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RE: (TFT) what story to write? Evil, vampires and other speculations.

Hi David, everyone.
	The only _intelligent_ monsters that we can
learn from are what I would term evil people in
the real world.
	Some people are totally selfish.  They do
not care one whit if what they do hurts or damages
others.  They are the users, the takers, the SoB
manipulators that we all have dealt with at some
time or other.
	If such a person can get their rocks off by
hurting, frightening or killing someone else, then
we call them a psychopath.

	In my 40 years of life, I've never had to
deal with a psychopath (at least never recognized
one as such), tho I've probably heard on the news
of a dozen or so in my city (Vancouver B.C.)
during my entire life time.  This gives you an
idea of how rare they are.

	In the media and movies they come up about
every 5th cop show, but hey, that is culture.

	However I have had to deal with several of
what I would call "selfish SoB's" and feel that
I have some idea of what makes them tick.

	They are the 'users' who don't give a shit
about others.  They will lie, steal or manipulate
others with out hesitation or conscience in
order to get what they want.  Trust to them is
a weakness that they can take advantage of.  If
you forgive them for something that they have
done to you, they consider you an idiot and weak.
They have little or no better nature to appeal to,
so if you wish to change their behavior you must
use threats.  Good humans are considered sheep.

	Such people are shunned.  If this bothers
them (and it often does) they will go to great
lengths to have cash because wealth impresses so
many people.  (And if you are wealthy, there are
always people who will suck up to you, and HEY,
if you have a bunch of sycophants about, you are
not REALLY being shunned, now are you?)

	Some people are attracted to them.  One
stereotype is the woman who hangs around losers
like this, hoping to reform them.  There are
those with low self esteem who some how click
with these selfish SoB's.  If you are smart you
will identify the selfish SoB's and avoid them.

	Having said all that, I have NO interest
in reading about such people or playing one in
an adventure.

	Others have suggested the 'other team'
way of looking at evil.  Sure, an engaging
story or adventure can be written from that point
of view.

	What causes such people?  I believe that
for some it is brain damage, for the most part
inborn.  In the Medulla (sp?) is the center of
the human brain where human values are centered.
(See "The Biological Origins of Human Values"
By George Edin Pugh.)  This is closely
associated with the hypothalamus (sp?) where
the pain and pleasure centers are located (as
well as many other low level brain structures.
Carl Sagan would term this whole area as part of
the 'reptile' brain inside mammals.

	Now all of us have a selfish reptile
sitting on our spinal cord.  However we also
have other value systems that reward us for
getting along in tribes.

	During socialization, the values that
are 'good' are reinforced by society trying
to maximize behaviors that will allow people
to get along & work together.  This usually
succeeds quite well.

	For some people this socialization fails;
perhaps they have abusive parents, perhaps they
grow up with out decent nurturing, perhaps the
rules of society just don't take.  Perhaps they
have the socializing values, but they are just
genetically weaker than the selfish drives.

	Such people have the full spectrum of
human values, but the selfish ones overwhelm
the 'good' ones.  They might have a small group
of friends or family that they treat well but
act like assholes outside their own tribe. I
might term these people (lower case) evil.

	Other people because of the way their
brain grew, or because of damage to it after
birth, have lost the brain structures for some,
most or all of the 'good' socializing values.
The instincts or drives that reward people for
getting along just don't exist for them.  Such
people are barely human, in my view.  You can
not appeal to their good side since they do
not have one.

	I would term such people (capitalized)

	Now, you might think, that if their
behavior is caused by sickness or brain
damage, then they are not legally responsible
for their action.  I would say true enough, I
could not blame such a person for being a SoB;
they could not help what they are anymore than
a tiger can help having to eat meat.

	However, they must be motivated by fear
of reprisals.  If they step across the line,
(kill someone for example) I would kill them
just as surely as I would kill a rabid dog.
They could not be reformed by anything less
than rebuilding their brain.

	In my opinion, the spectacular failure
of our 'justice system' is the failure of it
to realize that we are completely wasting our
time trying to reform some people.  (The
trick of course is to identify who is who,
which has its own huge set of moral dilemmas.)


	What is the attraction of vampires?  I
think it has several sources.

-  Most people in our society are not very
powerful.  Thus power fantasies are popular.
This ranges from superhero comic books to
game systems where you can become hugely
capable in a few dozen game sessions.

-  Vampires are like those assholes who always
get the girls even tho they treat them like
dirt.  There is an attraction to being like
James Bond where you get the sex but not have
the work of maintaining the relationship.
(I think that a marriage is hard work, but I
also think that it is the most enjoyable,
engaging and life affirming work there is...)

-  Playing a vampire is a chance to give in
to the ugly reptile sitting in your hind brain
that normally you have to keep on a short
leash.  Fantasies are about doing things that
normally you can not do.

-  The attraction of women to vampires has to
deal with rape fantasy.  In most societies
women have to say NO sexually, almost all the
time or suffer a wide variety of reprisals.
(Ranging from being treated like a slut to
pregnancy out of wedlock & sexually transmitted
diseases.)  Given that they are expected,
trained, encouraged and bullied into saying NO
it is hardly surprising that many women have
fantasies of where they can still be good (by
saying NO) but get the sex anyway.  (I am over
generalizing a whole bunch here, I know.)  Any
way, the Vampire's mind control powers /
sexual attraction links into this well spring
of human emotion I think.

-  The unaging aspect of vampires also strikes
a note with people.  I am less afraid of dying
than becoming old & feeble / helpless / useless.
Others likely fear death more.  Either way, the
vampire's immunity to such frailities is


	Some authors write vampire stories where
the vampires are good, they just have a minor
forgivable, handicap (having to drink human
blood).  I consider such stories cop outs.  MY
vampires are not such wusses.

	Some vampire stories almost ignore the
human prey.  The stories are about the society
of vampires and their mortal prey only come in
to focus when some prey starts making trouble.

	Anne Rice wrote a series of stores (which
I want to try but have not had time to yet)
which I understand have a deep eroticism
underlaying them.

	Some vampires are thru and thru evil, but
the story is from the PoV of the humans and
their fight against evil.

	(I am not a big fan of vampire fiction so
I am likely missing categories or missing
exceptions to the general trends I am stating

	In any case, the vampire stores from the
point of view of the vampire, has the vampires
that are not Evil (as I defined above) but evil.
They have 'good' drives that people can relate
to and make the characters interesting.  The
conflict between their selfish drives and which
ever 'good' biological values they have makes
for internal conflict and conflict makes for
interesting reading.


	In summary, Dave I think that you should
not attempt to write a story where the monster
is Evil.

	A monster as another team than the humans
is fine.  A monster that has some good drives &
some evil ones is fine (and is potentially very


	Not counting the situation where the
monster is just on another team, what about your
question 'does the monster know it is a monster'?

	I would answer yes.

	If the monster is Evil then the fact does
not trouble them.  Ordinary folk are sheep to be
exploited the same way a strip mine exploits a
mountain valley.   I mean why not?   They attach
no approbation to being a monster, anymore than a
lion feels bad for eating a baby zebra.

	Someone who is evil, may act like a monster,
but it does trouble them.  (There was a movie by
Peter Lorie where he played a pedophile who raped
and killed little girls and was filled with self
loathing for it.  The police went wild so organized
crime tracked him down because it was bad for
business.  They claimed that they were better than
him because they didn't have to murder people where
as he had to.  Anyone know the name of the film?)

	I'll let you find someone else to suggest a
plot for your adventure.  Vampire fantasies are
not something I am really into, I'm happy playing
the White Knight.


-----Original Message-----
From: tft-owner@brainiac.com [mailto:tft-owner@brainiac.com]On Behalf Of
David Michael Grouchy II
Sent: Thursday, October 16, 2003 12:11 AM
To: tft@brainiac.com
Subject: (TFT) what story to write?

Hi all,
   I've been outlining some new tft adventure stories to write.  And I must
admit I'm a little unsure what the reaction has been so far.  That is to
say, I'm not sure what you would like to see more of.
   One friend, Murphy Michael Lafleur, contacted me and said "I finally went
on the vampire adventure in the swamp.  I want to be the vampire.  Finish
that!"  I just shook my head.  I've had six requests (seven now) for much
more on being a vampire.  Why does everyone want to be the bad guy?  So I
asked him.  He said "For the power.  I want the power."
   I can understand that, but my outline for being a vampire contains a
little too much in the way of errotic, bloody, and dehumanizing behaviour.
The real fun for me writting these has been writing in a "rated g" format
but with a very adult feel to them.  Writing an adventure where the
character crosses the line and actually plays a vampire (or even a demon) is
a little too much of a challenge for me.

   So my question to the group is this;  do inteligent monsters know that
they are monsters.  The kind of self awareness that comes along with going
against the civilized norm seems to say no.  And if that falls flat I have
another question.
   Can anyone throw me a bad guy plot idea that I can take, make my own, and
write another solo for.  I fear I'm a little too stuck in my own world view,
and I could use a fresh approach.

   David Michael Grouchy II

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