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Woobie Destroyer Of Worlds / Tabletop Games

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  • A close reading of the fallen Primordials from Exalted reveals them to be this.
    • First up: The Yozis. While they seem pretty evil at first glance (and in the Ebon Dragon's case, the second, third, fourth, and thereon), it's not hard to realize that they are, one and all, thoroughly miserable. The fact that each one was built with an actual mental disorder in mind really doesn't help their self-image.
      • Despite not being the First of the Primordials, the Primordial that was to be Malfeas made himself king because he had the guts to be one. His glorious passion inspired and guided his fellow Primordials, when their mutually incomparable power would have made Asskicking Equals Authority futile. Upon his defeat, the cosmic passion that gave him power and meaning turned toxic. Now, it enslaves Malfeas and randomly subjects him to holocaustic Mania and abyssal Depression. In between these peaks (or torn and stretched out on both peaks at once), his infinite furor is guided by perfect self-hatred, causing him to ceaselessly destroy himself. Bipolar Disorder, among clinically recognized mental disorders, is most likely to end with suicide.
      • Cecelyne's grandeur is driven by her inadequacy. To fulfill that barren emptiness, she puts on an air of cosmic pomp and importance and cares for her subjects mercilessly and ruthlessly. Her overcompensation (a common pattern seen in those with pathologically Narcissistic Personality) ultimately makes her an empty shell—an infinitely hollow desert, who feels that her value only comes from dominating and being wanted by others. Her powers center around fulfilling others' desires and demanding obedience, but they cannot actually help their user.
      • She Who Lives In Her Name is an Obsessive-Compulsive control freak, and she may seem like the least sympathetic...until you understand that she's also Autistic and can't understand that what she is doing is wrong.
      • As Adrian, she was a literal protector of Creation in that her presence separated Creation and the Wyld. She was selfless and compassionate to an extreme — she gave her own body for her children's safety. She really loved Creation! Gods' betrayal broke her heart to such a painful degree that she is no longer capable of caring about anything, even herself. Her heart was broken so badly that she never put it together again — Adorjan is a victim of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, no longer able to express attention in any way other than violence.
      • The Shadow of All Things may have been a Jerk Ass, but he was a sort of Devil's Advocate — he gave meaning to the world by being its enemy. Now his "virtue" is hollow and the Ebon Dragon displays an extreme form of Antisocial Personality; the only thing he can care about anymore is the suffering he inflicts on others. In the setting of Exalted, Ebon Dragon is one of the extreme few utterly undeserving of sympathy...but, still, the fact that he can't even recognize that he has fallen this low is something to pity.
      • Other Yozis are pathetic beings in the sense that their current condition inspires sympathy. Kimbery, who once gave herself as life-water and life-blood for Creation, is so terrified of rejection that she destroys whoever approaches her — Borderline Personality. Oramus, the First Primordial, bravely began to fight Pure Chaos and now he, through no fault of his own, is stuck inside his own wings, utterly unable to comprehend the world outside — Schizophrenia. Isidoros, the strongest thing in the universe and all time, lost faith in his own power and withers in perfect, destructive nihilism — Paranoid Personality. Sacheverell was once a visionary who foresaw the ideal future for Creation; now he does nothing but sleep, refusing to feel anything — Dissociative Disorder. The most comprehensible Yozi, Szoreny, has lost control of his ability to mold his personality based on who's talking to him into the ideal Foil, leading to his inability to think straight beyond the short term — Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder. The fact that every Yozi was struck with a diagnosable mental disorder, turned up to a divine degree, sort of justifies their desire to make everything literal Hell.
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    • Then...we have the Neverborn. Hoo boy. Though not much is known about the Neverborn individually, one can gander at the origin of their morbid hatred — as authors of reality, the Primordials never bothered to put together a scenario where they might die. Without reality being designed to handle their death, the Neverborn could not truly die... but they were still killed and murdered, stuck in a limbo between life and death. The pain of dying has lingered with them for five thousand years. What brought this miserable fate? They were pursing their own happiness in Creation, like every other living thing, before the Primordial War. Even with the most saintly soul, this is more than enough justification for their destructive cause.
  • Promethean: The Created has a "black hat" group, the Centimani. They embrace Flux, the antithesis to the Azoth that fuels Prometheans. Their powers are the same as those of Pandorans, the natural predators of their kind. Most other Prometheans consider them monstrous (not the least of which because many Centimani hunt other Prometheans to feed their Pandorans). But the gameline makes a point of pointing something out: Prometheans are the embodiment of Blessed with Suck. Any given Promethean is constantly, day-in-day-out, hammered with terrible trials. Being nigh-indestructible is no barrier against the Despair Event Horizon. Most Centimani are less born to evil than dragged to it by the heels.
    • Specific example: Eve, from Pandora's Book. She was created haphazardly by a selfish Frankenstein who told her to her face that she was just there so he could reach the New Dawn. Then she saw him torn to pieces in front of her, leaving her with apparently no purpose. Other Prometheans taught her that, that wasn't the case, but when she tried to make a new Promethean herself, it failed, spawning Pandorans. Her second attempt worked, but her creation ran off after a few days. Finally, she gave in, creating new Pandorans intentionally so that she'd have something to cling to. Her quote is even, "At least I'm not alone anymore."
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    • From the sample adventure in Magnum Opus, Los Tempestrad. He came to himself in a Hispanic gang's lair, and ended up being a hitman for them for years, and was systematically abused - after all, he was nothing but a puppet, a cheap weapon to be used as Ocho, the gang's leader (and his self-proclaimed creator), saw fit. Then one day, for the first time, he met another Promethean, who took him away from the gang and explained that humans can't create their kind. Unfortunately for him, said Promethean was the manipulative Botherud member Ice Blue, who promptly indoctrinated him in her order's teachings and used him exactly the same way the gang did. His reaction to hearing about Lighthouse, a Promethean messiah supposedly made by a human, is understandable - confused fury, because he loses either way. (If Lighthouse wasn't made by a human, then every other Promethean in Boston is being tricked exactly the way Los Tempestrad was; if a human did make Lighthouse, then Ice Blue has lied to him since they met.) Los Tempestrad is a violent sociopath, but he never had a chance from the day he got off the slab.
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    • 2nd Edition removes some of Centimani's Dark Is Not Evil aspects-it's now explicitly the refinement of giving up on the New Dawn, to the point where a Centimanus can't progress on the Pilgrimage until they turn away from Flux. That also means the Woobie Destroyer Of Worlds aspects are on steroids, with both of the statted Centimani being extremely tragic characters; the Huntsman was a Galateid driven insane by constant rejection, so when he saw a boy playing with his dog, he became convinced Centimani was the only path to that simple bond with Pandorans; he's noted to even treat them like beloved house pets, actually viewing other Freaks as rivals because they might take his bond away. The Scholar failed the New Dawn repeatedly, hurling past the Despair Event Horizon and deciding that, against all evidence, it wasn't possible. It's gotten to the point where she actively destroys sources of hope, because she can't bear to be reminded of how far she's fallen.
  • In Warhammer 40,000, the Horus Heresy was a galaxy-spanning civil war between the loyal followers of the God-Emperor and the traitorous followers of Chaos, shattering the Imperium (from which it still hasn't fully recovered even ten thousand years later) and ultimately dooming the galaxy to a slow, painful death. And yet most of those who rebelled had very legitimate reasons at first, often falling into this trope:
    • Lorgar genuinely, deeply loved the Emperor, and wanted to have him venerated throughout the galaxy. The Emperor brought the banhammer down on that as soon as he knew about it, as despite being a Physical God he wanted a society of Flat Earth Atheists (due to wrongly believing that Chaos was fed by worship). Distraught and suddenly having nowhere to direct his devotion, Lorgar eventually discovered the Chaos gods, who had no problem whatsoever with worship and obeisance. Cue Religion of Evil.
    • Magnus the Red actually tried to warn the Emperor about the rebellion, yet not only was he not believed, but because he used sorcery to learn and transmit the information he was declared a criminal. The Space Wolves were sent to apprehend him, resulting in the destruction of his homeworld and forcing him to side with Horus, and after the rebellion's defeat other events ensued which turned most of his legion into mindless automata.
    • Angron first met the Emperor when he was having a Last Stand against impossible odds, even for a Primarch. The Emperor offered to save him, but Angron refused, wanting to die with his soldiers... only for the Emperor to teleport him away anyway, leaving his soldiers to die without him. Angron became even more of a Blood Knight after this, and while fighting wars for him he retained his hatred of the Emperor for many years, jumping at the first opportunity to betray him. It didn't help that he had permanent cybernetic implants that enhanced his rage and prevented him from truly sleeping or having any sort of peace.
    • Perturabo was an architect by nature and training, and never really wanted anything other than to build beautiful buildings. Then the Emperor took him from his homeworld and hurled him into the Great Crusade, and used his engineering genius to construct defenses the likes of which no-one has ever seen... without ever even thinking to ask what he thought about the whole mess. In the end Perturabo threw in with Horus for the simple reason that Horus was the only individual to ever acknowledge him, not as a demi-god or a tool, but as a person.
    • Horus himself was manipulated to betraying the Emperor. After he was mortally wounded by Chaos blade, his soul went into the Warp, where he was shown a vision of two possible futures of the Imperium, both of them horrible. Choosing what he thinks is the less horrible one, Horus attempts to overthrow the Emperor in order to fulfill it, but only managed to bring exactly the future he was trying to avoid.
    • Konrad Curze was raised on a planet dominated by criminal scum at every level. He dealt with the problem by making the entire planet terrified of his retribution if they broke the law. Once he left to join the Great Crusade, the planet quickly devolved back into criminality, with the end result being his entire Legion filling up with sadistic murderers and psychopaths. On top of that, Curze is tormented with painful psychic visions of the future that are entirely accurate. When he confides these visions in Fulgrim, the one brother he considers a friend, Fulgrim is horrified and betrays him to Rogal Dorn, who attempts to arrest him. Curze snaps, nearly kills Dorn, blows up his own homeworld, and throws in with Horus.
    • Fulgrim was one of the most loyal sons of the Emperor, and the only reason he turned to Chaos is that when he purged Laer, the alien world with the race that served Slaanesh, he took Daemon blade, not knowing what it was, and the daemon gradually corrupted him to the point that he killed Ferrus Manus, his most beloved brother. When Fulgrim understood what he has done, he tried to commit suicide, but daemon tricked into giving it control over Fulgrim's body. Though Fulgrim later overwhelmed daemon and banished it from his body, this action finished his fall to Chaos.
  • The Mage: The Awakening sourcebook Night Terrors: The Unbidden has Alecto, an ananke (a magical construct designed to fulfill a specific purpose) who believes her purpose is to usher people on to their destinies. However, something or someone maimed her in the distant past; she manifests with a broken wing and bleeding, empty eye sockets. And she doesn't realize she's broken; she can't actually remember her real purpose, she just infers it from her powers. She might see an arguing couple, one that would make up in due time, and believe that their destiny is to separate. Her grasp of Fate magic is near-perfect, but it's being filtered through the mind of a severely-damaged being that can't grasp how damaged it is. She drives people to despair and suicide, never realizing she's making mistakes, and in fact incapable of realizing it.
  • Nualia Tobyn, the Big Bad of the very first Pathfinder adventure, is revealed to be one of these in the adventure details. Nualia is a former orphan from the town of Sandpoint who never knew her parents, and was instead brought up by the local priest. However, because she was an Aasimarnote , the superstitious people of Sandpoint constantly accosted her, because they believed her grace and divinity would "rub off" on them, forever asking her for favors, trying to take various tokens from her like buttons, cast off clothes, locks of hair, and begged her for blessings despite the fact she kept trying to explain that she couldn't do that. Throughout all this, her adoptive father let it happen — indeed, subtly encouraged it — because he was caught up in visions of the renown he would receive after she went on to be a nun in an order dedicated to his god, and thusly he was incredibly strict with her. When she thought she found a boy who loved her, she gave her virginity to him and became pregnant, only for him to abandon her. Her father became furious and treated her like an outcast when he discovered she was pregnant, and then, when she gave birth, her baby was stillborn and horrifically deformed, because her former swain had unknowingly seduced her in what was actually an old shrine to Lamashtu, goddess of monsters, miscarriages and deformities. Is it really any wonder that all of the above, combined with the psychic emanations from an evil artifact buried under the town, caused her to go insane, murder her adoptive father, burn down his chapel and run away to become a worshipper of Lamashtu, eventually returning to Sandpoint with the intent of murdering its inhabitants to fuel her transformation from an aasimar into a demon?
  • In some ways, the Wyrm from Werewolf: The Apocalypse is this. Originally the cosmic principle of Destruction, bringing things to a blessed end, he was imprisoned in the webs of reality by his sister, the Weaver, when she went mad and wanted to stop him from breaking all her toys. Because the webs were too tight, this effectively turned him gangrenous and mad, shifting his purpose from blessed destruction to rot without end. The Wyrm is essentially a broken, poisoned thing trying to rot the world away so that its pain will stop.