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Red Fel
2015-10-15, 07:17 PM
I made a guide. It's not like I did it for you, or anything.


http://images6.fanpop.com/image/answers/3387000/3387925_1381871877953.6res_348_300.jpg

Making Cliches Suck Less, Vol. I:
Getting Dere is Half the Fun

"I was pouring out on him everything that was in my heart, cries of anger and cries of joy."
- Albert Camus

I. Introduction

Inspired by this thread (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?450807-Tsundere-Paladin), I realized that there are certain archetypes which some players, jokingly or otherwise, attempt to play. I decided, "Well, if I can write a guide to the Lawful Evil alignment (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?448542-Compliance-Will-Be-Rewarded-A-Guide-to-Lawful-Evil), surely I can write a humorous and engaging guide to playing a borderline psychotic character without it turning into a tired cliche."

So, challenge accepted. This is a guide to how to play the four classic "dere" archetypes - the Tsundere, Yandere, Kuudere, and oft-overlooked Dandere. The goal is to help communicate these concepts to those unfamiliar with them, and to offer ways for characters to express these personality traits without becoming grating, hated, obnoxious wastes of flesh who inspire in us the desire for swift, bloody murder.

Let's see how that works out.


II. What is a "dere"?
http://data.whicdn.com/images/232541084/large.gif
Shown: Yandere, Kuudere, Tsundere, Dandere.

In Japanese popular culture, there are four terms to describe (generally) female characters who demonstrate rather severe personality shifts. Generally, these characters are presented as possible romantic interests; the term "dere" comes from deredere, which is an onamotapoetic meaning "lovestruck." Basically, each of these four archetypes presents with a different reaction to romance. In short, they are:

Tsundere: Possibly the most well-known of the four deres. The "tsun" in Tsundere comes from tsuntsun, which means to be high and mighty or standoffish. The Tsundere is, in brief, a character who is initially offputting, hostile, or arrogant, but eventually reveals a gentler romantic side. Yandere: Possibly the most terrifying of the four deres. The "yan" in Yandere comes from yanderu, which means to be sick, in this case mentally. The Yandere is in some ways the opposite of the Tsundere. While the Tsundere is initially hostile, but becomes warm and romantic, the Yandere is initially romantic, but becomes obsessive and psychotic. Kuudere: Possibly the most adorable of the deres. The "kuu" in Kuudere comes from kuuru, the Japanese pronunciation of "cool." This is the defining trait of the Kuudere; she is initially cold and distant, but warms up over time. The Kuudere is similar to the Tsundere, but in another direction; where the Tsundere is initially hot-blooded and off-putting, but becomes warm and affectionate, the Kuudere is initially cold-blooded and distant, but reveals a caring side. Dandere: Possibly the most unknown of the deres. The "dan" in Dandere comes from danmari, meaning silent. The Dandere is a character who comes across as antisocial until she finds the right person. Once such a person is found, the Dandere becomes friendly and even playful. Dandere is often confused with Kuudere, but while Danderes are simply antisocial or awkward, Kuuderes come across as virtually emotionless.
So, what's the point of all this? Well, if you play a dere archetype as written, chances are your character will be obnoxious and unlikable. Not to mention the fact that these are primarily romantic archetypes, and if you're not playing in a romantic game, that can get super awkward. So the goal here is to find a way to play these archetypes with depth and complexity that makes them less odious, and to find a way to use them outside of a romantic context.

Unless you're playing a harem comedy game. In which case, heaven have mercy on you.

After a brief recess, we'll discuss each of these archetypes in more detail.

Red Fel
2015-10-15, 07:18 PM
III. Tsundere

http://i.kinja-img.com/gawker-media/image/upload/niv7cyfkzbqkswj0d9z7.png

"Why, you stuck up, half-witted, scruffy-looking nerf herder!"
Princess Leia Organa, Star Wars

A. So What Is It?

A Tsundere is, traditionally, a strong, independent, and hostile character who harbors a secret, affectionate side. When confronted with evidence of this inner gentleness, the Tsundere's natural reaction is hostile - insults, loud voices, and occasionally physical violence.

Picture the scene. Tsundere has brought Protagonist a boxed lunch that she made herself. She is blushing furiously. "I made some," she says, "and I had some left over. It's not like I did it just for you, or anything." He takes a bite and smiles. "It's good! Thanks!" She blushes even more, and starts stammering. "Y-y-you... You JERK!" And then she punches him in the face.


B. So What's Wrong With That?

Well, to put it simply, Tsundere occupy that nexus point between overplayed and unpleasant. Tsunderes have been done well, done poorly, and done very poorly, but more importantly they've been done. There are just so many illustrations, and they get annoying.

Take a moment to think about a character who is capable, confident, and on point, and yet anytime she does anything helpful, her natural reaction is to lose her composure and become a complete jerk. It's unpleasant. You don't want to be around people like that. Your characters shouldn't want to be around people like that.


C. So How Can I Do It Better?

Step one is to understand the motivation that makes a person Tsundere. A classic example of this is pressure. The Tsundere has to be the best. She has to be strong, smart, graceful, capable. She doesn't do well with competition, she doesn't do well with weakness, and she doesn't like people seeing things in her that she hates.

Because that's the key. The Tsundere hates her inner gentle nature, seeing it as a flaw. So when other people see it in her - or when she sees it in others - her natural reaction is hostility.

Having identified the core of the Tsundere, the next step is to make it less frustrating to deal with. Having characters who value their own strength or abilities is normal. Having characters who dislike one of their own traits is normal. Play it that way. A character who tries to suppress or conceal a gentle nature or a warm heart. Tone down the aggression and hostility, saving it for precise and rare scenes rather than constant abuse. Allow the character to show some weakness, which is what the Tsundere's character arc inevitably leads to anyways. Do that, and maybe people might even like your Tsundere.

Next, we embrace her strong suit. The Tsundere's strength is, appropriately, strength. She has to be the best. The smartest, the strongest, the hardest-working. She has to know it, and she has to show it. The drive to be great isn't a bad thing. We can temper her arrogance about it a bit, but there's no harm in being just a bit proud of your awesomeness.

Against that, we balance her weakness, which is her fear of weakness. Because she has to be strong, she's afraid of being weak. That makes sense, and it also gives her an expressable vulnerability. But even with a fear of weakness, you can do positive things. That fear of weakness becomes a driving force, and can afford her some emotional moments when she realizes that depending on others doesn't have to mean weakness.

Put together, the Tsundere becomes an achiever. In a fantasy setting, she could be the prodigy wizard or the swordsman with an eye on the perfect technique. In a more modern campaign, she could be an all-A student, a model or professional athlete, a CEO, or anybody in an environment that demands constant perfection and scrutinizes one for flaws. In a space setting, she easily fits the mold of the crack marksman or ace pilot.

Red Fel
2015-10-15, 07:20 PM
IV. Yandere

http://vignette3.wikia.nocookie.net/batman/images/a/a0/Nicholson_joker.jpg

"As though we were made for each other... Beauty and the Beast. Of course, if anyone else calls you beast, I'll rip their lungs out."
The Joker, Batman (1989)

A. So What Is It?

A Yandere is psychotically obsessed with her idealized romantic vision. She will fixate on a person whom she believes to be her romantic partner - whether that person reciprocates or even knows of her affections is irrelevant - and create in her mind an image of how that romance should go. If anyone or anything interferes with that image, her reaction is violent and terrifying. If the object of her affections fails to meet her standards, her violence may even be directed towards him, until he learns his place.

Picture the scene. Yandere has brought Protagonist a boxed lunch that she made herself. She decorated the box with hearts and spent all weekend practicing how to make his favorite foods. He takes one bite and winces - she practically drowned it in ginger. She sees the gesture, and her eyes widen. "You don't like it?" Then her voice drops into a feral growl. "You don't... like it?" And her fist clenches until she draws blood.


B. So What's Wrong With That?

You're playing a stab-happy obsessive delusional lunatic. In most games, absolutely nothing.

All joking aside, Yandere make terrible characters as written. First, they require a romantic context. Other deres can be played as more general emotional personality types - the Tsundere is proud and conceals softness, the Kuudere is distant and conceals warmth, and the Dandere is antisocial and conceals kindness. The Yandere is specifically fixated on romance.

More than that, the Yandere is completely, ever-loving insane. You ever read or watch Misery? Annie Wilkes is freaking terrifying. There is no world in which that character plays well with others.


C. So How Can I Do It Better?

Step one is softening the romantic angle. It's an integral part of the concept, but it doesn't have to be the sole focus. Allow that the character has a love-issue; she falls in love too easily and has her heart broken quite often by unrealistic expectations. That's not uncommon as a character trait, and frankly makes for some entertaining and emotional plots. Further, if she ever finds true love, it becomes that much more rewarding.

Step two is tempering her psychotic rage. It's fine to be passionate about things. It's fine to lose it from time to time. But much like we need to ease up on the Tsundere's tendency towards retaliatory abuse, we need to direct the Yandere's passion more productively. Whipping out a chainsaw because another PC commented on her latest failed love affair is bad. But brandishing a weapon and proclaiming herself as a "Warrior for Love and Justice" is fine, if a bit hammy. Work that angle. Become fiercely protective of the idea of love, rather than a particular ideal.

So we've established that the Yandere has a strong characteristic - her devotion. Yandere are, at their hearts, idealists, devoted to a person and a concept. They create this blissful, albeit delusional, image of their desires, and they let nothing stand in their way. That's a good thing! The trick is harnessing that strong characteristic in a positive direction, rather than a negative direction.

We have to also embrace the Yandere's negative characteristic - delusion. Now, delusion may be a strong word; it's more of an overdeveloped naive idealism. The point is, the Yandere sees the world as she wants it to be, rather than as it is. Again, that's not a terrible thing - Don Quixote had the same problem, and was an amazing character. You can do positive things with that.

Thus, the Yandere can become a great zealot; a towering figure or mercy or justice, compassion or fury, depending on where you steer her devotion. It's not far-fetched to suggest that a Yandere, after tempering her more chaotic urges, might make a decent paladin, or champion of a deity of love and justice. In a more modern game, she might be a social activist, an ecoterrorist, a hacktivist, or other person madly devoted to making the world more like she thinks it should be. In a space-themed game, she could be a diplomat, furiously rallying the planetary council, or she could be the ship's engineer, gleefully anthropomorphizing the engine.

Red Fel
2015-10-15, 07:21 PM
V. Kuudere

http://www.followingthenerd.com/site/wp-content/uploads/harold-ramis-ghostbusters-628-e1393604785321.jpg

"I collect spores, molds, and fungus."
- Egon Spengler, Ghostbusters

A. So What Is It?

A Kuudere is a character who doesn't react. She will stand there, that same unresponsive expression, perhaps with a tilted head or slightly raised eyebrow. Deep inside, however, is someone who longs to be the opposite - she wants to react, she wants to rejoice and love and be loved.

Picture the scene. Kuudere has brought Protagonist a boxed lunch that she made herself. "Social status is frequently measured by the company one keeps," she intones. "Eating beside you will make me appear more approachable." He blinks, and starts to respond, but she interrupts him. "Your conversation is neither necessary nor desired." They eat together in awkward silence.


B. So What's Wrong With That?

Did you plan on playing a robot that secretly wants to be human? That's basically how the Kuudere plays until her development arc rolls around. She doesn't react; she speaks in a monotone; at times she alternates between so keenly perceptive she regularly hurts feelings with her blunt observations, and so utterly oblivious to the basics of human interactions that you'd swear her UFO landed yesterday. It's a tired trope that gets old. Nobody needs to hear "What is 'girls night out'?" seventeen times.


C. So How Can I Do It Better?

Step one, as with Tsundere, is understanding the motivation. A fairly easy one to grasp is the character who has been repressed all her life. There are ample examples in various media. Perhaps she has a power tied to her emotions, so she has learned to control the former by limiting the latter. Perhaps she lives in a judgmental New England town where everyone knows and watches everyone else, and has learned to comport her behaviors under scrutiny. Whatever the reason, there is a caged beast that has been chained up so long that it has forgotten how to run free.

Let that passion out. Give the character sudden punctuating bursts of anger, joy, shock, despair, before having her crawl back behind her walls. Teach her to open up in little ways, a joke here (a good one, not a robot one), a smirk there. Let the cracks in the mask become more visible. And when it shatters completely, give her complete joy to make up for the years of empty gray.

The Kuudere's strength is her composure. She keeps her head when those around her are losing theirs, and that is an awesome talent to have. More importantly, it means that when her composure does break, it becomes more meaningful - or more entertaining.

Her weakness comes from the same source. It's her emotional distance. This is a hard thing to overcome in a social game, but it's still possible to harness it in a positive direction. Emotional distance gives her a hell of a poker face, for an example. Some situations require severity - war, execution, any scenario where you have to do the hard thing. The Kuudere's emotional wall enables her to do these things in the moment. She can show remorse later.

The Kuudere naturally gravitates towards scholarly or tedious pursuits, where a more emotional person might experience boredom or frustration. In a fantasy game, she could be the royal treasurer, a monastic martial artist, or an ascetic cleric. In a more modern game, she could be a scientist or librarian, a judge, a military commander, or anyone who needs to keep order with a cool head and a sharp word. In a futuristic game, she could work in a laboratory or as a code monkey, she could be a ship's captain, or she could be the head of a planet-spanning corporation's legal division.

Red Fel
2015-10-15, 07:22 PM
VI. Dandere

http://vignette4.wikia.nocookie.net/pixar/images/e/ef/Violet_at_school.jpg

"He looked at me."
Violet Parr, The Incredibles

A. So What Is It?

A Dandere is someone who is antisocial while secretly waiting for the right person. Unlike the Kuudere, who is social but unemotive, the Dandere is antisocial, hiding from people or just outright avoiding them. What she really longs for, however, is companionship.

Picture the scene. Protagonist is sitting down to eat lunch. He turns away for a moment, and when he looks back, his brown-bagged lunch is gone, replaced by a fancier boxed lunch. He doesn't appear to notice a figure crouched in the bushes behind him. He looks around for the lunch's owner, and when nobody comes, he shrugs and starts to eat it. Dandere watches from the bushes while he eats, a faint blush on her face.


B. So What's Wrong With That?

Are you a fan of having absolutely no lines of dialogue? It's virtually impossible for a Dandere, as written, to play in a party, unless you keep her hidden behind bushes or around corners, sniping at enemies or throwing out buffs. When a major part of the game is social, playing a character defined by her antisocial nature simply doesn't work.


C. So How Can I Do It Better?

Again, step one is understanding her motivation. Perhaps she's insecure about herself, her appearance, or her value as a person. Perhaps she has been belittled about her worth or personality for so long that she has come to believe it. Perhaps she was traumatized, or deeply hurt, by someone close to her. Perhaps she has some dark secret, or believes that she does, which endangers those close to her. Whatever the reason, first you need to know why she keeps herself apart.

And then, for one brief moment, completely ignore it.

Find a reason to reach out to the other player characters. Perhaps your character is in danger. Perhaps she is desperate. Perhaps she's drunk. Whatever the reason, have her reach out to others. The Dandere, having bridged that gulf once, will not fully withdraw into herself again. Let the other player characters become the wall she hides behind. She can still be nervous around strangers, still a bit secretive and withdrawn - plenty of characters are - but having made contact with other people, let her cling to that. Not in a creepy way, but if the other player characters are the only people to whom she's gotten close, she should understandably be very protective of them.

Let her periodically come out of her shell for that reason, too. That willingness to bridge the interpersonal gulf with others in order to intervene on her friends' behalf can still have meaning. Moreso, in some ways, because she'll have allowed her friends to get close to her first.

You'll find that the strength of a Dandere comes from her willpower. It takes profound strength to keep others away for so long, particularly when you secretly long for companionship. That willpower can be directed into a variety of positive avenues, too numerous to list here.

However, that strength is offset against her weakness, anxiety. Whatever her reasons, the Dandere fears interaction with others, and that anxiety keeps her away. It is that same anxiety that keeps her from fully harnessing her indomitable willpower. But anxiety isn't a fatal flaw by any definition; as with those of the other deres, it can be harnessed in positive directions. Anxiety keeps the party on their toes, and keeps the Dandere open to the possibility of plans going wrong, and how to prepare for that. The trick is to turn that anxiety into something useful, instead of a wall between the Dandere and other characters.

In a fantasy campaign, the Dandere tends to be a hermit, like a solitary cleric or druid. In a modern setting, she could be a blogger, a librarian, an archivist, any job that allows her space to herself, and requires others to come to her. In a futuristic setting, she could be a ship's engineer or quartermaster, a recluse with a weird power, or a settler on a largely uninhabited planet.

Red Fel
2015-10-15, 07:23 PM
VII. Other Notes

Just a few quick thoughts.


A. Why Isn't Yangire Listed?

First off, let me define Yangire. Yangire is a character who snaps. The term comes from yanderu (sick), like in Yandere, and gire, meaning to cut or snap. It's a character who has a trigger, and when the trigger goes off she goes into a truly disturbing homicidal frenzy. Not the funny sort, like Yandere, that we can laugh at because, ha ha, she's overreacting to things involving the object of her affections. No, this is the scary kind of murder frenzy. (I mean, I would still laugh, but I'm horrible.)

Yangire isn't on the list for two reasons. First, unlike the dere tropes, which describe a more general personality, Yangire deals with a specific tendency - a tendency to flip out into a murderous rage. That tendency can be applied to almost any character, virtually irrespective of general personality tendencies. Second, the dere tropes are specifically romantic tropes, while the Yangire is a more general, broad trope.

Basically, it tends to play as highly unstable and schizophrenic. If you want a guide to playing a genuinely insane character, this isn't it.


B. Seriously, Why Can't I Play a Dere As-Written?

Let me give you the example of one of the classic archetypes of Tsundere: Asuka Souryuu Langley, from Neon Genesis Evangelion. This is her.


http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_md32rwo76P1rvbjx3o1_500.gif

She is, to my sentiments and those of others, a truly loathsome creature. She constantly belittles those around her, becomes increasingly hostile to those who try to be friendly, has highly inappropriate feelings towards an older man (which edge towards Yandere), becomes increasingly hostile when it is revealed that, no, she is not the single greatest person on the planet, becomes increasingly hostile when required to work with others, becomes increasingly hostile when she does not get her way...

... and deep down she's sensitive or something.

She is the most tsuntsun Tsundere imaginable. Eventually, after many episodes of learning to despise her, we are introduced to her formative tragic moment. For many people, that paints her in a new light, but for some (like me), it's too little, too late.

You do not want to play this character. You do not want to be in a party with this character. If you met this person at school or at work, you would dislike them, avoid them, or simply hope for their humiliating failure.

The same holds true of other deres. Dokuro-chan (Bludgeoning Angel Dokuro-Chan) is an adorable Yandere, and frequently brutally murders her love interest before bringing him back to life. Rei (Neon Genesis again), Kuudere, is a cold, unemotive doll, sometimes literally. Hinata (Naruto), Dandere, alternates between stealth character and stalker for much of the series. These are characters whose interactions with other characters are at times terrifying, at times obnoxious, and at other times nonexistent - there really is no middle ground.

Tabletop games are a social exercise. Party dynamics are a social exercise. Unless your players are willing to put up with rotten characters in the party for the sole reason that PCs are to be tolerated, a dere as-written won't fly. That's why you need to temper the dere.


C. And How Do I Do That?

Well, I've given illustrations in each section. But the basic idea is to take the defining character trait and make it a more general personality trait. The Tsundere is proud and ashamed of weakness. The Yandere is fiercely protective. The Kuudere is cold and distant. The Dandere is shy or awkward. These are not inherently bad things. It's when they're taken to an irrational extreme, ostensibly for comedy, that they become unplayable.

So you take these concepts and temper them. Expand on the character, rather than simply using the behavior. Lessen the severity and increase the complexity. Rather than simply having your Tsundere's knee-jerk reaction to be punching someone and calling them a jerk, show emotion. Show some barely-restrained anger, or frustration, or worry. Rather than having your Kuudere stand around staring blankly, have her make awkward attempts at showing emotion. Rather than having your Dandere hiding behind objects, have her metaphorically hide behind her friends. Or literally, if she's tiny, because that's just adorable. Rather than having your Yandere flip out murder everyone, have her murder the ones who deserve it.


D. Character Growth: The Man vs. Self Conflict

Part of what defines a -dere is their character growth - for example, from a tsuntsun to a deredere. Part of what defines a badly written -dere is a lack of evolution where you would expect it - where, for example, you see an abundance of tsuntsun, but no real or permanent deredere.

Character growth is therefore essential to making one of these characters more human, and more relatable. Towards that end, the narrative struggle of Man vs. Self - a character fighting against his or her negative aspects, hangups, and handicaps, and coming out of it a stronger, more whole person - is a vital part of the evolution arc. This sentiment has been expressed downthread, as follows:


Some of the -deres already include some element of Man vs Self (which is my absolute favorite story conflict, especially when it's a moral conflict). I feel that adding a constant conscience to Yandere-based characters is another way to temper their psychotic rage (besides just redirecting their passion). This would constantly give them an inner conflict of what they feel is right vs what they want to do. Snapping or feeling hatred at their friends' mistakes fills them with guilt; they strive to fight their enemies without falling into bloodlust.

This also gives room for a Fall from Grace or a Redemptive Storyline or a story where the antagonists tempt them to give into the dark side, or it can even be a story about maturing and learning to control or direct their urges. Of course, these moral conflicts don't work in every story or game but I simply love stories where the hero (or even the villain) are in conflict with their own feelings.

I mean, summary: something else that can be done to make the Yandere (and possibly even the Tsundere, I guess) more playable is by making a conscience a defining trait, regardless of whether or not they always follow their conscience.

This is a solid point. For a character who is known to have a temper, to be combative, or to be possibly psychotic, introducing the element of a constant and consistent conscience creates emotional depth and a bit of healthy drama - it forces the character to confront and hold him- or herself accountable for his or her actions. Similarly, imbuing an emotionally distant character like a kuudere or dandere with a desire for companionship creates an internal conflict to drive that character closer to the party, despite a marked tendency to be otherwise removed or distant.

Red Fel
2015-10-15, 07:25 PM
VIII. Acknowledgements

It's not like you helped, or anything...

Okay, now open to comments. More content to come.

Vrock_Summoner
2015-10-15, 07:34 PM
You made this? For us? :smallredface: I-I mean... Not that we like it or anything...

...Thanks...

We're very happy you've shown so much will to craft this up. If you don't finish it, we'll be very sad. Of course you don't want to make us sad...

sound of knife sharpening in the background

... Right, senpai?

GrayGriffin
2015-10-15, 07:43 PM
Might be useful to add a caption to that gif in the first post telling which type each of those girls are, since they aren't ordered in the same order you used.

Draconium
2015-10-15, 07:50 PM
Oh my gosh, it really happened. :smallbiggrin: I'm cracking up...

*tsundere mode activated* Though it's not like I wanted you to do this for us...

Red Fel
2015-10-15, 07:52 PM
Oh my gosh, it really happened. :smallbiggrin: I'm cracking up...

*tsundere mode activated* Though it's not like I wanted you to do this for us...

Actually, I had it mapped out this afternoon when the topic first came up. I just wasn't sure if I wanted to get started on it until people were saying "Why isn't this a thing yet?"

Right now, the goal is format. I want to communicate (1) what the concept actually is, (2) why making this as a character in any setting other than a harem comedy RPG is a terrible idea, and (3) how to present the character in a way that isn't tantamount to blasphemy.

... That's actually a pretty decent format.

Amphetryon
2015-10-15, 07:59 PM
I will be truly fascinated to see examples of Characters that are not simply archetypes, memes, and tropes, that are merely played with and sometimes subverted.

Draconium
2015-10-15, 08:05 PM
Actually, I had it mapped out this afternoon when the topic first came up. I just wasn't sure if I wanted to get started on it until people were saying "Why isn't this a thing yet?"

Right now, the goal is format. I want to communicate (1) what the concept actually is, (2) why making this as a character in any setting other than a harem comedy RPG is a terrible idea, and (3) how to present the character in a way that isn't tantamount to blasphemy.

... That's actually a pretty decent format.

That's... actually a pretty good idea. I'm surprised you put so much thought and detail into it. Though I would like to say that using a few of the traits of these character types could be usable in other situations, as long as you don't go overboard.

Keledrath
2015-10-15, 08:07 PM
I hereby nominate Red Fel for the Nobel Prize in Ropelaying Aids

Okay, that typo is funny enough that I have to leave it.

goto124
2015-10-15, 08:10 PM
3.5e has Use Rope as a skill.

Seems wierdly relevant.

Should I tell the GM I'm playing a 'tsundere', or should I just attempt to play a fleshed-out character who isn't defined by the term 'tsundere'?

nedz
2015-10-15, 08:27 PM
Oh wow — Deredo
Curious at what these meant
And now I do know

I'm a bit wary of showing these to my players though, we don't really do the R thing.


I will be truly fascinated to see examples of Characters that are not simply archetypes, memes, and tropes, that are merely played with and sometimes subverted.

Perhaps a section on how to Lampshade the Deres ?

Hiro Protagonest
2015-10-15, 08:44 PM
B. So What's Wrong With That?

Are you a fan of having absolutely no lines of dialogue?

This is why "just play yourself" doesn't work for me in TTRPGs. I am basically dandere. >_>

Red Fel
2015-10-15, 08:50 PM
That's... actually a pretty good idea. I'm surprised you put so much thought and detail into it. Though I would like to say that using a few of the traits of these character types could be usable in other situations, as long as you don't go overboard.

That's the goal. Playing a full-on dere simply doesn't work well. But playing a character with dere traits can work wonderfully.


Should I tell the GM I'm playing a 'tsundere', or should I just attempt to play a fleshed-out character who isn't defined by the term 'tsundere'?

The second one. Unless you're playing a harem comedy, heaven help you. I don't like labels on my characters. Play a complete person who defies labels. Be awesome.


Perhaps a section on how to Lampshade the Deres ?

That's part of the goal. They have to be lampshaded or subverted, at least partially, to work in a game. You can't play them as-is.

And with that, I'm done for the night. Red Fel is exhausted. I welcome comments and suggestions, and will be working on this more over the coming days.

Hiro Protagonest
2015-10-15, 08:52 PM
Subversions of the deres? I think Emi Ibarazaki is an interesting variant of kuudere. She's cheerful and upbeat, until you try to get close to her...

She's from Katawa Shoujo (http://www.katawa-shoujo.com), by the way.

Amphetryon
2015-10-15, 09:26 PM
Perhaps a section on how to Lampshade the Deres ?
Is it your contention that Lampshading them is not, somehow, playing with the archetypes, memes, and tropes?

LudicSavant
2015-10-15, 11:30 PM
A practical example of yandere in medieval fantasy, maybe?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ggaWA51OrhI

GrayGriffin
2015-10-16, 01:06 AM
This might not always work, but it might be useful to have a pet/companion that your character can demonstrate more affection for, and also have that pet/companion be more willing to seek out the other characters as a bridge. This could probably work for everything except Yandere.

Draconium
2015-10-16, 01:09 AM
This might not always work, but it might be useful to have a pet/companion that your character can demonstrate more affection for, and also have that pet/companion be more willing to seek out the other characters as a bridge. This could probably work for everything except Yandere.

Well, I could see yandere for a pet/companion too. Mainly in the fact that you'd be affectionate towards it, but hurt it (or nearly kill it, if it's one of those that are designed to be front-line fighters), and the character's berserk button goes off.

nedz
2015-10-16, 04:07 AM
Is it your contention that Lampshading them is not, somehow, playing with the archetypes, memes, and tropes?

No of course not.

I suspect that this works a bit like Rules 34 and 35.

There's a Trope for every character.

If for some reason you create a character for which there isn't a Trope, then that character becomes a new Trope.

Red Fel
2015-10-16, 09:28 AM
Subversions of the deres? I think Emi Ibarazaki is an interesting variant of kuudere. She's cheerful and upbeat, until you try to get close to her...

She's from Katawa Shoujo (http://www.katawa-shoujo.com), by the way.

Tempting as it may be, I'd like to avoid relying too heavily on anime sources. Too easy, and not accessible to those who don't watch anime.

Further, I also want illustrations of how these archetypes should be played, as opposed to how they're shown.

Right now, though, I've kind of hit a speed bump. I know where I want to go with this, but I'm having a tricky time communicating it.

BWR
2015-10-16, 11:00 AM
Subversions of the deres? I think Emi Ibarazaki is an interesting variant of kuudere. She's cheerful and upbeat, until you try to get close to her...

She's from Katawa Shoujo (http://www.katawa-shoujo.com), by the way.

Emi's the opposite of a kuudere, isn't she? In our own Rainy Knight's High School Harem Comedy game she would be more like a Genki-Sports Star than Kuudere.

CarpeGuitarrem
2015-10-16, 12:30 PM
Aw man, brilliant! Really cool guide, and I love the non-anime examples. The breakdown of each type was great, as well.

Inevitability
2015-10-16, 12:33 PM
A dere-guide? Okay, I guess.

Aguidethere'saguidenowthisisawesome!!!

Jelly d6
2015-10-16, 03:03 PM
Red Fel, Dere Master, I bow before your wisdom. :smallredface:

Jenerix525
2015-10-16, 05:42 PM
I don't see why everyone's making a big deal out of this. It's nothing special.
But... Well... You can be a little proud of yourself, I guess. If you feel like you have to.



That's the goal. Playing a full-on dere simply doesn't work well. But playing a character with dere traits can work wonderfully.

The second one. Unless you're playing a harem comedy, heaven help you. I don't like labels on my characters. Play a complete person who defies labels. Be awesome.

That's part of the goal. They have to be lampshaded or subverted, at least partially, to work in a game. You can't play them as-is.

I'd disagree with that last statement; It's fine to play 'em straight, as long as you listen to the earlier points.
These are character traits, not characters. Heck, it's fine if they're the primary defining trait of a character, as long as they're not the only one. And the player should remember that it might never come up during a dungeon-crawl. Okay, so the character probably has comparable reactions to the stress of adventuring, which will make it a little relevant.

Snowbluff
2015-10-19, 09:55 PM
I don't see how this has anything to do with me.

Red Fel
2015-10-20, 11:58 AM
I don't see how this has anything to do with me.

And here I thought you were an expert. Something something anime gif something.

Velaryon
2015-10-20, 02:45 PM
Red Fel, Dere Master, I bow before your wisdom. :smallredface:

More like Deredevil! :smallcool:


...I'm sorry. *goes to sit in the corner in shame*

Cluedrew
2015-10-20, 03:19 PM
One thing you talked about that I liked is the "if you met this person" angle. In stories there are a lot of relationships and just characters that simply would not function without the plot demanding it and a reality test like that can help weed them out. Good write up all around.

Red Fel
2015-10-20, 04:25 PM
One thing you talked about that I liked is the "if you met this person" angle. In stories there are a lot of relationships and just characters that simply would not function without the plot demanding it and a reality test like that can help weed them out. Good write up all around.

Thanks! I don't pretend that it's a finished product, though. I still feel that it's missing something, and any additional suggestions would be welcomed.

Come on, people! That Acknowledgements section won't fill itself!

Honest Tiefling
2015-10-20, 04:29 PM
Perhaps this needs some silly example characters. Like the Tsundere paladin, which spawned this thread. Or a Yandere cleric?

For some reason, I feel that the DnD Iconics (or other bland iconics from other games) need to be rewritten with this guide in mind.

TheCountAlucard
2015-10-20, 04:39 PM
A nice little guide, Red Fel, and another quality series of posts from you!

That said, I'd initially passed over this thread because of the title, expecting it to be an exhortation against the Teleport line of spells, possibly involving WH40K's Orkz. :smalltongue:

Keltest
2015-10-20, 04:41 PM
How about you actually create a character following your guide? Show the step by step process used to create a character who could reasonably find a party that allows them to fulfill their emotional drives?

Cluedrew
2015-10-20, 06:11 PM
I still feel that it's missing something, and any additional suggestions would be welcomed.If I had to take a guess I would say something on expanding on "the protagonist" might be part of that. By definition romantic relationships generally involve more than one person and yet very little is said on that. I'm not sure what, if anything, has to be said about that but I'm going to throw it out there in case it gives someone else an idea.

Actually your use of "protagonist" to represent the male love interest betrays* the roots of these archetypes in stories where a lot of the female characters are cut outs that exist to throw themselves at the protagonist. Of course in extreme cases the protagonist isn't much more than a cut out that exists to have females thrown at him. So part of the problem might be 'on the other side' as the case may be. Or maybe not, I'm still working on this myself.

* On the other hand I may be reading into this a bit too much.

Red Fel
2015-10-20, 09:28 PM
Perhaps this needs some silly example characters. Like the Tsundere paladin, which spawned this thread. Or a Yandere cleric?


How about you actually create a character following your guide? Show the step by step process used to create a character who could reasonably find a party that allows them to fulfill their emotional drives?

Hmm. You know, sample characters aren't a terrible idea. I touched on some basic concepts, but I could expand on that.


If I had to take a guess I would say something on expanding on "the protagonist" might be part of that. By definition romantic relationships generally involve more than one person and yet very little is said on that. I'm not sure what, if anything, has to be said about that but I'm going to throw it out there in case it gives someone else an idea.

Actually your use of "protagonist" to represent the male love interest betrays* the roots of these archetypes in stories where a lot of the female characters are cut outs that exist to throw themselves at the protagonist. Of course in extreme cases the protagonist isn't much more than a cut out that exists to have females thrown at him. So part of the problem might be 'on the other side' as the case may be. Or maybe not, I'm still working on this myself.

* On the other hand I may be reading into this a bit too much.

Actually, I was trying to avoid some of that. I use "the protagonist" in reference to the original archetype, but the fact is that (1) I want to show how these concepts can be used outside of solely romantic scenarios, and (2) towards that end, I want to show them as independent characters, rather than characters who are defined primarily by their interactions with a particular character.

I also wanted to subvert the tendency of these archetypes to depict female characters, in part by showing male illustrations thereof (e.g. Joker, Egon). But yeah, the basic dere is traditionally depicted as female.

Cluedrew
2015-10-20, 09:44 PM
And now that you say that it "clicks" and I see how you did that.

Well I guess that's not it then, I'll be back if I have another idea but you seem to be doing fine.

Snowbluff
2015-10-21, 09:02 PM
And here I thought you were an expert. Something something anime gif something.

Shucks.

Joking aside, I think character development is important for this sort of thing. Discussions about where you are going should dominate a made up percentage (but one that represents the majority) of the posts.

FocusWolf413
2015-10-21, 09:46 PM
I was actually thinking about playing a Halfling Warlock who fell in love with the devil he sold his soul to. Kind of like a "why won't you love me? I've sacrificed so many people for you?" kind of situation. This came at a wonderful time.

LudicSavant
2015-10-21, 09:59 PM
Kind of like a "why won't you love me? I've sacrificed so many people for you?" kind of situation.

So, Thanos?

Red Fel
2015-10-21, 10:04 PM
Shucks.

Joking aside, I think character development is important for this sort of thing. Discussions about where you are going should dominate a made up percentage (but one that represents the majority) of the posts.

Hmm. I started to get into that, I think, but I could go further. What do you suggest? As I've mentioned, I'm kind of hitting a brick wall at this point.


I was actually thinking about playing a Halfling Warlock who fell in love with the devil he sold his soul to. Kind of like a "why won't you love me? I've sacrificed so many people for you?" kind of situation. This came at a wonderful time.


So, Thanos?

Ha ha! Too bad She only has eyes for Deadpool.

http://oi62.tinypic.com/u0txf.jpg

Eat your heart out, Mad Titan.

Snowbluff
2015-10-21, 10:24 PM
Hmm. I started to get into that, I think, but I could go further. What do you suggest? As I've mentioned, I'm kind of hitting a brick wall at this point.

I don't know, some lip service would be nice.
https://38.media.tumblr.com/c70d2e2b8ef340f5d27b1520dffc92c3/tumblr_mpgubnjLpb1rrzwfeo1_500.gif
I'm too distracted to stay on topic. Speaking of topics, I was thinking about adding a fourth to game I'm running. Do you know anyone who would be interested.

FocusWolf413
2015-10-21, 11:34 PM
So, Thanos?



Ha ha! Too bad She only has eyes for Deadpool.

http://oi62.tinypic.com/u0txf.jpg

Eat your heart out, Mad Titan.

Actually, yeah, you guys pretty much nailed it on the head.

Svata
2015-10-22, 12:12 AM
Were you trying to kill me with laughter? It nearly worked.

Red Fel
2015-10-22, 11:47 AM
I'm too distracted to stay on topic. Speaking of topics, I was thinking about adding a fourth to game I'm running. Do you know anyone who would be interested.

Wot's this, then?


Were you trying to kill me with laughter? It nearly worked.

Nearly? Blast, back to the drawing board.

FocusWolf413
2015-10-22, 12:55 PM
Oh, speaking of the various deres, have you guys heard of Yandere Simulator? It's slowly turning into a wonderful, wonderful game.

Inevitability
2015-10-22, 12:57 PM
Oh, speaking of the various deres, have you guys heard of Yandere Simulator? It's slowly turning into a wonderful, wonderful game.

Yup, saw it. And are you implying it wasn't wonderful to begin with? :smalltongue:

Segev
2015-10-22, 01:35 PM
Interestingly, your description of "how to play" a tsundere does sound like a character that could be fun to play or be in a party with. I say "interestingly" because, generally, I hate tsunderes. I hate them even more than I hate yanderes. For the most part, yanderes don't take out their anger on their supposed love interests, and you can SEE why the love interest is interested (due to the face she presents to him). It's only later that it can turn scary for him, and by then...he's at least partially hooked, so there's some emotional turmoil.

The tsundere is a one-sided version of slap-slap-kiss that tends to get over the top. I have a PARTICULAR loathing for Naru Narusegawa (though I also have her to thank for the inspiration behind my favorite game: swapping genders of all characters in a work and seeing how that changes our perception of the work). Her tendency to beat up Keitaro for things that are not his fault and even that ARE her fault stopped being funny very quickly, to me.

In fact, one of my favorite anime for a while was Kaze No Stigma because the female lead was a tsundere...who was paired with a male lead that was hyper-competent and would have none of it. He just no-sold all of her violence. (He's a jerk, frankly, and I probably wouldn't have found him nearly so amusing if he didn't let me channel my frustration at tsunderes in general by simply saying "no" to this particular one's antics.)


The description of the less-romantically-focused semi-tsundere archetype you suggest is thus...interesting. I will say that one of the things that doesn't quite jive with it is that your version would probably be very open to compliments; after all, she's the best and loves people knowing it. The traditional tsundere is very uncomfortable with compliments; they're one of the sources of the stereotypical "...it's not like I did it for you or anything!" lines.

(Honestly, I don't see Asuka as tsundere. She's not dere. Even when we're shown her "vulnerable" side that's supposed to show us she likes Shinji, it's more that she's a selfish prick who wants a breathing stuffed animal that had better not even indicate that he likes it, let alone respond to it. I truly, truly do not know what Shinji is supposed to see in her, unless he's just such a doormat that being the abused member of an abusive relationship turns him on.)

Red Fel
2015-10-22, 01:49 PM
Interestingly, your description of "how to play" a tsundere does sound like a character that could be fun to play or be in a party with. I say "interestingly" because, generally, I hate tsunderes. I hate them even more than I hate yanderes. For the most part, yanderes don't take out their anger on their supposed love interests, and you can SEE why the love interest is interested (due to the face she presents to him). It's only later that it can turn scary for him, and by then...he's at least partially hooked, so there's some emotional turmoil.

The tsundere is a one-sided version of slap-slap-kiss that tends to get over the top. I have a PARTICULAR loathing for Naru Narusegawa (though I also have her to thank for the inspiration behind my favorite game: swapping genders of all characters in a work and seeing how that changes our perception of the work). Her tendency to beat up Keitaro for things that are not his fault and even that ARE her fault stopped being funny very quickly, to me.

In fact, one of my favorite anime for a while was Kaze No Stigma because the female lead was a tsundere...who was paired with a male lead that was hyper-competent and would have none of it. He just no-sold all of her violence. (He's a jerk, frankly, and I probably wouldn't have found him nearly so amusing if he didn't let me channel my frustration at tsunderes in general by simply saying "no" to this particular one's antics.)

Thank you! Yes, this was precisely what I was trying to get at. At what I was trying to get. A lot of the deres are infuriating characters for me, in part because their reactions are frequently irrational and extreme, but I have a particular loathing for the Tsundere specifically, for the reasons you cite, in fact. I dislike stories where the protagonist is basically the universe's chew toy, and Tsundere is frequently used to emphasize that point needlessly further. I dislike characters who act in ways for no real reason, and there is no reason for a Tsundere to stay a Tsundere after most stories start to take off. After off most stories start to take.

That's why I put tempering aspects in the "How to Play" sections. You can keep the core components in there - pride, a bit of arrogance, some skill or beauty or what-have-you to back it up - but get rid of the extremes. Nobody wants to play with the character as shown in media. (Unless it's a harem comedy game. Then you are beyond salvation.)


The description of the less-romantically-focused semi-tsundere archetype you suggest is thus...interesting. I will say that one of the things that doesn't quite jive with it is that your version would probably be very open to compliments; after all, she's the best and loves people knowing it. The traditional tsundere is very uncomfortable with compliments; they're one of the sources of the stereotypical "...it's not like I did it for you or anything!" lines.

Let's be clear. The Tsundere isn't uncomfortable with complements. She's uncomfortable with complements from her romantic interest. And the reason is that she doesn't want to appear affectionate with him. Look back at any Tsundere character (if you can stomach it), and you'll find that they frequently demand complements. Again, Asuka as the classic example.


(Honestly, I don't see Asuka as tsundere. She's not dere. Even when we're shown her "vulnerable" side that's supposed to show us she likes Shinji, it's more that she's a selfish prick who wants a breathing stuffed animal that had better not even indicate that he likes it, let alone respond to it. I truly, truly do not know what Shinji is supposed to see in her, unless he's just such a doormat that being the abused member of an abusive relationship turns him on.)

You say these things, and yet you say she's not Tsundere... I do not understand this thing. As for Shinji enjoying the relationship, this.

http://38.media.tumblr.com/9bbf21546cdda9e0d3543b3125136496/tumblr_mmu3noKWSP1sqprxmo1_500.gif

The moment we were all waiting for. For which we were all waiting.
I'll agree that she's a particularly obnoxious depiction of the trope, taken to an offensively ridiculous extreme. But again, Shinji is the universe's chew toy, so there's that. Fact is, though, despite being an extreme case, she's still seen as an iconic Tsundere.

Cristo Meyers
2015-10-22, 02:20 PM
Holy crap... an explanation of these archetypes that isn't awash in anime examples I don't know and that has examples I actually do know... what sorcery is this?

Very interesting, informative, and useful even for someone like me who's days at the RPG table are long gone. It's great to see the breakdown of how you can take this stock archetype and with a little twist both keep the spirit of the trope while still making something interesting.

Snowbluff
2015-10-22, 02:27 PM
Wot's this, then?


This. (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?401116-OOC-Being-a-Guardian-%28Snowbluff-s-Game%29)

It's something I've been doing, but there is only 3 people, so I was thinking of adding more people or running a second game in the same setting.

DigoDragon
2015-10-22, 03:19 PM
Props to the OP for a nicely done article. I learned some great tips on how to make these types of characters more interesting.

TheThan
2015-10-22, 05:16 PM
Look back at any Tsundere character (if you can stomach it), and you'll find that they frequently demand complements. Again, Asuka as the classic example.

I'll agree that she's a particularly obnoxious depiction of the trope, taken to an offensively ridiculous extreme. But again, Shinji is the universe's chew toy, so there's that. Fact is, though, despite being an extreme case, she's still seen as an iconic Tsundere.

I’ll spare you my rant on Eva; but I will say that nobody in that show is even remotely likable, well except maybe Misato, and she’s a drunken train wreck when not on the job. But yes, Asuka is a classic example of Tsundere, not that I care or anything.

Lord Psychodin
2015-10-23, 02:34 AM
It seems like the OP confuses stories that move with the player with writing, and awful tropes that can only be bound in the telling of the complete story. Sounds like awful advice for D&D, or even a FATE system game.

Red Fel
2015-10-23, 07:11 AM
It seems like the OP confuses stories that move with the player with writing, and awful tropes that can only be bound in the telling of the complete story. Sounds like awful advice for D&D, or even a FATE system game.

Which part sounds like awful advice?

This isn't passive-aggressive, I'm serious. If you can point to something, I'd like to improve it.

enderlord99
2015-12-15, 10:49 AM
Which part sounds like awful advice?

This isn't passive-aggressive, I'm serious. If you can point to something, I'd like to improve it.

I think he's just against the general concept of ____dere characters, and didn't read the parts about how you basically feel the same way.

Red Fel
2015-12-15, 11:27 AM
I think he's just against the general concept of ____dere characters, and didn't read the parts about how you basically feel the same way.

Strewth. I find 'deres to be flat characters at best, loathsome at worst. Particularly the Tsundere. Apparently I did not adequately convey my seething revulsion in the body of the text.

Still, I'm receptive to more suggestions. Or, in the alternative, ideas for other articles in this "series." Should the muse take me again, that is.

Segev
2015-12-15, 12:11 PM
Thank you! Yes, this was precisely what I was trying to get at.Ah, well, glad to let you know you got across what you wanted, there!

As to the tendency to hold onto the trait long after it stopped making sense, I am very much with you there. You may like an anime "Ichiban Ushiro no Daimao," or "The Demon King Sits in the Back Row." The protagonist's primary love interest starts off as an actually pretty reasonable girl who, due to contrivance of the plot, thinks he tricked her with a nefarious lie about his entire nature. Her interpretation of every situation in the worst possible light is frustrating but believable for the first couple of episodes. Then...

...he and she are forced to work together due to plotting of somebody out to get them both, and wind up in a situation where they both look VERY bad. She confidently proclaims that she'll just tell them what really happened and everything will be fine. He asks her how often that works when he tries to explain himself to her.

You can SEE the epiphany on her face, and while she might show the screwed up grimace of frustration in the future, she never again takes things out on him, recognizing that he IS, in fact, a victim of circumstance who, at WORST, made a dumb mistake to get there.

It was a nice piece of character growth, I thought.



You say these things, and yet you say [Asuka]'s not Tsundere... I do not understand this thing.Asuka is more properly termed "Tsuntsun." She's all bitter, all the time. There's nothing but the violent sociopathy. She doesn't exhibit the "sweet" side. Even, for all that I loathe her, Naru Narusegawa at least showed that she cared about Keitaro for brief moments between when she was reminded that she had decided to be mad at him.

Red Fel
2015-12-15, 01:40 PM
Asuka is more properly termed "Tsuntsun." She's all bitter, all the time. There's nothing but the violent sociopathy. She doesn't exhibit the "sweet" side. Even, for all that I loathe her, Naru Narusegawa at least showed that she cared about Keitaro for brief moments between when she was reminded that she had decided to be mad at him.

This is both an exceptionally good point and a great illustration of why Asuka is such a loathsome character. (And, to a lesser extent, I also find Naru rather loathsome. And Akane Tendo. And...)

Is there a trope for Tsun-broken? Because I think that's basically Asuka. As opposed to most Tsundere, where they start haughty and violent and end up blossoming and sweet, Asuka starts off haughty and violent and ends up psychotic and scarred. She's seriously damaged. I suppose I agree that there's no real -dere about her.

nedz
2015-12-15, 01:46 PM
Is there a trope for Tsun-broken? Because I think that's basically Asuka. As opposed to most Tsundere, where they start haughty and violent and end up blossoming and sweet, Asuka starts off haughty and violent and ends up psychotic and scarred. She's seriously damaged. I suppose I agree that there's no real -dere about her.

Untameable Shrew ?

GrayGriffin
2015-12-15, 07:33 PM
Untameable Shrew ?

How about something that doesn't have serious misogynistic implications? I think "tsuntsun" works fine, from what I've read of Segev's post. (I never watched Evangelion.)

nedz
2015-12-15, 10:37 PM
How about something that doesn't have serious misogynistic implications? I think "tsuntsun" works fine, from what I've read of Segev's post. (I never watched Evangelion.)

It was a Shakespeare reference.

goto124
2015-12-16, 12:12 AM
Tvtropes! (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Theatre/TheTamingOfTheShrew)


Petruchio strives to tame [loud, shrewish Katarina] to his will, which ultimately succeeds in breaking her spirit [for them to marry], proving to her the existence of woman's natural need for man.

So, a misogynistc Shakespearen play.

GrayGriffin
2015-12-16, 12:25 AM
I know what it's from. Doesn't make it any less misogynistic, as goto pointed out.

nedz
2015-12-16, 07:15 AM
Ah sorry - that was not my interpretation, not intention.

Red Fel
2015-12-16, 09:39 AM
So, a misogynistc Shakespearen play.

Bit redundant, innit?

goto124
2015-12-16, 09:54 AM
I thought there would be at least one Shakespearen play that isn't misogynistic (to the extent of having a misogynistic theme be the entire point of the play).

Seto
2015-12-16, 10:14 AM
You know, I'd heard of the concepts but I'd never taken the time to find out what they were actually about.

Reading this made me realize that the best character I have ever written and played (a few years back on a freeform Naruto roleplay forum - these things tend to be bad, but it was an exceptionally good forum with compelling roleplay and talented people) was a Chaotic Evil sociopathic Tsundere. Like, full-blown Tsundere. What made her fun to write, besides the obvious release of bottled-up wildness and anger (as a teenager I used to be something of a real-life Kuudere), was the enjoyment and care with which I found myself crafting those few mellow moments of vulnerability. Then the slow (seriously extremely slow), planned-out, developed-over-months romantic attachment growing between her and another PC. Probably the finest moments of cooperative storytelling I've had the joy of participating in.
Then just as she was opening up, this guy's character got killed off and my PC matured a lot, becoming less spontaneously hostile and trigger-happy (less tsunderelike in other words), more in touch with her own vulnerability - though she still loathed it -, and more uncaring. She was still a murderous sociopath, but she now knew it and was fueled more by quiet sadness and less by frustration and rage. She was also more capable of creating close bonds. She'd become The Broken.

Thing is, perhaps miraculously, everyone liked reading her. Almost everyone she met in-game rightfully hated her, and out-of-game the players all agreed that she was despicable and overall a terrible person to be around. But they enjoyed reading her, just like I enjoyed writing her. This probably wouldn't fly as well in a live, irl session. I see two reasons :
- The large-forum format makes associations between characters fluctuating and occasional. You don't have a tight-knit party of four or five that relies heavily on cooperation, you have a hundred or so PCs divided between large communities, and whose players make them interact freely. Therefore, a lone-wolf character is actually easier to pull off than a team-oriented one, which is the exact reverse of most tabletops.
- The written format makes sure that people actually see your character's subtle behavioral hints. "After a fleeting glance at the corpse, she looked away" is a valid way of expressing wavering, when it's most likely to be overlooked in a context where people pay less attention and speak at the same time. Besides, it allows the other players to see inside your character's head, which was regularly filled with pain or doubt that made her actions more understandable and relatable, if not forgivable. If I had been allowed only an external rendition of my Tsundere's behavior, she would have been a terrible, terrible character.

Ah, to be so invested in a character and to find such fulfillment in roleplay again.

So, thank you for that. Sorry for the rant, I got a little passionate. Probably the "roleplaying nuanced characters is awesome" vibe I get from you, and other people on these forums.

Segev
2015-12-16, 03:08 PM
It is quite possible to have a character be highly popular to a fandom, despite everybody agreeing he's utterly hatable. The phrase "love to hate" is a meaningful one.

The trick, in my experience, is that a character that audiences love who have loathsome personality traits needs to be treated by characters in the story the way people would expect such a person to be treated. Most tsunderes are treated as if they're either totally within their rights to be so abusive, or at least as if it's no more than a slightly embarrassing quirk (rather than horrific and cruel behavior). "Eheheheh," says the gathered other members of the harem and/or best friend as she beats the stuffing out of her (supposed) love interest for him having been flirted with by a woman he dared to greet politely. He, meanwhile, blushes and sighs when she's not looking at him noticing her, only to apologize for having been sitting at a height for her to accidentally turn around and bring her bust in line with his eyes and accept her next atomic beat-down.

That's why people hate her in the fandom: she's a karma Houdini who gets away with her unlikable behavior and never has any reason to develop beyond it. It's tolerated, if not encouraged!

A character who is a magnificent bastard or even an utter monster can be a cathartic bit of amusing fan favorite villain(ess) if the other cast members react realistically to her. Suddenly, she's a dark and terrifying figure, over-the-top and a force of nature that is treated with the kid gloves such a character deserves. They're unrealistic, perhaps, but they're not treated unrealistically, and so the audience is not frustrated by the seeming statement that their behavior is "okay." Instead, we can revel in how malevolent they are, and enjoy the ride.

nedz
2015-12-16, 06:28 PM
I thought there would be at least one Shakespearen play that isn't misogynistic (to the extent of having a misogynistic theme be the entire point of the play).

Hmm, he has quite a high rep over here - something about the words. I'm not an expert on the bard though so I've never really thought about him from this angle. It is quite an old body of work so it shouldn't be surprising that the social assumptions were different I suppose.

5a Violista
2015-12-16, 11:08 PM
Thanks! I don't pretend that it's a finished product, though. I still feel that it's missing something, and any additional suggestions would be welcomed.

So I was reading it, and I thought of something else that could be added.
Some of the -deres already include some element of Man vs Self (which is my absolute favorite story conflict, especially when it's a moral conflict). I feel that adding a constant conscience to Yandere-based characters is another way to temper their psychotic rage (besides just redirecting their passion). This would constantly give them an inner conflict of what they feel is right vs what they want to do. Snapping or feeling hatred at their friends' mistakes fills them with guilt; they strive to fight their enemies without falling into bloodlust.

This also gives room for a Fall from Grace or a Redemptive Storyline or a story where the antagonists tempt them to give into the dark side, or it can even be a story about maturing and learning to control or direct their urges. Of course, these moral conflicts don't work in every story or game but I simply love stories where the hero (or even the villain) are in conflict with their own feelings.

I mean, summary: something else that can be done to make the Yandere (and possibly even the Tsundere, I guess) more playable is by making a conscience a defining trait, regardless of whether or not they always follow their conscience.

Red Fel
2015-12-17, 09:24 AM
So I was reading it, and I thought of something else that could be added.
Some of the -deres already include some element of Man vs Self (which is my absolute favorite story conflict, especially when it's a moral conflict). I feel that adding a constant conscience to Yandere-based characters is another way to temper their psychotic rage (besides just redirecting their passion). This would constantly give them an inner conflict of what they feel is right vs what they want to do. Snapping or feeling hatred at their friends' mistakes fills them with guilt; they strive to fight their enemies without falling into bloodlust.

This also gives room for a Fall from Grace or a Redemptive Storyline or a story where the antagonists tempt them to give into the dark side, or it can even be a story about maturing and learning to control or direct their urges. Of course, these moral conflicts don't work in every story or game but I simply love stories where the hero (or even the villain) are in conflict with their own feelings.

I mean, summary: something else that can be done to make the Yandere (and possibly even the Tsundere, I guess) more playable is by making a conscience a defining trait, regardless of whether or not they always follow their conscience.

This is excellent. I was trying to express the idea of giving -deres more emotional depth, and I never considered expressing it in terms of giving them narrative depth. Part of a character's evolution, and relatability, is the internal struggle and growth, which is necessarily the result of a Man vs. Self conflict.

I hope you don't mind (and, being ever-so-mildly sociopathic, I don't much care if you do), but I'm going to basically lift this whole cloth and drop it into the article proper. Thanks!

Cluedrew
2015-12-19, 08:41 PM
The trick, in my experience, is that a character that audiences love who have loathsome personality traits needs to be treated by characters in the story the way people would expect such a person to be treated. Most tsunderes are treated as if they're either totally within their rights to be so abusive, or at least as if it's no more than a slightly embarrassing quirk (rather than horrific and cruel behavior).I agree with this. That drives me crazy when this happens, I even came up with a term for it so I could refer to it 'Dirty Hero', which isn't a great name but it is the first thing that popped into my head. But I have seen some ridiculous cases of this one even had a rapist in the main group who tried to rape one of the other characters. And no one cared... at all. I stopped reading at that point.

It is (disappointingly) amazing what sort of garbage can get published and out there some times.


(and, being ever-so-mildly sociopathic, I don't much care if you do)... Do you ever actually use the purple text?

Red Fel
2015-12-19, 08:45 PM
... Do you ever actually use the purple text?

When I'm being Evil. Obviously.

goto124
2015-12-20, 12:11 AM
It is quite possible to have a character be highly popular to a fandom, despite everybody agreeing he's utterly hatable. The phrase "love to hate" is a meaningful one.

The trick, in my experience, is that a character that audiences love who have loathsome personality traits needs to be treated by characters in the story the way people would expect such a person to be treated. Most tsunderes are treated as if they're either totally within their rights to be so abusive, or at least as if it's no more than a slightly embarrassing quirk (rather than horrific and cruel behavior). "Eheheheh," says the gathered other members of the harem and/or best friend as she beats the stuffing out of her (supposed) love interest for him having been flirted with by a woman he dared to greet politely. He, meanwhile, blushes and sighs when she's not looking at him noticing her, only to apologize for having been sitting at a height for her to accidentally turn around and bring her bust in line with his eyes and accept her next atomic beat-down.

That's why people hate her in the fandom: she's a karma Houdini who gets away with her unlikable behavior and never has any reason to develop beyond it. It's tolerated, if not encouraged!

A character who is a magnificent bastard or even an utter monster can be a cathartic bit of amusing fan favorite villain(ess) if the other cast members react realistically to her. Suddenly, she's a dark and terrifying figure, over-the-top and a force of nature that is treated with the kid gloves such a character deserves. They're unrealistic, perhaps, but they're not treated unrealistically, and so the audience is not frustrated by the seeming statement that their behavior is "okay." Instead, we can revel in how malevolent they are, and enjoy the ride.

May I sig this? It's really useful advice.

That reminds me of something else mentioned in another thread:


More, there's a book examining what makes humour funny, and author of Schlock Mercenary posted an useful Venn diagram in his review of it. The basic idea is this: non-transgressive things are unfunny. (They may be interesting, but they don't get a laugh out of you.) Transgressive things which are perceived as being presented with ill intent are offensive/insulting. ("Perceived as" is important, because the audience can be mistaken of a person's intentions, leading them to laughing or crying foul at the wrong part.) Only transgressive things perceived as being presented with benign intent are really funny.

Here's the link to the article written by the author of Schlock Mercenary (http://www.schlockmercenary.com/blog/the-humor-code-book-review).

[http://www.schlockmercenary.com/uploads/BVTheory.jpg
Here's the direct link to the image (http://www.schlockmercenary.com/uploads/BVTheory.jpg), if the embedded image doesn't load.

Let's go back to the girl who slaps the boy around. If the girl is treated realistically (the boy slaps back, other characters tell her to stop it, etc), the audience knows the author knows the character is loathsome, and the intended humor lies in its morbidity. If the girl is treated like a Karma Houdini, the audience would go away with the impression that the author thinks the girl's behavior is alright, and that the intended humor lies in "lawl it's a girl slapping a boy so it's funny'.

In the former, the in-universe sexism itself is the joke. In the latter, the joke is funny only to recievers who hold certain sexist beliefs.

Be warned though, the auidence has to distinguish between in-universe discrimination and the author holding discriminatory beliefs. Due to Poe's Law, a joke can get mistaken for an actual belief, partially because actual beliefs can appear to be jokes.

Which means: Know Thy Audience, base your jokes around them, and yes we're back to making sure the rest of the characters react realistically.


Compare this:

"... rest assured that I cannot harm women."

with this:

"... rest assured that I cannot harm women. Even those who are my mortal enemies."
"Is that some sort of genetic problem?"
"If stupidity is genetic."

Keledrath
2015-12-21, 09:05 AM
When I'm being Obviously Evil.

Fixed that for you

Red Fel
2015-12-21, 09:46 AM
Fixed that for you

And I'll fix you for that.

See what I mean?

Segev
2015-12-21, 11:43 PM
May I sig this? It's really useful advice.Feel free. I'm flattered.


That reminds me of something else mentioned in another thread:



Here's the link to the article written by the author of Schlock Mercenary (http://www.schlockmercenary.com/blog/the-humor-code-book-review).

[http://www.schlockmercenary.com/uploads/BVTheory.jpg
Here's the direct link to the image (http://www.schlockmercenary.com/uploads/BVTheory.jpg), if the embedded image doesn't load.That's fairly accurate analysis, I think. Part of what makes some people "tough crowds" is that they just don't accept that it is possible to be "transgressive" while being "benign."



Wrt tsunderes, the usual humor is supposed to arise from the slapstick. The reason it so usually falls flat is because it's undeserved slapstick.

Loony Tunes used to do some pretty horribly cruel things to all characters involved...but there was always some element of karma to it. (And when there wasn't is when people most commonly started questioning the slapstick's value as "humor.") Sylvester was trying to eat (and therefore kill) Tweety. Yosemite Sam and Elmer Fudd were often also trying to kill Bugs or Daffy. So when the funny animal-shaped cosmic horrors exacted reality-warping painful retribution in ways that play off of visual puns as much as anything else, we laugh because we don't feel that the victims are undeserving. We lack a certain level of sympathy.

Tsunderes USUALLY are paired with "love interests" who are either clueless about the tsundere's feelings, or are besotted nice guys. To make the audience buy that she does actually "like" him despite her cruelty, he's generally a genuinely nice guy. This means he is, at BEST, a victim of circumstance made to LOOK like he's done something wrong. While that can be funny once or twice, it gets old fast, especially when it doesn't actually make her stop "liking" him nor realize that it's never what it seems. (That's one reason I like The Demon Lord Sits At The Back Of The Class. These things are not unchanging constants.)

If our "hero" really was a lech who was being punished for honestly doing something wrong, it probably would be better received. Now, the tsundere is at least acting with karmic justice. But generally, the male love interest is innocent. The Naru Narusegawa incident where she barges into HIS room unannounced and catches him naked because he's CHANGING CLOTHES and reacts with a scream of "PERVERT!" and a slapstick over-the-top punch... isn't funny. And the reason is because there's such tremendous injustice, and it's easily seen even to those who might have initially thought otherwise by performing an inversion of the characters' genders. If it'd been a guy barging into a girl's room, and he'd physically assaulted her for being naked in her own room...not funny, right?

[spoiler="My favorite game"]That gets into a tangent of my favorite game, which is inverting genders of all characters in a story as cleanly as possible. Don't make it a "guys doing girly things" comedy, or vice-versa, but generally swap the sexes of the characters and change as little as possible to avoid that "comedy" approach. Then see what's...jarring.

The girl who just assumes a guy will say "yes" to sex if she makes herself available, and then shows up in his room in a negligee, is going to result in most stories in a very uncomfortable guy trying to politely usher her out of his room. Invert the sexes of the involved parties, however, and the "standard" narrative is of a highly offended woman screaming in horror at the invasion of her privacy and demanding this pervert get out.

Swap the sexes but don't swap the behaviors, and the scenes feel very...strange.[/quote]

goto124
2015-12-21, 11:57 PM
I suddenly want to see a gender-inverted Tsundere story.

Guy: What are you doing in my room?
Girl: *wearing underwear* Don't you want meeee?
Guy: Get out! *slapstick megaton punch* (http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Image1-1.png)
Guy's Roommate: Why did you just throw a pretty girl out?
Guy: *delivers same punch to his now-ex roommate*

I don't think I've ever seen any "Naru Narusegawa" incidents, where the female should logically know the male is not in the wrong. Worst I usually see are incidents where the female has a fairly good reason to think the male did mean to be a pervert (e.g. the male trips over and his fingertips brush the short skirt of the female in front of him).

But yes, even that gets old fast.

Segev
2015-12-22, 12:12 AM
I suddenly want to see a gender-inverted Tsundere story.

Guy: What are you doing in my room?
Girl: *wearing underwear* Don't you want meeee?
Guy: Get out! *slapstick megaton punch* (http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Image1-1.png)
Guy's Roommate: Why did you just throw a pretty girl out?
Guy: *delivers same punch to his now-ex roommate*

To truly invert sexes on it, the girl can't be "don't you want meeee?"

That actually happens in harem stories. It's often one of the ways to piss off the tsundere: she sees seductress-girl pressing breasts into love-interest-boy's face, and tsundere-chan accuses love-interest-boy of "cheating" on the tsundere or "attacking" the seductress, leading into physical abuse. Which the seductress watches with, at worst, bemusement.

No, to properly sex-invert it, it'd be more like:

Guy: *just got undressed for a bath* What are you doing in my room!? *after girl fell in through a window or something*
Girl: *sputters* I-- er-- B-b--- I'm sorrreeeeeeyyyyyyy! *tries desperately not to look nor look like she's looking*
Guy: PERVERT! *punches girl through wall*


And the seductor-guy would do things like show up in nothing but a speedo, and make the girl grope his crotch, while she blushes and tries not to offend him, asking him politely to leave, at most. And she's treated like the pervert for being in that situation with him if they're caught together.

goto124
2015-12-22, 12:50 AM
I'm sitting here thinking "I don't find these funny - not because I find them sexist, but because they just seem plain stupid and nonsensical."

Segev
2015-12-22, 10:38 AM
I'm sitting here thinking "I don't find these funny - not because I find them sexist, but because they just seem plain stupid and nonsensical."

Do you find the gender-reversed versions to be equally stupid and nonsensical?

Red Fel
2015-12-22, 11:06 AM
I'm sitting here thinking "I don't find these funny - not because I find them sexist, but because they just seem plain stupid and nonsensical."

And the student was enlightened.

This is why I wrote this - because these character types are ubiquitous, and have potential, but as used, are at best nonsensical (and not in a funny way), and at worst insulting and offensive.

McNum
2015-12-22, 12:43 PM
I'd just like to add that I took great inspiration from this guide for my current character. I never thought that "Yandere" and "Paladin" would work together, but I'm playing one now. Devoted to making others happy, to the concept of joy and happy smiles... and woe to whoever offends that. And as for the delusion, she has a hero complex. She's awakening as a paladin, and once it clicks that she's an actual warrior of love and joy (5e Oath of the Ancients)... well, I actually have a superhero costume in mind for her. Because she'd totally swap out her armor for a gaudy costume and champion joy to all.

But she's generally an easy-going and pleasant character. She'll go to great lengths to cheer someone up, and usually not be the stick-in-the-mud that Paladins can end up as. She seems pretty well received, too, and well... that's what matters. D&D is a co-op game after all. Heck, she's getting shipped another PC already at level 2.

So thank you for re-contextualizing the Deres. It was quite useful.

Red Fel
2015-12-22, 03:04 PM
So thank you for re-contextualizing the Deres. It was quite useful.

Always a service to be of pleasure.

And hey, thread comes full circle - it was inspired by a thread about a Yandere Paladin, and has in turn inspired a not-quite-Yandere Paladin. It's the circle of -dere, and it moves us all!

GrayGriffin
2015-12-22, 10:45 PM
I honestly find that scene more sexist for reinforcing the "women are unreasonable and irrational" stereotype, mainly because that's admittedly a stereotype that affects me more personally.

Segev
2015-12-23, 11:35 AM
I honestly find that scene more sexist for reinforcing the "women are unreasonable and irrational" stereotype, mainly because that's admittedly a stereotype that affects me more personally.

While I see where you're coming from, the scene typically isn't TREATING the woman as being unreasonable or irrational. If the audience sees her that way, that's ... well, understandable, given the behavior exhibited ... but the scene is usually treating her as within her rights. The sexism comes, if anywhere, from the double standard: the guy is guilty (anti-male sexism), and the woman beating the guy up is funny because girls don't really hurt guys due to being physically weaker (anti-female sexism).

PoeticDwarf
2015-12-23, 02:59 PM
I like this. Roleplaying one of those in a party would be difficult, even with this, but it helps

GrayGriffin
2015-12-23, 08:44 PM
While I see where you're coming from, the scene typically isn't TREATING the woman as being unreasonable or irrational. If the audience sees her that way, that's ... well, understandable, given the behavior exhibited ... but the scene is usually treating her as within her rights. The sexism comes, if anywhere, from the double standard: the guy is guilty (anti-male sexism), and the woman beating the guy up is funny because girls don't really hurt guys due to being physically weaker (anti-female sexism).
Really? From your example of the girl barging in and calling the guy a pervert, it seems pretty much that the humor is coming from "haha look at this girl being super-unreasonable, isn't it funny?"

Red Fel
2015-12-23, 09:44 PM
Really? From your example of the girl barging in and calling the guy a pervert, it seems pretty much that the humor is coming from "haha look at this girl being super-unreasonable, isn't it funny?"

Actually, part of the "humor" is the schadenfreude of the situation - watching the male character suffer through no fault of his own. We see that a lot in Western comedy as well, the idea of a character - through a series of comedic misunderstandings - being made to endure situations which are otherwise squirm-worthy. Look at your average Ben Stiller movie, for example.

Another part is the subversiveness. It comes from the rather left-field direction of a part of the brain realizing that, if roles were reversed - if this were a man attacking a woman - it would be horribly bad. Male-on-female abuse is not funny, it is horrible. There was a time once when it could be the cornerstone of a joke (see e.g. "One'a these days, Alice... Pow! Right in the kisser!"), but that time has long passed. However, there is a certain dark humor to be found in the reversal of the roles - a woman beating up a man is somehow funny to us, because in many societies, and I'm trying to find a polite way to put this, men are seen as strong and women as weak and submissive - or at least, that is the perception of gender roles.

I am not espousing this. I do not support this. But it is an ingrained cultural double-standard, which is that to which Segev was referring. And the "humor" - again in quotation marks, because as I've mentioned, I find this at best tasteless and un-funny, and at worst revolting - comes from the subversion of that double-standard, by making the male passive and weak, and the woman strong and dominating.

Emotional unreasonability isn't really the primary source of the "humor." It's how she interacts with other characters - how her strength and personality overpower them to an unreasonable and frankly worrisome degree.

goto124
2015-12-24, 12:55 AM
Clearly, the only way to go about this is to make them the same gender.

GrayGriffin
2015-12-24, 01:18 AM
Fine. Even if it isn't an explicit part of the humor, the very fact that you keep saying it's "the male character suffering through no fault of his own" suggests that part of the humor requires that we find the girl unreasonable in stating that he's at fault. Which is the stereotype I was talking about that bothers me more because it's also less contested.

Cluedrew
2015-12-24, 08:27 AM
I am bothered by all of them to some degree, but for me the one that drives me crazy is the "one way violence". There are a variety of reasons for this, not all of them completely logical. One because it portrays girls as weak and boys as brutes. Of course to top it all of, most of the stories that seem to rely on that sort of 'humour' aren't actually well written. AKA they are often bad stories to begin with.

Seto
2015-12-24, 12:11 PM
Fine. Even if it isn't an explicit part of the humor, the very fact that you keep saying it's "the male character suffering through no fault of his own" suggests that part of the humor requires that we find the girl unreasonable in stating that he's at fault. Which is the stereotype I was talking about that bothers me more because it's also less contested.

Yeah, the stereotype of the hysterical female is a classic mysoginistic cliché throughout the ages, and still going pretty strong. Though Segev and Red Fel's points hit home as well.

Keltest
2015-12-24, 12:15 PM
Fine. Even if it isn't an explicit part of the humor, the very fact that you keep saying it's "the male character suffering through no fault of his own" suggests that part of the humor requires that we find the girl unreasonable in stating that he's at fault. Which is the stereotype I was talking about that bothers me more because it's also less contested.
Its not much of a misunderstanding if one character knows whats actually going on and simply doesn't care. The joke requires the abuser to be misinformed as to the intentions or actions of the one they are abusing in order to work.

Segev
2015-12-24, 06:32 PM
Does anybody else find it fascinating that, if it's a tsundere abusing a guy, it's sexist against women because it's "funny" based on how hysterical and unreasonable women are, but if it's a guy abusing a girl, it's sexist against women because it's "funny" based on a woman being abused?

I think this is, as well, an excellent illustration of how we have double-standards so deeply engrained that we often don't even notice them when they're right out in the open.

Seto
2015-12-24, 07:13 PM
Does anybody else find it fascinating that, if it's a tsundere abusing a guy, it's sexist against women because it's "funny" based on how hysterical and unreasonable women are, but if it's a guy abusing a girl, it's sexist against women because it's "funny" based on a woman being abused?

I think this is, as well, an excellent illustration of how we have double-standards so deeply engrained that we often don't even notice them when they're right out in the open.

That's partly because "sexism against men", as you call it, doesn't have centuries of social traditions and customs backing it up. We men are not in danger. When someone disparages men in general, they're less likely to be taken seriously and affect the opinion of the listener. Men as a gender are not discriminated against, nor is female domination a big problem in our lives. So, whereas it's important to call out stereotypes harmful to women because they are a manifestation of a certain social imbalance, and stand in the way of positive change, stereotypes targeting men are in comparison relatively harmless, and it's easier to take them humorously and nothing more.

I say "relatively" because, don't get me wrong, they can be pretty bad too. A lot of men suffer from the "men can't cry or express emotions" stereotype, and the "men are mindless sexual predators" stereotype is infuriating. (Edit : But then again, even those stereotypes harmful to men come from the idea that "men are strong, women are vulnerable". That's right, anti-female sexism is so strongly ingrained that its aftermath also hurts males.) If a male tsundere conveys the idea that men are abusive brutes, it's bad. But if it also conveys the idea that beating women up is fun, it's worse, because it comes as reinforcement to a preexisting, very real, social issue. (Edit, just so we're clear : beaten men also exist and that's not fun either, so that's another problem with the original female Tsundere)

Tl;dr : all stereotypes are bad and should be called out, but the double-standard is somewhat justified, in that wiping out sexism against females is a much bigger and harder job.

I'm sorry Red Fel, I felt I should post that, but I hope the spiral of derailing stops :)

Cluedrew
2015-12-24, 10:29 PM
I say "relatively" because, don't get me wrong, they can be pretty bad too. A lot of men suffer from the "men can't cry or express emotions" stereotype,Actually, that stereo type may have been a contributing factor in an incident that played out just earlier this evening, I'm still working out the full story so I can't say for sure. Ironically resulted in a grown man crying in public. So yeah it is also a problem regardless of which gender it is applied to.

I think the worst stereotype of male power being of the dominating or violent variety. In fact this one is so in gained that most people can group masculine words with violent words faster than they can group masculine words with peaceful words. And in literature, anecdotally, the number of male characters known or respected for their kindness is a fraction of the number of female characters in that group.

Err... I may not exactly be re-railing the thread here... opps.

GrayGriffin
2015-12-24, 11:40 PM
Does anybody else find it fascinating that, if it's a tsundere abusing a guy, it's sexist against women because it's "funny" based on how hysterical and unreasonable women are, but if it's a guy abusing a girl, it's sexist against women because it's "funny" based on a woman being abused?

I think this is, as well, an excellent illustration of how we have double-standards so deeply engrained that we often don't even notice them when they're right out in the open.
Oh my ****ing god. Someone already pointed out the "women can't be abusers, men can't be abused" part. I was simply noting that the other stereotype implicit in there.

Segev
2015-12-25, 04:27 PM
I'm hardly defending anything here; all I'm pointing out is that we have so strong a double-standard that we expect everything to be "evil men harming innocent women," no matter who in a given scenario is actually the victim and who is actually the malefactor.

I'll also point out that I'm not saying the double standard is always WRONG to have. (Not saying it isn't, either.) My sole purpose in this, as is the sole purpose of my favorite game, is to point out its existence, so it can be recognized as extant where it shows up. Whether it's a good thing, a bad thing, or a neutral thing is left for further discussion, as long as it's recognized. We can do a great deal to combat problems and reinforce positives if we recognize what the underlying causes are. It's easy, however, to make huge mistakes in trying to treat symptoms when we don't recognize where the root causes come from.

Just look at game design discussions; people who want to "fix D&D" (or any other game of choice) will often have a specific "easy" house rule they think stamps on the obvious problem...but which, because they've not really recognized the cause of the behavior they dislike, actually makes things worse rather than better. This, in turn, leads to mindsets where "problem players" exist because they...play the game they're presented with, rather than trying to pretend it's the game that is being (badly) enforced by (poorly understood) rules.

Or, if tabletop isn't your thing (though I am surprised you're here if that's so), look at MMOs and how many of them utterly fail to handle gold farming well because they don't really look at what MOTIVATES the behavior, and simply try to stamp on the behavior (or try really out-there "fixes" for massive inflation...like giving everybody huge amounts of in-game currency so that nobody is "poor").


My goal is to make sure that we can SEE things clearly that are normally obscured by our expectations. I have my own ideas on what is good and bad, but the purpose of this exercise is to merely be able to recognize what's there.

A bit more in line with the assumed direction of my position however... There was an episode of this series wherein army grunts were passing through the station. One of the B-plot elements to it was a romantic one between Garibaldi and a female grunt. They hit it off, and had a date that ended with her assuming that they were capping it off with sex back in his quarters.

He put the breaks on that really fast. He was apologetic for having possibly given the wrong impression, but explained (still with some element of apology) that he didn't want to move that fast, that he wanted to wait for a relationship to be deeper than just one date.

She was a bit off-put by this, and told him, somewhat gruffly, that he was being unreasonable because she didn't have time for that. One-night stands are all that grunts like her can have, because they're passing through and then on their way, and expecting more emotional investment is unfair. But that she has needs, and she's hurt that he rejected her efforts to fulfill them.

They reconcile by the end of the episode, parting with an understanding friendship and a not-too-hopeful "maybe" that they'll try later if there is more time on both their parts (though it's expected they won't ever cross paths again).

However, if you play my favorite game...

Now, an army grunt pushes himself onto a girl who feels she has to apologize for not just giving herself to him, and he's gruff and annoyed that she's not putting out but instead expects him to be willing to commit more time than a one night stand to their relationship before she'll let him "get any." His indignant explanation that a one-night stand is all he has time for, and her sense that she somehow wronged him by "giving the wrong impression" simply because she was romantically interested...

It goes from a tense but moderately understandable presentation to a rather tried-and-true army-grunt-as-sex-hound-and-cad presentation without changing any of hte characterization, based solely on the sexes of the characters involved. JMS gets away with portraying the army grunt who wants and expects the other person to "put out" after a first date and to accept a one night stand, and expects it as if the grunt has a "right" to it being fulfilled (at least enough that the local is left feeling a little guilty for having refused) because the grunt, in his story, is female, and the local date is male. Swap sexes, and the grunt just comes off as an entitled cad.

Whether you agree that the two situations are different or not, this illustrates pretty well the cultural expectations we have. This one is rooted deeply in a near-unexamined "A Man Is Always Eager" trope, because it's assumed that his refusal is not only unexpected, but mildly unreasonable, simply because it's inconvenient for the woman.


Now, don't get me wrong; their reconciliation involves her acknowledging that he has a right to want to save sex for more meaningful relationships. But again, if a man were to tell a woman that he realizes she has a right to do that...it wouldn't come off as him being reasonable for almost "forgiving" the girl for not wanting to put out.

But it's pretty clear from the portrayal that this episode, at least, feels both sides had mildly unreasonable expectations and that they both forgave each other for them in a reasonable fashion. This only "works" because of the sexes of the two; swap them, and there's no "equal (un)reasonableness" going on at all, not in any sort of gut-reaction sense.

Though I fear this may be diverging a bit deeply from Red Fel's original topic. I invite him to ask us to quell it if he finds it distracting in his thread.

The Insanity
2015-12-25, 04:48 PM
@ Segev
Very interesting and insightful. I wonder if it would change anything if your "game" wasn't about reversing sexes but making them same sex instead. :smalltongue: (I doubt it though)

Segev
2015-12-25, 05:21 PM
@ Segev
Very interesting and insightful. I wonder if it would change anything if your "game" wasn't about reversing sexes but making them same sex instead. :smalltongue: (I doubt it though)

I don't think it has the same effect. In fact, it would probably backfire in terms of revealing preconceptions, because - fair or not - a lot of homosexual romances tend to cast one of the members as "the guy" and the other as "the girl," despite both being the same sex.

It would require a different sort of exercise to try to see any preconceptions present that relate to homosexuality vs. heterosexuality.

The reason this game works for swapping heterosexual interactions is because it actively causes the expected to jar with what's seen, thus revealing the heretofore hidden expectations. Make, for instance, a classic Tsundere a male with a male love interest who is (other than being gay) the same as he is in the heterosexual version, and you...well, have a fair number of shounen-ai anime as it stands.

...though I take it back, slightly; you never get the "PERVERT!" reactions in homosexual relationships, to my knowledge. (I confess, I have a far less extensive library of experience in viewing these being portrayed.) Unless one member of the couple is straight or "in the closet," neither is portrayed as "unreasonable" in their desire nor view on sex and nudity. And if one IS, then it's usually portrayed as them being "in denial" rather than the other pushing themselves unreasonably onto them.

When one IS straight, and it's not an actual "gay romance" story, it's typically played where the gay one is embarassing the straight one...but the straight one is, if anything, an acceptable target for the embarrassment and the gay one is rarely if ever portrayed as "in the wrong." Again, fair or not, it's usually depicted as the gay one just being "himself" (or "herself") and his or her hijinks being "funny but acceptable" in their pursuit.

I think that is not unique to "gay love interests" though, and more falls into the "abhorrent admirer" scheme. Only when the abhorrent admirer is male AND the target of his affection female is it portrayed as him being an unreasonable pervert. Abhorrent female and gay admirers are "funny" because either the victim or the perpetrator is "acceptable" in their behavior. At least to the level of "ha ha it's a comedy so their bad behavior is just funny."

(Shoutacon females also fall into this category, played as embarassing but not horrifying.)


So, in short, I suppose yes, making one of these "gay" would do odd things to the expectations. If Naru Narusegawa is male and everything else is kept the same, I'm not sure Naru's (over)reaction to the nudity-exposures would "feel right" the same way it is supposed to in the works as written. I invite others to experiment with this if they're interested.

goto124
2015-12-25, 05:57 PM
If something goes outside our views of what is realistic, it's much easier to treat it as comedic. It's the difference between seeing someone get punched and a realistic amount of blood flows out, and seeing someone get a hand sliced off by a katana and blood spews out by the buckets.

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/PA_high_pressure_blood.jpg
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/bobandgeorge_bloodbank_4482.png

The community, the media - novels, shows, even campaigns and other nonfiction - does let us know about male abusers and female victims. Trouble is, we don't seem to even consider the possibility of female abusers and male victims. The best a casual viewer can get, is of males getting abused by other males.

The result? We find that "male abuser female victim" is too close to reality to be funny. But "female abuser male victim"? Who's ever heard of that? They don't exist, silly! Let's all laugh together!

Anyone who's been abused by a female knows it's not true. But this the the message sent to those without personal experience.

Amphetryon
2015-12-25, 07:10 PM
If something goes outside our views of what is realistic, it's much easier to treat it as comedic. It's the difference between seeing someone get punched and a realistic amount of blood flows out, and seeing someone get a hand sliced off by a katana and blood spews out by the buckets.

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/PA_high_pressure_blood.jpg
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/bobandgeorge_bloodbank_4482.png

The community, the media - novels, shows, even campaigns and other nonfiction - does let us know about male abusers and female victims. Trouble is, we don't seem to even consider the possibility of female abusers and male victims. The best a casual viewer can get, is of males getting abused by other males.

The result? We find that "male abuser female victim" is too close to reality to be funny. But "female abuser male victim"? Who's ever heard of that? They don't exist, silly! Let's all laugh together!

Anyone who's been abused by a female knows it's not true. But this the the message sent to those without personal experience.
The Kathleen Turner/Michael Douglas movie The War of the Roses was billed as a 'black comedy' and played with this trope exactly as you've described. If he went after her, we were supposed to be appalled; if she went after him, we were supposed to be chortling from the entertainment.