Indestructible Villains? Are They Cheap or Thrilling? - Page 2


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Thread: Indestructible Villains? Are They Cheap or Thrilling?

  1. #11
    It doesn't sound to me like you are creating a character, just designing an accessory for your story, in which case it will probably come off as cheap and superficial. Characters in good novels aren't built like creatures from role-playing games.
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  2. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Terry D View Post
    Characters in good novels aren't built like creatures from role-playing games.
    I'd argue it's not a good way to build characters in role-playing games either, but that's a different thread. Or forum...

  3. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Rojack79 View Post
    I mean it's a golem so there really isn't going to be much there in terms of characterization. It's a medieval robot for all intents and purposes. I mostly want to make it a threat that the characters can't just blow up with explosives.
    This has all the hallmarks of extreeeeeme cliche.

    If that’s what you’re going for, to essentially re-spin the old wheel, fine, but the very concept of an indestructible villain, worsened by one made of stone and steel, screams “I couldn’t think of a good way to resolve this plot problem I had so here ya go”.

    What are this “characters” motivations? What’s its reason for being? Its hopes, dreams, fears? Without these, it’s not a character, it’s an avatar, literary cipher.

    The indestructibility isn’t the problem - though I would question how this villain can ultimately be defeated - but the way you’re going about it sounds really uninspired. If you really want the villain to be indestructible, why not look at ways beyond mere physical stature, brute strength, and excessive armor plating? Nobody likes a jock.
    "If you don't like my peaches, don't shake my tree."

  4. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by luckyscars View Post
    This has all the hallmarks of extreeeeeme cliche.

    If that’s what you’re going for, to essentially re-spin the old wheel, fine, but the very concept of an indestructible villain, worsened by one made of stone and steel, screams “I couldn’t think of a good way to resolve this plot problem I had so here ya go”.

    What are this “characters” motivations? What’s its reason for being? Its hopes, dreams, fears? Without these, it’s not a character, it’s an avatar, literary cipher.

    The indestructibility isn’t the problem - though I would question how this villain can ultimately be defeated - but the way you’re going about it sounds really uninspired. If you really want the villain to be indestructible, why not look at ways beyond mere physical stature, brute strength, and excessive armor plating? Nobody likes a jock.
    And if a golem can even be termed a "villain". Sure, it can be a tool of villainy, but it's not a thinking creature, so how can it have free will enough to be a proper villain? More like a moving obstacle, an automaton. Conquering it isn't a feat for goodness any more than climbing Mt. Everest. Sure, it'll be difficult, but it's ultimately not a question of good and evil, of the conflict of desires. A golem has no more character, will, desire or thought than a mountain--and victory over one is just as hollow in the scheme of human events.
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  5. #15
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    For me the Golam is a means to an end. It's a construct ment to serve a single purpose, be an obstacle for the good guys.

    The reason I'm wandering what materials I can use is simple. I don't want the main cast to be able to one shot it. So I kind of have to do some research on the materials. My main concern is if I decided to use let's say Adamantine a virtually indestructible metal to construct this Golam that be good for the indestructible part but it be very hard to damage this creature.

    That would then mean that the whole crew wouldn't be able to one shot it and so they'd have to think about how to defeat it. It would force the characters to stop and ponder "ok how do we kill this thing while not damaging the buildings or putting any innocent civilians at risk?"

    It's not ment to be complex villain, it is instead a simple one which can still be done well but first I just want some feedback on how it's indestructiblity can be achieved without the source of its impenetrable defense being something silly like a secret amulet that x character has on them at all times or some glaring weak spot on its body.
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  6. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by seigfried007 View Post
    And if a golem can even be termed a "villain". Sure, it can be a tool of villainy, but it's not a thinking creature, so how can it have free will enough to be a proper villain? More like a moving obstacle, an automaton. Conquering it isn't a feat for goodness any more than climbing Mt. Everest. Sure, it'll be difficult, but it's ultimately not a question of good and evil, of the conflict of desires. A golem has no more character, will, desire or thought than a mountain--and victory over one is just as hollow in the scheme of human events.
    Yeah. My point (to put it bluntly and to risk the wrath of the pedants) is that the Basic Bitch types don't cut it in 21st Century stories. Convenient examples notwithstanding, this sort of thing tends to be the makers mark of amateurish storytelling.

    I mean, even when it comes to more simplistic 'good vs evil' plots, the movement is toward injecting 'depth', right? We see this all the time with the superhero makeovers.

    I'm not actually somebody who tends to think every villain needs 'poor baby's mother didn't love them enough' level of backstory to explain why they are a bastard. But that doesn't excuse resorting to the Kool Aid Man for templates. So I guess I don't care if it's a Golem, Chimera, Ogre or Bertie The School Bully: Physically strong/endlessly destructive characters are usually boring - if that's all they are.
    "If you don't like my peaches, don't shake my tree."

  7. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by luckyscars View Post
    Yeah. My point (to put it bluntly and to risk the wrath of the pedants) is that the Basic Bitch types don't cut it in 21st Century stories. Convenient examples notwithstanding, this sort of thing tends to be the makers mark of amateurish storytelling.

    I mean, even when it comes to more simplistic 'good vs evil' plots, the movement is toward injecting 'depth', right? We see this all the time with the superhero makeovers.

    I'm not actually somebody who tends to think every villain needs 'poor baby's mother didn't love them enough' level of backstory to explain why they are a bastard. But that doesn't excuse resorting to the Kool Aid Man for templates. So I guess I don't care if it's a Golem, Chimera, Ogre or Bertie The School Bully: Physically strong/endlessly destructive characters are usually boring - if that's all they are.
    From Mt. Everest to Godzilla, the two things physically indomitable foes are good for:

    1) Spectacle
    2) Forcing character changes

    Otherwise, they're done poorly and one of the most boring things one can throw into a story.
    "Ammonia will disinfect sin."
    --adrianhayter

    "Art is life, just add bull****."
    --Chris Miller

  8. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Rojack79 View Post
    For me the Golam is a means to an end. It's a construct ment to serve a single purpose, be an obstacle for the good guys.

    The reason I'm wandering what materials I can use is simple. I don't want the main cast to be able to one shot it. So I kind of have to do some research on the materials. My main concern is if I decided to use let's say Adamantine a virtually indestructible metal to construct this Golam that be good for the indestructible part but it be very hard to damage this creature.

    That would then mean that the whole crew wouldn't be able to one shot it and so they'd have to think about how to defeat it. It would force the characters to stop and ponder "ok how do we kill this thing while not damaging the buildings or putting any innocent civilians at risk?"

    It's not ment to be complex villain, it is instead a simple one which can still be done well but first I just want some feedback on how it's indestructiblity can be achieved without the source of its impenetrable defense being something silly like a secret amulet that x character has on them at all times or some glaring weak spot on its body.
    It's your story, go with what you like, I just wouldn't personally lean on this character too much as a character. It's a plot device, and a rather generic one.
    "If you don't like my peaches, don't shake my tree."

  9. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by seigfried007 View Post
    From Mt. Everest to Godzilla, the two things physically indomitable foes are good for:

    1) Spectacle
    2) Forcing character changes

    Otherwise, they're done poorly and one of the most boring things one can throw into a story.
    At least in some reinventions Godzilla had motivations and agency.
    "If you don't like my peaches, don't shake my tree."

  10. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by luckyscars View Post
    At least in some reinventions Godzilla had motivations and agency.
    And if Godzilla's got agency, it's a character and not just an obstacle. Let's not forget that characters are the best, most effective obstacles--far more fulfilling for readers than mere consequences of nature and other obstacles which lack agency.

    While people go to monster movies primarily for spectacle, human interactions are still viewed as necessary for the movie to succeed, which is why they're in all monster movies. Monsters ain't nothing without people to kill and landmarks to smash.

    Godzilla and every other kaiju, alien, Great Old One and monster may well have more agency than Mt. Everest, but the story is always going to hinge on the human protagonists and not the monsters. Humanity is where the really good horror and spectacle is. Humanity provides scale and grounds the action--otherwise you wind up with empty spectacle, which isn't fulfilling at all and a cheap thrill at best.

    Also, spectacle works terrible in literature. Film's where the good spectacle is (but the visual effects are much cheaper in literature).
    "Ammonia will disinfect sin."
    --adrianhayter

    "Art is life, just add bull****."
    --Chris Miller

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