tomorrow wrote:Supers killing has all sorts of bad consequences beyond mental strain/morality:
I dealt with this in my comic book actually. In the story bible as only the first issue ever saw the presses. I look at something else too... Which you touched on when you said:
- Killing increases the likelihood villains/criminals will kill (as the bar is lowered)
This is it in spades. The "escalation effect" in a nut shell. If the villain knows that the hero is going to kill him, he's not going to be content with stealing the bank's money and getting away. He's going to want to take the threat out. He's more likely to use brutal tactics because he's fighting for his life at that point.
We had this happen in our game once when I played Soulfire. We were in a bank standoff. A villain had his minions holding the hostages at gun point and the villain ordered us to surrender.
Our GM was kind of new to super-hero tropes and so he had this problem with, "Fearless villains." Namely his villains and minions never
made threats. They never hesitated. If they said, "Do this, or I do this." They never bluffed. Ever.
I, and my character, got really tired of it. So Soulfire told him (the minion told to do it), and bear in mind I was a strict "heroes don't kill" type in character as I usually am in real life, "If you do it. If you pull that trigger. I will kill you. No more hesitation, no playing nice, I'll kill you. If I ever see any of you kill someone with my own two eyes then I will respond with the maximum amount of lethal force at my disposal."
The GM, completely content in the knowledge that I don't have my heroes kill, had the NPC call my bluff. He shot the civilian in the head.
To which Soulfire promptly blasted the minion with a lethal bolt to the head and blew his head off.
The GM was stunned, and was shocked that me, of all people, did it. I also kept the promise. Three minions died in that bank heist.
After the game the GM brought me aside and said, "What brought that on? You are usually all about not killing in games."
To which I responded, "Because none of your villains or minions are ever afraid of the consequences of killing. Ever. They are all completely fearless and never hesitate to take a life. You are running this like an iron age comic and I had to eventually respond in kind. In the 16 sessions we have been in not a single villain or minion has used anything that wasn't a lethal attack." (In 2E for those that don't know, there was a difference.)
The GM started rethinking his enemy's actions after that.
I think this is the reason many villains don't seem to want to kill. The insane ones (Joker, etc) do, but a lot of them don't really wrack up massive body counts. Sure, some of them, like Captain Boomerang, will take an assassination mission once in a while but most of the time they are trying to get something and if they kill someone in the process it usually isn't because they went out of their way to do it.
I think this is because villains know that if they go all wanton murder they are more likely to be killed either by the heroes, or by the justice system, and as such the villains generally as a rule don't kill as many people as they realistically would if they were all cold hard killers.
- Killing eliminates any chance of grey-area legality and/or cooperation/respect from non-corrupt authorities
This is a good point. Its hard to fight crime when the authorities want you arrested too.
- Killing can lead to a suicide-by-super phenomena
Another good point that I hadn't considered.
- Killing can result in criminals/villains taking all-in mentality whenever the super is present
- Killing means your copy-cats/posers will be killing too (imagine what those yahoo posers in The Dark Knight if Batman were a killer... that would be on Batman)
- Killing negatively impacts public perceptions (one of the problems with the end of Man of Steel - nobody in that movie universe should be OKAY with Superman... at the end of the film he's just one of several uber-destructive aliens who leveled a city whilst brutally killing each other)
The list can go on and on really...
Uh... I don't necessarily agree with that. While the breaking of the neck of Zod was handled badly, the argument they were trying to pose was sound.
In the case of the Man of Steel, chances are he had the media on his side. Namely Superman's people, a race of vile alien invaders, was trying to destroy the planet. Superman sided with humanity and fought the evil alien menace.
That is how the press would spin it.
Also, yes, Metropolis might have been immensely damaged but for the majority of the world, that was it. The entire world was almost destroyed and Superman managed to contain the world-wide devastation to a single city.
This is all barring if he went around after the damage and started saving people who were trapped under rubble and what not.
I mean, I know its cool to hate on Superman, and I know a lot of people didn't like that the depiction of him was far removed from the cartoon depictions and the previous movie depictions but some of the claims aren't all that legit.
One can lift a rock with pure power, but a pure heart can move mountains.