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Playing With / Evil Is Petty

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Basic Trope: The villain is portrayed as a Jerkass who frequently go out of his way to Kick the Dog, even in ridiculously small ways; OR a convention often seen in Karma Meter-based games where Evil consists of doing lots of tiny, petty annoying acts.

  • Straight:
    • Emperor Evulz, an evil overlord who plots grand schemes to conquer the neighbouring kingdoms, also frequently curses, spews racist and sexist remarks at the drop of a hat, constantly hurls both mental and physical abuse at his servants as well as his guests or really just anyone who happens to cross his path, regularly goes out of his way to find new ways to make the life of his subjects miserable, and cheats at chess.
    • In Fangblade, Spyke can be played as a decent, straightforward hero or a rude, obnoxious Jerkass, with the former giving him lots of 'good' points and the latter lots of 'evil' points.
  • Exaggerated:
  • Downplayed: Most of the "Evil" choices are serious, major crimes, but some of the choices seem to be being a jerkass for its own sake.
  • Justified:
  • Inverted: Reputation casts you as Lord Draco, son of the high-ranked House Godwin of The Empire. You can follow in your daddy's footsteps as an Affably Evil loyalist, or become a rude revolutionary fighting to overturn the evil empire.
  • Subverted: Player Bob makes Spyke kick a puppy, but he doesn't gain any evil points for it.
  • Double Subverted: ...because it was a werewolf puppy. Kicking a normal puppy still gets evil points.
  • Parodied:
    • The big actions you can take over the course of the game — like saving a burning orphanage or being the one who set it on fire in the first place — have absolutely no effect on Spyke's Karma Meter. Instead, it's decided entirely by petty acts like whether you avoid swearing or Cluster F-Bomb your way through dialogue, petting or kicking puppies, and such things.
    • When Spyke is brought to justice, the NPCs whom he harmed sport no worse injuries than nosebleeds, but all insist that he be hanged.
  • Zig Zagged: Some very petty acts will affect the Karma Meter, but other acts have no affect. Some petty acts even count towards good on the meter.
  • Averted: While Spyke can choose to be petty, it has no effect on his Karma Meter.
  • Enforced:
    • "People need to understand that Emperor Evulz is such an utterly rotten and mean-spirited person that he doesn't even bother keep up a façade of being Faux Affably Evil."
    • "It'd take a lot of time and money to script an entirely separate 'evil path' for this game. Why don't we railroad the player down a single path, but provide 'polite' and 'dick' responses in the conversation trees that create the illusion of choice?"
  • Lampshaded:
    • "Why does being evil mean I have to be a complete dick to everyone I meet?"
  • Invoked: "If You're So Evil, Eat This Kitten."
  • Exploited: Bob the hero is able to draw Evulz into a trap by performing something he knows Evulz will find annoying, because he knows Evulz will personally hunt down and kill those he finds annoying.
  • Defied: The game has no Karma Meter.
  • Discussed: "As a villain, I expect you won't be satisfied burning my house and killing my father. No doubt you'll want to smash my porcelain figurine collection, stomp through my vegetable garden, and give me a wedgie too."
  • Conversed: "Did he just steal candy from that baby?" "Wow, he must be evil."
  • Deconstructed: Spyke quickly discovers that he Can't Get Away with Nuthin': no matter how rudely others treat him for being different, even being the tiniest bit snarky in response has everyone treating him like that just proves he's evil, including the Jerkass Knight Templar God. The only one who welcomes such behavior is the Chaos God, meaning he apparently has to choose between putting up with everyone else's crap or go full-blown evil.
  • Reconstructed: This whole situation turns out to be a game-wide Secret Test of Character: in the end, Spyke discovers that the Gods' personalities are determined by what their worshippers believe, and he can take a third option of changing how the gods are viewed, rewriting their personalities to something that better suits his sensibilities.
  • Played for Laughs: Spyke's consistent poodle-poking runs afoul of his boss' Pragmatic Villainy, and he regularly gets bitch-slapped for it.
  • Played for Drama: Evulz is a depraved sadist who enjoys watching his victims suffer. As a result, he preforms minor, yet horrifyingly cruel deeds alongside his more grandiose plans.

We will never know why some villains like to waste their time abducting cats and drinking too much water. We can only record specific times at which Evil Is Petty.