[Prompt] What action in your fictional setting would instantly brand a character as the villain?
By - TrashClear483
1. Holding a POW from WWII well into the 21st century.
2. A necromancer raising the entirety of the Paris catacombs.
3. A mummy conducting a coup in modern Egypt, cutting off all communication with the global community, and raiding much of the Mediterranean.
The #2 sounds so sick though
That's the one I have the least details outlined for. It started as a joke with some of my college friends, but I've got a rough idea for an A-Team style ragtag squad of various magic users and magical creatures being sent in to stop him.
*"Life has no meaning."*
You're lucky if you get arrested by police. At least then you have a chance to explain and defend yourself in a civilized system.
Not so lucky if hysterical civilians get to you first; they'll restrain, beat, kneecap, and drag you to the nearest insane asylum - assuming you survive long enough to get there.
At worst, yet the most common reaction, is for civilians to arrest and summarily execute you on the suspicion of being Argentist (occult genocidal nihilist) scum. Even if police encounter you about to be executed, they are not inclined to interfere.
Killing/harming a bird.
Birds in pfoha are believed to carry the souls of all peoples after they have died and before they are born. It is believed a baby's soul is someone who died long ago and who's soul was in a bird until that point.
Therefore, killing a bird is basically seen as murder as its believed to be the direct cause of stillbirths, as well as birth defects. It's also thought that to kill a bird is to forever kill the soul of it. So it's like, double bad.
It's a useful propaganda tool though, since it's really easy to make a villain out of any civilization/culture that consumes birds.
The usual - rape, murder, injecting yourself with a germline gene therapy and having unprotected sex with as many women as you can, to impregnate them with psychotic clown mutants. That happened once.
On a much grander scale, attempting to intentionally trigger [Kessler syndrome](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kessler_syndrome?wprov=sfti1) is one of those things that will get you labeled “enemy of mankind”. The Martians don’t like the Selenites, the Selenites don’t like the Martians, and the Jovians don’t like either, but if someone tries to, say, intentionally fragment a satellite in Mars orbit, not only will the Martians get on your ass, the Selenites will bury the hatchet and get on your ass as well. A government that uses Kessler syndrome as a military tactic has likewise forfeited quarter and mercy, and is likely to face equivalent retribution with the approval of other Solar polities. Which is why nobody even considers it, and attempts are made to avoid it during armed conflict.
If you cut down a tree there is no redemption
So you're the lorax?
No just a religious zealot who belive that humans where saved from there creator the godesses of water by trees and see trees as more important then humans.
A hunter of any sort.
My world is a moon being explored by humanity, and, at this point of time, it's only being used for scientific studies as well as very very low-impact colonisation. The ethos of the program, essentially, is "take nothing but photos, leave nothing but footprints". However, the plot surrounds the discovery that there's hunters hunting the alien life etc.
Eating salt. In Araen culture only those that don't follow Sāmos, their goddess, eat salt. It is seen as impure, and those who eat it are impure.
Interesting. I imagine they have a largely vegetarian diet?
Yes, although occasionally they eat fish straight out of the river
Neat. Salt is so intrinsic in most societies that’s easily overlooked. But that’s a really original spin, sounds pretty cool.
Interesting!! How do they get electrolytes/sodium if they don’t eat salt?
I had to look up what electrolytes were, apparently it has something to do with batteries. The Araen don't have batteries, the world is set in the medievil era
Electrolytes also refer to nutrients that we only take up in very small numbers like kalium, magnesium etc, and vitamins. Salt/natriumchloride is also an electrolyte
They don't live past 20 for a reason I haven't thought of anyways, this could be it.
If they don't know about how to properly nutriate themselves they propably wouldn't even live until 20. But that's one of the uncanny things I would let slide/not care for in a fantasy/sci-fi setting
How do they handle the ocean? Are they seafaring?
They are not. In fact, most of them can't swim.
The burning or destruction of Cynthraxi fungi for non sanctioned reasons. The fungus is a pivotal part of Cynthraxi society, most food is fungus, the defenses of their forests and hives are fungus, to destroy it is to hurt their society as a whole.
For the Gloomhallow Giants it would be worshiping any foreign gods or not killing any animals or people you see on the spot. Their entire race was cursed by the gods after they became far too powerful after a war with a plane of dragons, the gods, and the entire planet. The gods also made the animals on their lands apex predators that don’t need to eat and can breed quickly so their numbers must be constantly culled, to do that may eventually lead to the downfall of their entire race.
Being a Jerk
Plenty of things. Murder, rape, etc, are still classics that convey the same message more or less... There are two actions, however, that will send someone beyond "villain" level anywhere across Terran space.
Treason and child abuse.
>Murder, rape, etc, are still classics
You say still classics but they haven't always been seen as bad but your world seems to be an advanced one so it's easy to understand why they would be seen as bad in your world.
Slavery, on the other hand, isn't. Abusing your slaves kinda falls back into it though.
In the somber lands dealing with witches, demons, or any creature considered by the Amaranthine to be a child of Neric would brand you as a villain.
Using **Planet Crackers.** These are a special type of interstellar cruise missile (ISCM) that does not slow down from faster-than-light speeds when they approach the system in which their target is. As such they slam into their target planet/moon at faster-than-light speeds, penetrating deep through it and causing it to explode from the inside - hence their name.
Planet crackers are banned under the Mandalay Accords (essentially my world’s version of the Geneva Convention), and procuring, producing, and storing them is a war crime in itself, let alone using them - which would almost certainly get you the enmity of virtually every nation in the Galaxy.
My culture places very high value on treating the poor and homeless with respect.
In our world, if someone spits on food, or hides a bug in it, and gives it to a homeless person, that's absolutely despicable to us. And rightly so. It's terrible.
If you did that in this fictional setting, you would actually serve some time in prison for it. And even thereafter, you would be forbidden from selling food, or donating food for use in the communal feasts.
You can attend the feasts, but you'd probably deal with people moving seats to avoid being around you. Which, in a society that is religiously focused on including everyone and a close bond with your community, is a hard slap in the face.
You won't go down in history as a villain, and after you demonstrate that you've changed, the harsh glances and restrictions will end, but it is definitely a horrible taboo to mistreat anyone who is poor. Even the king himself is expected to treat them with the utmost respect.
Violence in general. Since the end of the Great War in 1918 human beings have been incapable of violence, a person capable of violence upsets decades of peace and the possibility of a utopian Earth. Additionally they, at least supposedly, dishonor the millions of martyr's who died in the Great War so that the world could know eternal peace.
Sadly such people are becoming increasingly common as of 1950.
Ooh, the wizard hat thing.
Wizard walks down the street, sees some people in trouble, calling for a mage (as one would call for a fireman/policeman). Wizard hides and takes off his hat, walks past the disaster.
Kill an innocent or steal from them. Life on Xamoyos is harsh, like early humanity levels of harsh. Killing someone or stealing from them is something you just don't do.
Depends on where you live in our world. First of all, it's a still rather medieval world, so rape and abuse, and murder happen a lot and are mostly handled by the authorities of each city/town. For many places, it's still common to treat your wife with beatings or send kids to war, but there are some differences depending on in which nation you are.
Ocriea: Nothing. You gotta survive. People live in small communes. You could be outcasted from the commune but that's more of a personal thing and every member would have a saying.
Eras: Political and economical fraud that would put Eras' position as a neutral providing region in danger. People living in Eras value their status a lot, if you endanger it you'll be the villain of the whole Eras nation. Though you could still go out and be a bad person, as long as you don't endanger Eras as a whole nation common people won't even know about you. Like, you could be a serial killer and hated by the people in the area you're killing spree takes place but people would just execute you once they catch you and move on.
Flamnarth: If you have a record of war crimes and someone in Flamnarth finds out, you'll be hunted. Also - don't be a dick to children in any way. Flamnarth's people value young life and morals. You may force yourself on a woman and a few people would find it wrong but you'd still be fine depending on the city you live in and its laws. But abuse a child in any way and everyone will know your name - you'd be considered one of the worst living beings alive (even though not for long if they catch you).
Aberuthven: Stealing from the rich. Aberuthven will put your name up and paint you so bad that other nations would start to spread rumors about you. Let's just imagine you steal an apple from a princess and get away with it alive, Aberuthven would paint you so baldy in other nations that Eras would think you are a dangerous person committing fraud and putting their status in danger and Flamnarth would believe you'd be the worst kind of child molester with a history of war crimes. Don't dick around in Aberuthven because even though Aberuthven and Flamnarth are at war they will make sure every nation has a reason to see you as the absolute villain, the worst kind of person currently alive.
Steal an apple from a princess and be known as a two-faced child molester with a long list of war crimes and a saying in politics and economics playing hard against Eras' position. This will be your reputation till you're dead, just for stealing an apple.
Ocriea: They don't care.
Serious crimes or being a slaver
With enough propaganda there is no such thing as a villain , but to answer the question , i'll say the very Gods of my world , since they just sit on their asses and watch the world burn wich i find way more evil than doing something actually evil .
Then that would be literally anyone writing any story ever
Because i wanted to go for the ideea of free will . The gods job is to create and maintain the universe , not watching people wank or stopping crimes , people themselves are doing that with their own free will so thats why gods don't bother to listen to prayers or to stop a psycho killing a family. If a god will do something to stop said things , then there is no more free will .
If its bad in reality it tends to be bad in my setting since said setting is not too distant from reality in terms of timeline. Its really a "reality +" setting.
That being said, murdering someone in this setting is seen as double bad to the norm. Why you might ask? The increased human durability brought about by humanity's infusion of Code via gaining of XP.
See, to truly kill someone with HP in this setting, you first have to deplete said HP. Not a big deal, happens all the time. Easily fixed too so depleting someone's HP isn't inherently seen as an evil thing. Dick move sure because you typically force them to respawn which can really screw up someone's day. Particularly if they are the kind of person whose equipment drops on Defeat. Or heaven forbid a hardcore character, who loses everything and reverts to Level 1 when they are Defeated.
No see, once a person's HP is depleted their physical body (if they have one left - purely digital beings are simply forced to respawn. If they have no party members left standing to anchor them to the fight anyway) becomes vulnerable to direct attack. But any digitized source of damage is highly reduced in this situation. Akin to your sword suddenly turning into a spoon.
Can you kill a man with a spoon? Sure, but it is going to take longer and it's going to hurt more. Even using a real weapon (like say, a non-digital gun) is weirdly less lethal than before the Catastrophe. Humanity has become extremely durable even before gaining Code in the post Catastrophe world, and this only becomes moreso with it.
So you can understand why attacking someone enough to actually kill them is a most premeditated act of truly ducked up evil in my setting. Above and beyond the traditional "killing is bad m'kay?" Logic we are quickly taught as children in reality.
To top it off? it's not even that worthwhile. Sure, you get more XP from it, but even said XP has that fundamental wrongness to it. That you now carry forever. Even if you spend it all on something you later lose.
Getting married without party approval. It is seen as splitting loyalty between the party and a spouse, which is unacceptable.
Owning an unregistered water vessel could get you branded as a terrorist/spy/enemy of the state…
Yeah there was some bad blood in the past with an entirely seafaring nation and now everyone’s paranoid of them living amongst them, which they are but yeah
Openly practicing any form of organized religion, particularly worship of the false 'gods', Nox in particular.
Doing so in the modern Union is akin to parading around in a SS uniform in post-ww2 Germany, even using war-Era iconography outside of appropriate historical context is a federal offense.
So yeah, if you ever end up working in the Maréchal film industry have your villain offer a sacrifice to the Dragon Queen.
Put on something simple as aviator sunglasses and a red with black visored cap with a (specific) shiny skull and crossbones emblem and you are immediately seen as an outlaw, more specifically an aerial pirate. It was part of a infamous band of airship based outlaws their uniform dresscode, with the captain wearing a similar coloured tricorne or a bicorn, the group that vanished long ago who's legacy has started many a fiction story which has a stigma attached to these items in particular (rest doesn't matter) which used to be millitary in nature. Its akin to walking over the streets with a nazi cap and symbolism in clear display in berlin.
Not to be confused with the memetic joke variants which are distasteful but common, like you can get the clearly faux offbrand soldiers uniform and pirate outfits from costume stores these days in general.
Also as an action in and of itself, crushing a (dead) sapient being their skull on purpose, as in a skull from a grave or ossuary, not only is that seen as offensive it is also seen as disrespectful and dishonourable, akin to kicking a child or puppy then laughing about it, the average morality is not that much different from ours.
In my world, a company called VQX.Co is the legal owner of the Afterlife, and if you want to have a happy life, you have got to get Afterlife Insurance. The whole world hates them, so associating yourself with the company in a positive manner will make the population start using your name as a bad word.
Being a dick too serving staff and underlings
My main character, right now, has been currently raised by the leader of an Assassin Alliance and also a member of the Order of Moonlit Whispers, who are feared for their poison skills and not their spy skills though they are both equal, and by a killer whale mermaid who can and will suggest the traditional method of eating your enemies but only a little because it's kind of gross. My main character has witnessed, and helped assist, a planet be forced under one rule by a siren who can and has ripped out people's hearts and taking a bite out. (After the other person is dead there's always the awkward moment of do I spit this out or?)
They have no clue what's normal and are pretty much fine with anything. Mass murder for the fun of it? MC might stab you since they're gaining these 'morals'. Kicking a dog? Dogs don't exist in my world! Raising the dead? Good for you! Attempting to force someone to do something they might want? Will probably ask said person if they want any help dealing with the said force and then leave.
MC has been told that some things are unacceptable such as paralyzing people and cutting them open alive and rape. MC can and will stop said things from happening whether or not said person is a person or sentient.
The subversion of free choice through magic.
As such, any enchantment based magic user cannot directly assert their will over others, but instead attempts to channel the target’s emotions, intensifying or dulling specific feelings, so they decide to follow the course of action themselves.
This makes magic such as the Dominate Person or Geas spells from 5E as an example, HIGH key illegal
On Talvaros, that would be abuse. If You hurt someone less powerful than You for a reason other than survival, You're not gonna have a good time.
Mistreating cats is also generally frowned upon.
slavery? work? what's the difference?
murder? big deal...
rape? happens all the time!
child abuse? at least you get to meet them...
but treason? nah meyt, ya better end ya life the quick way before they arrive!
They control the rarer easier to manipulate race of magic humans