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Zido_Z

Need Motive Ideas

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Picture this: the setting is a dark corrupt modern city filled with sketchy politics, a warlord-like leader, and constant struggle between law and crime. The city is considered one of the biggest in the world, so there isn't always violence and destruction on the streets. The action usually happens in low key places or in more secluded areas. Now, let's say there's this police officer who has been on the force for many years in this city. To him, all he wishes to do is keep as much peace in this city as he can. He's a modern paladin, just with less "SMITING." However, he suddenly decides to leave the force because he found out something terrible that has destroyed his fate in humanity. So, what do you guys think that something is in this type of city to have made a passionate officer who loved his job suddenly quit? Normally, if it was devastating, wouldn't he have been able to solve it through his job? Since the answer to this is no, then that means this something isn't the normal thing that an officer can just go and fix. Throw me some ideas if you can.

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Original post by Wai
That he is atheist and, off the record, the system does not promote atheist "paladin".
Awesome.

@OP: The obvious choice is corruption. Police officer discovers that his commissioner is knee-deep in corruption, and said commissioner forces him to leave in disgrace before he can rat the commissioner out to higher authority.

Unfortunately, being the obvious route, it is something of a cliché.

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Quote:
Original post by swiftcoder
Quote:
Original post by Wai
That he is atheist and, off the record, the system does not promote atheist "paladin".
Awesome.

@OP: The obvious choice is corruption. Police officer discovers that his commissioner is knee-deep in corruption, and said commissioner forces him to leave in disgrace before he can rat the commissioner out to higher authority.

Unfortunately, being the obvious route, it is something of a cliché.


I lol'd at Wai.

But you're right in that it would be cliche. Let's try something a bit different. Even if we go with the corruption route, there needs to be some details that make it more unique. After all, even cliches can still be used.

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I think the corruption works for a rookie but it's not good for a veteran. I'm thinking the cop is like Gordon from Batman, he knows the system is corrupt but still tries his best. To get someone like him to quit you really have to rattle him. Which brings us to the question what can really rattle a cop who probably seen a lot of bad things over his career?

How about he finds out that the whole city is just a big experiment/game? he finds that everyone in the city is a clone/genetically engineered human created to be controlled/manipulated. Another country/place controls each inhabitant via I dunno maybe special waves or something (perhaps a chip in the brain). A "player" can log on the system, select any person in the city to control and does want he wants with them, doing either good or bad things. Kinda like a mix between WoW and the Sims but your actions affect actual people in another city.

Then he finds out he is being played by a long line of people maybe he finds he is one of the most popular "characters" to play. This makes him question his motives, whether his feelings of protecting the people is just because of the commands of the player or his own beliefs. He thinks about all his failures whether he did his best or the player merely got bored/made a mistake...

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Sounds like he lives in Hong Kong... Oh! I know! Someone kidnapped his sister in LA and he finds out it was a governement scam to make him a fall guy. Que bullet riddled massacre of the city. :)

All kidding aside, if you want someone that dedicated to break, you are going to have develope something in his past (advice from a parent, a memory from his childhood, corruption in the department). I can't think of anything specific. It will have to come the area this character is from and the nature of his devotion to the department. I hope some of this helped!

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Original post by Mason IM1519
if you want someone that dedicated to break, you are going to have develope something in his past (advice from a parent, a memory from his childhood, corruption in the department)
Good idea - first decide what his motivation is for being dedicated in the first place, then betray/corrupt that original motivation.

E.g. if his father was a role model of justice, inspiring his paladin-like nature, then reveal father was actually a rapist, destroying faith in his teachings. Main character is then free to develop their own notion of justice.

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This is an interesting story, so I'll try to think of more ideas later.

Just quickly, he starts waking up from black-outs with a smoking gun and a dead body at his feet. This slowly progresses to where he is blacking out for longer periods, then finding himself in more complex and lethal situations. Maybe he starts getting contacted by criminal overlords about the things he's done while unconscious. Be it either killing their men, or doing missions for them. With this idea, you could go with a blackout 'personality' that is either working for the criminals and is evil, or is so committed to stopping crime, that it is going to the absolute extremes to stop it.

Either way, he feels that it is too dangerous to give this new personality the powers and rights that come with being a cop (as well as the fact that he is having a mental break down), so he leaves the police force.

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@yapposai: Though nice, I don't want to take a Matrix route with it, since it's far from that type of story. My story is an inspiration composed from Sin City, Cowboy Bebop, Megami Tensei, and other similar settings. You can say even Gotham is similar to Millennium, but I don't want to make such a close reference.

@Mason IM1519: Something from his past is a good hook, but I want this to be something that is sudden and makes a powerful impact on him.

@Hodgman: I like that because it mainly tied into my decision after thinking some more throughout yesterday.

How about this. The senior cop finds out that at the academy, which is being ran mostly by the city government, that they're using criminals from the prison as live training targets for their students. This disrespect to humanity is so powerful that even he doesn't want to do this job again. Even though he tried to stop it, his word was little in comparison to the justifications they put up and mainly supported by the city council. Though, this isn't known to the public.

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I think you should focus on the goal of the game. You have a protagonist, so maby you should make an antogonist and just consider what's most logical. What is the protagonist fighting for/against? I'm sugestiong you might go the outher way to solve this problem.

This is a sugestion of how it could be solved from the outher way.
Let's say the antagonist is some guy/girl who's family was killed by the violence on the streets. There hade been a lot of violence for a long time, but the polise was payed to turn a blind eye. He/she seeks vengance against both the crimials and the polise/goverment/whatever and in his/her mind, all people are the same. He/she is an absolut genious and manage to get money from invetions(could be the source of cool weapons in the game) and using this money he/she has the protection of the govorment. Secretly he/she's plotiong to develop a virus that is to wipe out the city and all it's inhabitats. Some of this information is leaked though, and the protagonists hears of this. The antagonist has protection form the govornment because of his money. Thus the protagonist leavs the force to stop him/her.(Side note: The antagonist would prabably want to know why the protagonist would go through so much trouble to save the people who have done nothing for him.)


^This was just to show how the problem could be sloved from the outher way, not a real sugestion.^

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Quote:
Original post by yapposai
I think the corruption works for a rookie but it's not good for a veteran. I'm thinking the cop is like Gordon from Batman, he knows the system is corrupt but still tries his best. To get someone like him to quit you really have to rattle him. Which brings us to the question what can really rattle a cop who probably seen a lot of bad things over his career?
To clarify, I meant a sudden reveal of corruption. Gordon is dealing with constant, low-level corruption, and thus has grown accustomed to it. I am thinking of a situation where the protagonist serves in a largely honest police force, and makes the sudden discovery that his hero/role-model has fallen to corruption, etc.

You can then set up the role-model as the final antagonist (i.e. facing down the father-figure as a finale).

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The father-figure finale and the "antagonist who hates the police and the crime" are both good ideas.

The figure head becoming corrupted idea is a nice. It's cliche, but at the same time, not too cliche to not be boring.

And the antagonist going against everyone through cleverness intellect would lead to a mystery-like gameplay of trying to find out who is performing such bad deeds against the police department.

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Hmm, this is a bit different idea track. You say your character is a "modern paladin" so I take that to mean that his main interest is to stop crime at any cost. And that internal flaw could contribute his problems, rather than strictly an outside force being the cause of his problems.

Say, in the past he was on the trail of some horrible individual criminal, say a serial killer, as they are difficult to track until a pattern in their killings emerge. So somehow the killer and the protagonist confront each other in private (no backup, no witnesses) but the killer has taken the protagonists wife hostage. The protagonist decides to shoot his own wife to (as he justifies it at the time) take away the criminals one bargaining chip and because this might be the one chance to get the criminal. The criminal takes off, and the protagonist decides to try and stop the criminal over his wife's well being, he doesn’t catch the criminal and when he goes back and calls for help, help arrives too late to save her.

Course, his bullet would be found to have shot her and this would probably ostracize him from the rest of the force, not to mention it would probably end up causing him a lot of personal guilt in retrospect. Plus it gives you an antagonist.

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@ Degrader:
I don't quite get it. If he's alone with the serial killer and his wife, and he has a gun... Why doesn't he shoot the killer isntead of his wife? Even if the killer is hiding or something, if he wants to catch the bad-guy, offering his wife, then why wouldn't he go strait for his target?

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@ Kohake

Eah, that’s more of a details issue that the OP (or whoever) would have to fill in. I was more going for an overall motivation presentation where the protagonist is forced out of his job partially due to his own faults rather than strictly outside forces (such as corrupt officials). He is relentless in his pursuit of justice which in turn could be a result of him having too much pride in himself or because he’s become caught up in a revenge fantasy (something in the past makes him hate criminals, you know, like Batman) or maybe he’s just become too attached to his job for his own good.

But if I had to give details, hmm, I suppose one reasoning could be that the killer is holding onto the wife and using her as a shield. Unfortunately the killer is similar in height as the wife so the protagonist only has three real options in shooting:
1. shoot at the guys head (but this is incredibly risky as its hard to hit people in the head IRL and it runs the risk of shooting his wife in the head if the killer or wife make any sudden moves)
2. shoot at the killers legs (also a hard shot as they are partially hidden, plus missing would mean the killer gets a chance to respond)
3. shoot his wife somewhere presumably non-vital and assume the killer would be so surprised that he would let go of her (as a detective shooting at his own wife is pretty unexpected, even a killer would probably be surprised).

Since he doesn’t really want to kill his wife (he’s only shooting at her because he thinks that he has no better option) he opts out of option 1, considers option 2 and goes for option 3. He shoots her in the leg thinking it won’t kill her, and the killer does let go (thinking the detective has lost it or maybe he wants to gloat or something), but unfortunately the protagonist hit an artery in the leg which causes her to bleed out before medics arrive, which can happen IRL.

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I do like how you maki it the protagonists own fault. Making him too extream for the polise to want him. It's one of the few solutions that I don't think is to much of a clishé. I do however, have a problem seeing the sceen you put up. He shoot's his whife to catch the villan, but then he fails to catch the villan, even though it went acording to his plans. As you said, you could make it work, so I supose there's no reason to ask you for details.

I would however like to see how things turned out if he caught the villan. He got what he wanted, but the cost was higher than he expected. I was thinking about that for a while. What if the villan haden't done a crime worth the death penalty, or he might get away since he's got a good lawyer or bribed the joury. The protagonist killed his whife and lost his job, and even though he caught the villan, the villan got to keep his life. Maby he even went free. Alternatly, the villan breaks out of prison. That could lead to either the protagonist wanting revenge on the villan, or the villan wanthing reveng on the protagonist... Or both.

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On the lines of the corruption idea, how about:

The lead character was formerly corrupt. He changed his ways and became a model officer, even overreacting because of his past. He transferred to a new department where he thought no one knew about his past. He gets into an argument with one of the people in his squad, possible a new memeber or an existing rival whose personality he clashes with. That charachter tells him that everyone knows about his past and he will never be accepted.

It would give you the option to explore several areas if you needed to, including the main character's activities whilst corrupt, the thing that made him change and his relationship with the other officers.

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How about instead of the wife getting kidnapped by the antagonist, the wife falls in love with the antagonist. Now he can't kill the antagonist, because he still loves his wife.

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What about one day he comes across a squad seemingly doing something routine. He gets closer and asks if he can lend a hand, and when he approaches close enough to see whats going on he seems the cops chucking bodies in a hole.

Secretly, the low crime rates in the city were from sweeps like this, people not given a chance to defend themselves were buried and covered up.

He flee's from the scene, knowing its a matter of time before he has to tell someone about this, but he can't just do that, he's just one man. So he decides its time to quit the force.

After a brief period of being confused about the life he lead and the choices he makes, he decides to expose the corruption and risk his life - to defend the people of the city as he did once as a cop, but instead as a vigilante one man against this corrupt town.

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These are some very good ideas. The problem with the antagonist idea, however, is that one character already in the story has an antagonist in a similar situation to deal with. And since this is an rpg (I'm sorry for forgetting to mention this), the player is going to be dealing with multiple characters.

larvantholos's idea pretty much fits with what I felt would be a great way to alienate the officer and also returns to the having your beliefs betrayed: aka, corruption in your very own department. When the man leaves the force, he actually takes on the job of an independent weapon supplier and bounty hunter official, which another main character comes to for conversation and weapons. For the time being, he "wishes" to do something about the corruption, but he doesn't know what or how. That is where the main character comes in, who is also a former cop, though younger and moreso left the force due to his brother getting killed by his very own unit due to a misunderstanding at the city's laboratories where he worked. This is the guy who has the antagonist I mentioned: the antagonist is a man who holds a very strict moral code of "balancing good and evil." This same man goes on to become a much higher official, working alongside the service of the city's government's more private law unit. The player is going to run into him a lot throughout the game with the main character continuing getting into mental and sometimes physical conflicts.

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I just thought I'd throw something in here. Why do you want him to necessarily resign in the first place? I think you should look at what you want from the character. I also think your initial concept of modern paladin is possibly not the best place to start. Most cops don't think too much about their faith in humanity. If anything, they're usually cynical, because they see the worst of what humanity is capable of.

The problem here seems to be that you're trying to force a character to suit an idea. Also, the core aspect is sketchy; constant struggle between the law and crime under a warlord like leader is contradictory to low key places or secluded areas. If the city is corrupt, it seems to indicate that violence is everywhere. Most criminals are after money or power, and you don't find much of either in low key, secluded areas. If a city is corrupt, it is run by the criminals (who corrupt it for a reason).

Preusmably the warlord like leader has a reason for being there. If he is already leader, then what could he gain by being corrupt? He'd be on a decent salary I would imagine, and since he's already running the biggest city in the world, he can't really get more power.

Perhaps it can come down to this warlord getting into power? As a result of a fixed election that made a mob boss mayor (i.e. the warlord like leader), could the cop and a number of his buddies go on strike, and then he loses buddies in what is labelled as a massacre when corrupt cops open fire on the striking good cops?

Since the main character is a beat cop, could he then be forced to go underground, hooking up with people he arrested and then learning that the system he served is a total failure? That way he could hook up with some dissidents and set about bringing the warlord mayor down.

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Taerata -

The other way to look at this however is, sometimes it's interesting to see the kind of scenario that would create an interesting character that might hold that modern or old world idealism.

The thing that comes to mind is, "The road to hell is paved with good intentions". Corruption is as simple as I am good I do good. If the measure people uphold outwardly seems reasonable, or is simply acceptable - the social reality is that it moral - and therefore good.

People will overlook a lot to uphold what they believe in as well, and when an ideology seems unbreakable many things can be overlooked until the reality of it becomes so oppressive that it can no longer be overlooked.

The city could be succumbing to corrupt for many reasons. A more obvious turn point in the plot might be the warlord or ultimate ruler of the city is conducting research in secret military labs, yielding terrible results.

Or

There is a movement from someone in the middle ranks - into the upper ranks, and their ambitions are great. And through there ambition they slowly corrupt the city, the leaders of which who are largely kept in the dark by major cover ups. Discovering this, they are cast out of power - and might aid our hero.

This is the great thing about coming up with a great scenario - because instead of thinking why from the point of the character - we now create a character because of the situation he is in. And that really is how we think of Heroes in the broader sense, they rise to the need of the situation they are in because they see through the fog of chaos and do what has to be done.

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I'm going to write a prose of the backstory and post on here for you guys soon so you can get a more indepth look at what I'm going for. Then I can get more detailed critiques, cause I feel like I'm leaving you guys in the dark.

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So this is the 10 O'Clock News game? ;)

Joke that.

One thing on paladin. Historically, paladins were simply Charlemagne's warriors...though originally they were seen as those who "displayed great Christian valor" over time they became your typical peacekeepers who kept the name as a reason to do certain things, much like many wave the banner of God to do wrong.
So when you say modern day paladin this could have lots of meanings just like modern day samurai :)

You could expound on this if you want this to be your key point, and create situations in the game where this "virtuous peacekeeper" makes actual tough choices (through the player of course). Does he let this teen involved in the cult sit ina jail cell after he saw the infernal power the child posseses? On the other hand what does it do to his "code of virtues" if he shoots the kid? Not to mention his career...?

Just a thought. I don't kow what the "it" is that he can't go through procedure to solve so this was just a thought.

Hope that helped and best of luck!

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