Complete Monster versus Heroic Antagonist:

Total posts: [8]
This is the two paths I had for my Big Bad at the beginning of my current novel. By now my vote has nearly completely been tilted towards the Heroic Antagonist side, but your feedback would be much appreciated.

My setting is rather complex, so it's hard to say everything I'd like to in one post. To sum it up, he is The Emperor of a continental-spanning empire of blood-drinking vampires that has, through the ages, mastered the art of taking human slaves, usually those who are striken with poverty under the past few centuries and keep them alives for the purpose of harvesting blood. Their heyday, however, was coming to an end with a variety of problem, up to and including factional rivalries, a bureaucracy made of fail, and outright rebellions.

At the moment my plan is to depict him as a benevolent ruler who lacked the capability to keep things under control, but is otherwise too well-respected by his subjects to be properly overthrown. In this way, he is the Big Bad only by merit of being on the portagonist's opposite side.

But in all possibilities, would such a position better be filled by a Complete Monster rather than the tragic hero/Heroic Antagonist model I've drawn up?

edited 29th Oct '10 1:03:42 AM by ArgeusthePaladin

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I actually like the ineffectual but somewhat beloved evil monster idea better than the cliche, "im bad so i rule" villian.
Amateur cook Professional procrastinator

Pronounced YAK-you-luss
He's a slaver who uses poor people as food. He's not going to be heroic. That does not, however, prevent him from being an Anti-Villain willing to do whatever it takes to help his people.
What's precedent ever done for us?
Moral ambiguity is cool.
If I'm asking for advice on a story idea, don't tell me it can't be done.
what is this i dont even
Just ask yourself what is most impotent to this person and what he's ready to do to achieve his goals. If the ruler's intentions are good but his methods aren't, or maybe he is constrained by his own bureaucracy, then maybe he's an anti-villain. The character writes itself that way.
The thing is, my vampires don't kill humans so much as periodically drawing blood from them in small amounts. Think blood donation.
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Pronounced YAK-you-luss
Even so, milk cattle isn't a huge step up from beef cattle. I'm not arguing that your guy can't be given sympathetic elements and plenty of them, but enslaving people as a food source is probably something that human readers are going to object to... and odds are that most of your readers are going to be human.

Put simply, even if he isn't a bad guy, he's been put in charge of a bad system - and the fact that his people apparently depend on it means he isn't going to change it any time soon.
What's precedent ever done for us?
That much is accurate. Indeed, the theme I discuss in this story is going to be one of revolution and reform and the possible impact of radical large-scale reforms on the lives of the common people.

Though still incomplete, for it is implied that those his people took in as slaves were (i) treated reasonably consistently well compared to the humans of the feudal era, and (ii) chose to be enslaved because the alternate i.e. serving as serfs in human noble fiefs would possibly be worse.

Guess this is what happens when I gave a Tsukihime Fan Fic too much time and effort to develop...

edited 29th Oct '10 10:53:48 PM by ArgeusthePaladin

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