Even Evil Has Standards (for bad guys) or Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right! (for good guys).

edited 28th Oct '13 9:19:11 AM by MonaNaito

Check on 50 wicks:

Actual Defection from Actual Decadence

Just Defecting, Unclear If From Actual Decadence

Defecting, Definitely Not From Decadence

Insufficient Information To Determine If Defection Was At All Involved

edited 28th Oct '13 7:39:08 PM by MonaNaito

What kind of examples are present in that second category? Defecting from the good side or bad side, etc. ?
Here's a breakdown of the 31 wicks from the second category (i.e. defection, but not necessarily from decadence).

Note 1: "Unclear morality" may be in-universe or simply unclear from reading the work description and tropes, although the latter may be evidence of the former.

Note 2: Not all of the works take place in worlds of Black and White Morality, so the terms "bad guys" and "good guys" are a bit fuzzy. I tried to sort them into broad groups for the purposes of categorization.

Note 3: I am not particularly familiar with any of these works, so if you know them please feel free to comment on whether a certain character's situation did or did not actually involve abandoning decadence.

Good Guy Defects From Bad Guys OR Defector From Bad Guys Becomes Good

Often unclear whether the person was always good or underwent a Heel–Face Turn.

Bad Guy Defects From Group Of Bad Guys

Everyone involved remains a bad guy to some degree.

Good Guy Defects From Government Organization

Morality of organization unclear, may be suspicious simply by being a government organization.


edited 28th Oct '13 7:40:09 PM by MonaNaito

8 Willbyr28th Nov 2013 06:19:16 AM from North Little Rock, AR , Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
Clock is set.
Could we just... not have Death anymore?
So the wick check shows this trope has been used as "character betrays their allies", the name requires "decadence" (which means "self-indugence or decline in moral/ethical behaviour"), and the definition itself requires a motivating factor of hating the Character Development the allies have undergone. (Yes, adding bad behaviour is Character Development, although the definition also includes an increase in Paficism, which we would generally consider a good thing.)

Going from Antagonists to Protagonists and Protagonists to Antagonists is treated as the same accourding to the definition. So usage should be indicating primarily any Face–Heel Turn (or Mook-Face, or any other turn) driven by dislike of their old allies.
Reading the trope name, the first example I came up with was Siddhartha Gautama. Ie, I think putting in two antagonistic parties in the trope is a mistake. There is neither a face nor a heel in this trope.
I guess my main question about what to do with this trope is, do we want it to actually be about abandoning decadence, or just change the title to conform to the current (mis)usage of getting fed up with one's allies?

Personally, I'd rather not give up on the original concept of abandoning a decadent lifestyle. It's a perfectly valid trope with plenty of real examples.

Maybe what's needed is a second trope for the more general case of abandoning your allies after they undergo Character Development.
12 SeptimusHeap28th Nov 2013 11:23:01 PM from Laniakea , Relationship Status: Mu
A Wizard boy
Most of the offwiki usage that I could check seems to match the description, at any rate.
Even if the wicks fits with the description, I think it's a big trouble whenever there is a discongruency between the trope name and the description. I view it as a sort of "namespace pollution", that makes it harder to name future tropes, and also makes the trope harder to remember.

Doing a wick check:

Correct according to trope name AND trope description:

Correct or likely correct according to description:


Misuse/Other tropes:

Zero Content Examples (or near enough) and potholes:

So that's 4 correct according to the strictest definition, 15 (11+4) according to the description, 1 varied, 7 misuses, and no less than 27 potholes and Zero Content Examples.

edited 29th Nov '13 7:47:06 AM by kjnoren

Also, a lot of the potholes seemed to be simply making a wick for the word "defector".
Could we just... not have Death anymore?
Do we have a generic "Defector" (traitor, "turn", betrayal) trope? If not, this could be Missing Supertrope Syndrome all over again.
16 StarSword29th Nov 2013 08:52:22 AM from somewhere in deep space , Relationship Status: In denial
You are of Bajor.
[up]We don't have a specific trope for defectors but it's usually Heel–Face Turn or its kin.

edited 29th Nov '13 8:52:54 AM by StarSword

Could we just... not have Death anymore?
And the Heel/Face Index lists this trope as going from a villainous (or heroic) group because they don't enjoy being a member.

Which doesn't fit the name, and the definition allows for Heel Heel Turn, which isn't considered elsewhere.
18 shimaspawn29th Nov 2013 09:14:27 AM from Here and Now , Relationship Status: In your bunk
I do think a general defector super trope is needed.
Reality is that, which when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.

-Philip K. Dick
Could we just... not have Death anymore?
All specific types of betrayal.
How does Screw This, I'm Outta Here! fit into all this? Looking at the page description, it seems pretty similar to what people seem to think Defector From Decadence means, i.e. "I'm fed up with my allies so I'm leaving".

edited 29th Nov '13 2:00:09 PM by MonaNaito

Defector from Decadence is about a choice to leave for moral reasons, the way I read it. Screw This, I'm Outta Here! is about leaving for just about any reason.

Not that Screw This, I'm Outta Here! is terribly clear.
23 theAdeptRogue29th Nov 2013 03:13:33 PM , Relationship Status: Having tea with Cthulhu
[up][up]Also, Screw This, I'm Outta Here! doesn't require the character to actually switch sides. As long as they abandon the current group they are working for (and usually for more practical reasons), it counts, even if they simply opt to stay neutral in the conflict
I guess the question is, should Defector from Decadence require switching sides? The title implies that the trope would include, say, somebody leaving the royal court to go live as a monk.
So, which possible options do we have:

  1. Leave trope unchanged
  2. Redefine Defector from Decadence to someone leaving a life of luxury et c; ie the Siddharta Gautama example
  3. Make general trope about defectors and defections (note: defection does not imply treason in and of itself, even if some like to claim so) - this will have some overlap with Screw This, I'm Outta Here!
  4. Make new trope with the current definition - switching groups because of philosophical or moral differences with the old group

No matter what we do, I think it's clear that Defector from Decadence has lots of misuse, and will require lots of cleanup.

Page Action: Defector From Decadence
1st Dec '13 6:06:29 PM
What would be the best way to fix the page?
At issue:

Total posts: 61
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