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What's Your Opinion on Edgelords/Edgier Characters?


teamtr
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Howdy. I was interested in hearing peoples' opinions on edgy characters, AKA Edgelords.

 

  • What constitutes an Edgelord? Is it the dark clothing, the grim loner persona, the flashy, violent, or gruesome powers or methods?
  • Have you ever played an Edgelord, or seen one in action that just made you cringe--or even one who you found to be well-written? 
  • What traits might redeem a character who first seems like an Edgelord in your eyes?
  • How do you feel about edgy themes in RP overall? Tragic backstories, painful powers, explorations of trauma as a result of the adventures characters go on, all that good stuff.

 

Give me your thoughts as you please! I'll start things off with mine.

 

I'm of the opinion that any character concept can be amazing in the hands of a skilled enough writer. ...I'll also be the first to admit that when I see a character clad in all-black leather and skulls occupying a corner by themselves, I can't help but make a few biased assumptions.

 

In my own experience, my characters are often a little edgy. My main, Swamp Hag, is a zombie plant woman who smokes, drinks, wears a punk leather jacket (with spikes of course), wears sunglasses indoors, the whole shebang. But those traits on their own don't make an Edgelord, they're only surface-level.

 

I think the real key is the sense of...I wish I could describe this any other way, but...desperation, I think? There's some edgy characters who you just know desperately want people to think they're cool. Their dialogue drips with zero self-awareness, they butt into conversations or conflicts for the purposes of 'winning' them rather than writing a good scene, and they seem disinterested in talking about anything other than themselves.

 

They play at being mysterious, until they dump their ten-page backstory on you at first meeting, or they insist upon being loners who push all interaction away, but then complain OOC when they get ignored as a result. They insist upon being aggro with everyone, but won't even entertain the idea of losing a fight.

 

It's this underlying insecurity, the peril of insisting upon being cool, badass and infallible at all times and therefore having no room to be wrong or to grow or learn. Alas, poor Edgelord.

 

 

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Dark with dark highlights, a dark background, with maybe a little red thrown in, and the personality of a rebel secretly hoping to be popular.

 

It's mostly the personality that does it for me.  I love the dark sets, black goes with anything in a costume, and a little adversity in one's background contrasts nicely when shown rising above the difficulties of their past.  (Side note: almost all my character's parents in any game are still alive.)  And if someone straddles that line, or falls over, but the writing and characterization are good, then more power to them.

 

I am afraid I'm somewhat edgelord-adjacent though.  I like darker colors, especially purple.  I always choose Ghost Widow as a patron.  I'm terribly shy so I'm the lonely person in the corner.  Ninety percent of my characters have a dark attack or darkness control power.  I just have to hope my bios keep me out of the Abyss.  Those I'm pretty proud of, even on the silly characters.

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"Edgelords" as a term are a relatively new term for me, and I'd just been following the definition I looked up, so I may not be fully understanding its use in the RP community.
 

An edgelord is someone on an internet forum who deliberately talks about controversial, offensive, taboo, or nihilistic subjects in order to shock other users in an effort to appear cool, or edgy.
 

Although dark, dark, darkity dark is certainly the dominant visual cue, I never considered it a requirement.   (in fact, I challenge the magnificent character imaginators in this game to make the edgiest rainbow edgelord possible!  Any correctly-played Clown Edgelord that predates this post gets my official nod of respect.  Mime-edgelord: make it happen. Catgirl edgelords- come on, in the infinite number of catgirls online, statistics say they have to exist.  keep them away from me.  No challenge there.   Costume contest for the edgiest edglordiest puns incoming.)
 

In all seriousness, engaging an edgelord character can  be a welcome contrast and to characters seeking more harmonious relationship-building but that constant "edginess for attention-grabbing" can be fatiguing to engage with for a long time.  That's especially true when it's an "edgelord player controlling an edgelord character" because there's no chance for OOC relief.   At least when a non-edgelorder is trying on the persona (or parodying it) they're open to input in OOC to keep the play enjoyable for everyone.  A PLAYER with an edgelord personality just justifying his character's edgelordiness... that person just revels in the controversy OOC and IC.  I have no time for that and quickly /ignore them into irrelevance. 

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2 hours ago, teamtr said:

Howdy. I was interested in hearing peoples' opinions on edgy characters, AKA Edgelords.

 

  • What constitutes an Edgelord? Is it the dark clothing, the grim loner persona, the flashy, violent, or gruesome powers or methods?
  • Have you ever played an Edgelord, or seen one in action that just made you cringe--or even one who you found to be well-written? 
  • What traits might redeem a character who first seems like an Edgelord in your eyes?
  • How do you feel about edgy themes in RP overall? Tragic backstories, painful powers, explorations of trauma as a result of the adventures characters go on, all that good stuff.

 

Give me your thoughts as you please! I'll start things off with mine.

 

I'm of the opinion that any character concept can be amazing in the hands of a skilled enough writer. ...I'll also be the first to admit that when I see a character clad in all-black leather and skulls occupying a corner by themselves, I can't help but make a few biased assumptions.

 

In my own experience, my characters are often a little edgy. My main, Swamp Hag, is a zombie plant woman who smokes, drinks, wears a punk leather jacket (with spikes of course), wears sunglasses indoors, the whole shebang. But those traits on their own don't make an Edgelord, they're only surface-level.

 

I think the real key is the sense of...I wish I could describe this any other way, but...desperation, I think? There's some edgy characters who you just know desperately want people to think they're cool. Their dialogue drips with zero self-awareness, they butt into conversations or conflicts for the purposes of 'winning' them rather than writing a good scene, and they seem disinterested in talking about anything other than themselves.

 

They play at being mysterious, until they dump their ten-page backstory on you at first meeting, or they insist upon being loners who push all interaction away, but then complain OOC when they get ignored as a result. They insist upon being aggro with everyone, but won't even entertain the idea of losing a fight.

 

It's this underlying insecurity, the peril of insisting upon being cool, badass and infallible at all times and therefore having no room to be wrong or to grow or learn. Alas, poor Edgelord.

 

 

"I'm of the opinion that any character concept can be amazing in the hands of a skilled enough writer." I COMPLETELY agree with this, and at the same time. There is a need for that balance. If everyone is a hero, everyone is looking out for the greater good, the ultimate 'peace'. Things stagnate. Having a good antagonist in any story is what can DRIVE that narrative. A good villian gives hope for the hero, a good villian can inspire anger, sadness.

When someone is 'edgy' for the sake of being a badass, with no substance behind it, it's a joke. You don't need to be dark and brooding to be one of the most menacing personalities around. 

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1 hour ago, Krimson said:

Dark and Edgy was great when I was 14 and consuming Elric novels like air. At 49... The grimdorks don't impress.

 

What would you say impresses you now, if you don't mind my asking?

 

1 hour ago, Siouxsie said:

I am afraid I'm somewhat edgelord-adjacent though.  I like darker colors, especially purple.  I always choose Ghost Widow as a patron.  I'm terribly shy so I'm the lonely person in the corner.  Ninety percent of my characters have a dark attack or darkness control power.  I just have to hope my bios keep me out of the Abyss.  Those I'm pretty proud of, even on the silly characters.

 

Hey, no worries! This thread isn't meant to impugn anyone, just share our thoughts and opinions a bit. I enjoy some darkness and edginess myself, and I'm also shy, so it's all good. The most important thing to keep in mind is to do whatever interests you and makes you happy, and strive to interest other players and help them have fun along with you.

 

16 minutes ago, chase said:

Any correctly-played Clown Edgelord that predates this post gets my official nod of respect.

 

I have a Drow character in a D&D game I'm a part of who is a Pulcinella-style clown with a monkey companion she uses to attack people with, if that counts. (In this homebrew world, I made all the Drow Italian murder clowns. Because I could.)

 

19 minutes ago, chase said:

In all seriousness, engaging an edgelord character can  be a welcome contrast and to characters seeking more harmonious relationship-building but that constant "edginess for attention-grabbing" can be fatiguing to engage with for a long time.  That's especially true when it's an "edgelord player controlling an edgelord character" because there's no chance for OOC relief.

 

I agree completely. I think almost any character archetype becomes exhausting if the player behind the character only cares about being super attention-grabby or self-serving, rather than wanting to contribute to an interesting story for everyone.

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6 minutes ago, teamtr said:

 

What would you say impresses you now, if you don't mind my asking?

 

Since you mentioned Dungeons and Dragons, it worth noting that I had to deal with my very first Drizzt Do'urden clone in 1995. As for what impresses me. Mostly original concepts which don't follow cookie cutter builds. You see a tanker? What are the odds it's Invul/SS? As for "Dark and Edgy", I really don't see the point. Even if you are evil and are a roleplayer, your evil has to have some sort of motivation. I'd be more impressed at a Snidely Whiplash expy who was made on purpose to subvert and lampshade the trope than one who is only an expy by accident. 

 

Mind you, back to Dungeons and Dragons, I am the sort of person who will run a game and have Strahd von Zarovich talk like Count von Count, complete with convenient thunder and lightning. 

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 i think edgelords are ok, buuut, most of my characters will make fun of edgelords ICly

ok i have two character who apear as edglord at first glance but one is a complete fool and the other one well ... the other one is something and i dont really know what got in to my self playing that character

back to the Zukunft

 

@Jkwak

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3 minutes ago, Krimson said:

As for "Dark and Edgy", I really don't see the point. Even if you are evil and are a roleplayer, your evil has to have some sort of motivation. I'd be more impressed at a Snidely Whiplash expy who was made on purpose to subvert and lampshade the trope than one who is only an expy by accident. 

 

I agree completely. Much of what appeals to me about roleplay is that it's a chance to experiment with and deconstruct tropes and archetypes that many people might be familiar with, and which I think I could have a refreshing thing to say about. Over the years, I've become much more sensitive to whether or not a given player is self-aware regarding their character, or whether they don't seem interested in any metatextual reading of their character and instead just...sort of exist.

 

Not to say characters need to be perfect Jungian archetypes or anything, but I've found it helps to look at it this way: There are writers who write Batman like Batman. He's an orphan, he beats criminals up, he's got contingency plans, he puts villains in Arkham Asylum. Cool! Okay. But then there are writers who write Batman like The Batman. They explore why he is what he is, what he represents as a symbol, not simply a personality and a body. He is an incredibly wealthy man, arguably driven mad by his parents' murder, who spends much of his time wearing a ridiculous costume to fight villains in their own ridiculous costumes because those villains are damaged by the world in such similar ways as him. But a writer can go deeper still: Batman represents the futility of fighting crime with violence and suppression and the maddening cycle of recidivism that causes; how privilege can completely change the course a person's life may go after ruinous tragedy; the decay of urban life; the list goes on.

 

The same can be said of the Punisher or other famously edgy characters. A Punisher expy, poorly-written, is just an angry, murderous guy with a gun. But a Punisher expy whose player understands what the Punisher is meant to represent? That can be some great stuff.

 

20 minutes ago, Krimson said:

Mind you, back to Dungeons and Dragons, I am the sort of person who will run a game and have Strahd von Zarovich talk like Count von Count, complete with convenient thunder and lightning. 

 

Yes! I love it. My long-winded thoughts above aside, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar and you just gotta give the people what they want.

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31 minutes ago, Krimson said:

 

Mind you, back to Dungeons and Dragons, I am the sort of person who will run a game and have Strahd von Zarovich talk like Count von Count, complete with convenient thunder and lightning. 


I wish to apply for your next D&D campaign and am willing to commute large distances to make that happen.  😄

My favorite part of the original Ravenloft was the tongue-in-cheek tombstones scattered throughout the cemetery, so I find such an approach very much aligned with the original developers' intent.  ("here lies Admiral von [ITotallyForget].  Confused though he was, he built the greatest navy ever fielded by a landlocked country.")

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7 minutes ago, chase said:


I wish to apply for your next D&D campaign and am willing to commute large distances to make that happen.  😄

My favorite part of the original Ravenloft was the tongue-in-cheek tombstones scattered throughout the cemetery, so I find such an approach very much aligned with the original developers' intent.  ("here lies Admiral von [ITotallyForget].  Confused though he was, he built the greatest navy ever fielded by a landlocked country.")

Back in the 90s, I had a theory that the modules Dungeonland and Land Beyond the Magic Mirror, based on the works of Lewis Carroll, existed in the same pocket dimension as the Domains of Dread.

 

The game I ran with Count von Count von Zarovich was actually more of a tower defense reverse dungeon, as well as a mashup with the MAID RPG. The players were all maids working for Strahd, one was a guy. Romance was a possibility with Strahd as Master though it never happened. Most of the game was fighting of angry hordes of villagers with torches and pitchforks, Cleric and Paladins, as well as Nuns with Nunchucks. 

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Dark and edgy by itself I wouldn't necessarily call "edgelord"- just like I wouldn't consider every strong female character a 'mary sue' (for the record, I hate that term).   the names, to me, convey things taken to an (often harmful) extreme.

Take a gent that was a latent telepath/empath/pain dom type.  His powers were discovered after a terrorist attack that left him badly burned and scarred.  He was left in a constant state of pain from his injuries and as he recovered in the hospital, he realized that he subconsciously broadcast that pain to patients nearby.   It pained him to hurt others, so he worked hard trying to hold that agony back into himself (or channeled out on those deserving).  He's learned that he's only partially successful- that other peoples' own empathic bond to him allows the suffering to link through, so he's put up more walls, acts more nihlistic, more unapproachable... driving people away.  Slowly going mad, desperately wanting a connection with another human being, only to destroy any that comes for fear of harming them.

Now, roleplaying a damaged soul like that may be an interesting challenge for some.  I work with tragic fine, but not full despair.  
Encountering such a person would be interesting for me story-wise-- it has a twist of being a true empathic person that's behaving this way to protect others from their own bond to them, while desperately hoping for such a bond to relieve the pain he's under.  It could be a welcome encounter.
Roleplaying a RELATIONSHIP WITH such a character, however, could be borderline emotional abuse without a great deal of OOC coordination.   if the person behind the scenes is equally edgelord, then there's no hope.
 

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I think a distinction needs to be made between edgy and edgelord. The former is a just bit out there, while the latter feels the need to hammer home the fact that he's further out there than everyone else. The first person's character is a shy goth with clove cigarettes, an eye twitch, and some barely visible scars on her arm that she doesn't talk about; the latter is the rape child of Hitler's occultist son and a vampire demon succubus from hell, and now she's a pain goddess who feels the pain of everyone nearby which causes her demon tattoos to burst into flames causing her even more pain. And she smokes clove cigarettes too.

 

The former can be fun in manageable doses, the latter is best backed away from. They'll get bored in a month and move on to WoW.

Edited by Kyksie
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1 hour ago, Krimson said:

Back in the 90s, I had a theory that the modules Dungeonland and Land Beyond the Magic Mirror, based on the works of Lewis Carroll, existed in the same pocket dimension as the Domains of Dread.

 

The game I ran with Count von Count von Zarovich was actually more of a tower defense reverse dungeon, as well as a mashup with the MAID RPG. The players were all maids working for Strahd, one was a guy. Romance was a possibility with Strahd as Master though it never happened. Most of the game was fighting of angry hordes of villagers with torches and pitchforks, Cleric and Paladins, as well as Nuns with Nunchucks. 

 

I loved those two Lewis Carroll modules.  Slotting them in the same pocket dimension does make sense.  They were more horrifying than almost anything else of that period.

 

My group is being run through the new Ravenloft campaign.  As fun as it is, your version sounds amazing.

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14 hours ago, teamtr said:

How do you feel about edgy themes in RP overall? Tragic backstories, painful powers, explorations of trauma as a result of the adventures characters go on, all that good stuff.

 

Uh, well, that's.....
hides the entire New Praetorians Initiative SG

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Look, I know what I'm about, and I'm about 'exploring the effects of ongoing developmental trauma and burn out in a setting where ignoring such things can have outwardly disastrous consequences'. (I was going to be a psych student, can you tell?)
 

In a setting where ignoring your mental health can have consequences such as 'you lost control of your superpowers and burned your house down', I think it's a little fascinating to take a character with horrific mental health and push them just a bit further until they have to either face their issues or break. And that's naturally going to result in 'edgy' behavior- edginess is, by its very nature, a self destructive behavior. If you're writing a self destructive spiral, that's one of the loops it can take.

 

And it's fun, too, to see what makes them soften. What turns an asshole into a heart of gold? Is it worth the grit, to see the glitter beneath?

 

And then- the question a lot of these characters, I think, are silently asking---

 

Can you meet the world, edges sharp and surface ugly, and still be seen as worthy of being?

 

Are you allowed to just be angry?

 

There's a value to those questions, and there's value in the process of seeking the answers. Everyone you meet in these games is writing a story, and whatever that story is, there's a reason they are writing it.

 

(And, of course, there's always the obligatory 'look, edgy hot, okay,' and that's fair too! There is value in self indulgence- isn't that what all RP is, on some level?)

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8 hours ago, TaleFromYourPocket said:

Look, I know what I'm about, and I'm about 'exploring the effects of ongoing developmental trauma and burn out in a setting where ignoring such things can have outwardly disastrous consequences'. (I was going to be a psych student, can you tell?)
 

In a setting where ignoring your mental health can have consequences such as 'you lost control of your superpowers and burned your house down', I think it's a little fascinating to take a character with horrific mental health and push them just a bit further until they have to either face their issues or break. And that's naturally going to result in 'edgy' behavior- edginess is, by its very nature, a self destructive behavior. If you're writing a self destructive spiral, that's one of the loops it can take.

 

And it's fun, too, to see what makes them soften. What turns an asshole into a heart of gold? Is it worth the grit, to see the glitter beneath?

 

And then- the question a lot of these characters, I think, are silently asking---

 

Can you meet the world, edges sharp and surface ugly, and still be seen as worthy of being?

 

Are you allowed to just be angry?

 

There's a value to those questions, and there's value in the process of seeking the answers. Everyone you meet in these games is writing a story, and whatever that story is, there's a reason they are writing it.

 

(And, of course, there's always the obligatory 'look, edgy hot, okay,' and that's fair too! There is value in self indulgence- isn't that what all RP is, on some level?)


Honestly, that kind of edgelord interaction that I LIKE.  (1st degree was criminology/prelaw with a focus on deviant psychology* before I went into the comp sci field).   THAT would be an interesting take and engaging for a me as a player, even if my characters aren't taking that dark path themselves.   It creates some fascinating interpersonal moments.

The fatigue sets in when it it becomes clear that the PLAYER behind the character is ...maybe a bit too much of a method actor?

( *I don't necessarily play edgelords, but there's a reason why so many of my characters have been shaped by encounters in juvenile justice, really messed up home lives, or places where the justice system's "rough edges" left pretty sizable scars.   Maybe I don't go full 'edge' with them because I'm hoping that there's a way back from the trauma that I've seen inflicted in those folks and I manifest that hope via RP. )
 

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For me "Edgelord" is the sort of person that's "I'm making a grimdark character with dark and gritty visual aesthetic because it's cool" which gets tiresome if played unironically... but also hey, it's not going to bother me if someone else plays that sort of character. Cool, that's how they have fun, as long as they don't shove it in my face fine. 

 

That said, a character that is exploring a storyline of loss, recovery, redemption, and of those sort of things will tend to come across in the nature of edge... but there's a big difference between "I want to explore X story" and "I like the aesthetic of X story".

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Oh boy it's a highminded and largely undirected macro-level discussion about a common character archetype regarding its place in roleplay etiquette, you know you kids shouldn't leave dese tings lying around, they're like fukkin catnip to @TwoDee ova there and before ya know it he'll crowbar his way into the thread to write some kinda fukkin dissertation and nobody wants-

-OH NO, HE'S HERE

Okay everybody stay calm, if we don't voice innocous opinions that nobody could reasonably take exception to, he won't be able to make some kinda hyperbolic, iconoclastic opening statement that's needlessly confrontational-

 

On 8/5/2021 at 10:29 AM, Krimson said:

Since you mentioned Dungeons and Dragons, it worth noting that I had to deal with my very first Drizzt Do'urden clone in 1995. As for what impresses me. Mostly original concepts which don't follow cookie cutter builds. You see a tanker? What are the odds it's Invul/SS? As for "Dark and Edgy", I really don't see the point. Even if you are evil and are a roleplayer, your evil has to have some sort of motivation. I'd be more impressed at a Snidely Whiplash expy who was made on purpose to subvert and lampshade the trope than one who is only an expy by accident. 

 

Originality isn't real, and anyone who tells you that their character is 'truly original' just has too much of an ego or too little self-awareness to tell you what inspirations they brought in.  Humans are mimics: we learn by doing, and we tell stories by iterating on the stories we've experienced, not by magically conjuring fully-formed characters from The Story Hole.

 

In 2011, the worst human being that I personally knew - by two metrics, morality and hygiene - decided that I should watch Puella Magi Madoka Magica, an anime about cute girls being tricked by an eldritch horror into fighting against other eldritch horrors in a cosmic war.  He decided that I would like it based on two selling points: the first was "it's got lesbians in," which isn't pertinent to this discussion but paints a good portrait of where the man's priorities lay.  The second was "it subverts all the genre tropes of the Magical Girl anime genre."

 

AAAABRIvSRTApLchGxbTQI0UsuYapPTx-Psg4MoRSuN2Jxi0e8-wYny0EiX9pW9dDrPzIAje6hDIFjoGbVgNuu_HT-1iQOAJ.thumb.jpg.60d3852593f57811432120f26c385921.jpg

 

I later spoke to my long-term partner who was, independently, also trying to get me to watch Puella Magi Madoka Magica at the time.  The Worst Human's recommendation annoyed her deeply, not as an enthusiast of the Magical Girl genre, but merely because she'd watched a few different Magical Girl anime over the course of her life and found his take to be insultingly reductive.

 

She insisted that Worst Human's statement that Madoka Magica 'subverted the genre' by being dark Cosmic Horror showed a fundamental misunderstanding of the breadth and scope of the genre.  She used as examples for her counterargument seminal genre works such as - and I do apologize for spoiling decades-old Magical Girl plotlines here - Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, which delves into cosmic horror headfuck territory in its Book of Darkness storyline, and Princess Tutu, which revolves around a doomed protagonist who is consciously aware that she is a narrative construction and will cease to exist, functionally dying in every way that it is possible to die, at the culmination of her storyline.  These are heady horror themes presented as part and parcel to earlier genre works... that Worst Human was attempting to sell to me as being badass, iconoclastic takedowns of a genre that he clearly only understood on an aesthetic level.

 

Puella Magi Madoka Magica is a good anime.  I liked it a lot.  But it is not, in any special sense, Original, and attempting to sell it as such belies a fundamental problem that a lot of us creatives have with conflating originality 1:1 for quality.  "Madoka Magica is Good, ergo surely it must be Original!  I know this because works that are Not Original, are categorically Bad!"

 

Which brings us back to the Edgelord, a character archetype defined by both "badass iconoclastic genre takedowns" and "only being understood on an aesthetic level."

 

punisher.thumb.png.59aead97855d1b7d185e4435815f8cca.png

 

For the sake of ease, let's define Edgelord in in-character terms: an Edgelord is an antiheroic or antivillainous character archetype distinguished by excessive violence, personal drama/trauma, and a look that is intentionally evocative of 'villain' norms regardless of where the character falls on the morality spectrum.

 

The Edgelord is, itself, a 'totAl GeNrE sUbVeRsIoN' that actually fits extremely well within the boundaries of its genre.  The Edgelord is a challenge to the status quo of comics; true-blue heroes, blood-red villains, a crisp-lined art style and morality-tale format so mind-numbingly simple you could mistake them for a Congressman's mediocre adult children on legacy scholarships.  Attaching villain demarcators to an antihero or antivillain plays with that.  To paraphrase and build off of @teamtrin an ensemble cast, Batman works because he is a foil for Superman.  The Punisher works because he's a foil for Spider-Man and, later, Daredevil.  Spawn worked because he was a refutation of, essentially, the entire mainstream comics industry at the time of his creation.  A lot of people like to shit on traumatized-badass antiheroes and antivillains now because they became so oversaturated that they began to drown out straight-laced heroes in comics throughout the 90s and early aughts, but I reiterate that there truly is nothing new under the sun.  It's very silly to me to see fans (and roleplayers!) blame a fictitious character archetype for failure to engage when the fault always lies with the author, the actual human being attempting to court your eyeballs.

 

By and large, though, the Edgelord works as a conceit, it works as a foil, it's an iconic character type that comes prepackaged with a convenient and immediate understanding of what this character is about, in the same way that it's a lot easier to get into pickup RP with a square-jawed flying brick or an all-caps MAD SCIENTIST than with abstract, esoteric concepts less grounded in the genre of our shared space.  A lot of the protest against the archetype in the contemporary roleplay community is a sort of collective strawmanning, where everyone implicitly agrees that because trenchcoats and katanas got super popular in April 1999, dark character archetypes are now Lame And In Fact Cringe, despite those themes being popular because they're resonant.  Currently, the aesthetic trend leans away from Edgy, and that means there's a strong peer pressure not to use those hallmarks because they're out-of-fashion, in the same way that classic spandex was out-of-fashion when the Edgelord reigned supreme.

 

Notice the apologetics that @Siouxsie has to go into in the third post of this thread to justify using red and black and the /Dark powerset, or @jkwak going "I make fun of edgelords (but also I play them)" in the eighth.  Notice how @TaleFromYourPocket has to frame their hypothetical edgelord character's angst as having a social-commentary polemic before people here will accept it as valid.  These are players who clearly enjoy the aesthetic of darkness, but understand that there is a social pressure on Everlasting to not indulge in that aesthetic without qualification or - in the middle case - performing the necessary mockery of that aesthetic to satisfy the community's expectations.

 

I say, if you want to play the character, then let your Edgelord flag fly.  Give your giant sword a name like "Slaymaster" and then lick it whenever it cuts your enemies, because you're also a vampire.  Cover your body in tacticool greebles even though they serve no purpose, just because they look bad-fucking-ass.  Lecture heroes about why they're weak and feeble, and lecture villains about... also why they're weak and feeble.  Tell me about your family, who died tragically because they were assassins and also you were an assassin and actually it was you who killed your family in an assassin duel.  "Originality" is meaningless if people won't engage with, understand, or care about your fifty pages of exhaustively realized backstory.  Long live the archetype!

 

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I finish by linking a story from the New Praetorians Initiative Discord about one of the most fun exchanges I've ever had in City of Heroes, and it was because I pulled myself out of that 'I don't like what the community doesn't like' mindset long enough to really let an Edgelord player pull out all the stops to perform edginess at me.  Sure, I found it more silly in its hyperbole than legitimately shocking, but that had a value all its own and I invite everyone here to really make the effort to engage with characters they find 'cringey' on a more regular basis because there are diamonds in that rough.

 

Edited by TwoDee
This post is set to "P5hng Me A*wy" from Linkin Park's remix album "Reanimation"
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@TwoDee My favorite thing about the Nanoha franchise is just how aggressively casual it is with treating people like people. There's some angst and drama and such in the stories, but by and large the main characters just by default treat everybody like people.

 

Cloned from another person - person

Cyborg - person

Intelligent magical device - person

Humanoid magical construct - person

Familiar - person
Criminal - person

 

The characters are just so casual about not making a big deal about the other characters' origins.

Edited by Thrythlind
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Posted (edited)

@TwoDee How dare you be funnier and more thoughtful than me in my own thread, sir. The back button is that way.

 

Jokes aside, thank you for your thoughts! Wonderfully said, and I agree wholeheartedly. I also enjoy how you pointed out the apologetics and modifiers some have used in this very thread, which I can't fault them for, as I know I've dropped into that mentality once or twice myself.

 

I think I have a lot of affection for old-fashioned edginess. While I've never been a fan of the 90s and 00s comic book antiheroes with jawlines you could grate cheese on and enormous guns you could also grate cheese on (too much focus on hypermasculinity, and female characters in half those stories were mainly relegated to dying, whimpering, or getting brutalized), I very much appreciate the aesthetics and the deconstruction of its predecessors which that era heralded. I have many fond memories of sneaking into my dad's comic collection and ravenously reading Watchmen when I was way too young to be reading Watchmen. (You can't convince me to like The Dark Knight Returns though, sorry.)

 

Anyway, kudos from me. We were all born in cringe, and to cringe we shall return. The best decision I could've ever made was to just enjoy the things I enjoy and let others do the same.

 

EDIT: All this talk about magical girl anime is bringing back memories. Have you guys watched Revolutionary Girl Utena? You should watch that if you haven't. My favorite anime of all time, hands-down.

Edited by teamtr
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Yeah, edginess seems to be when the tragedy et al is chosen for the aesthetic more than story exploration.  I know I go a lot for characters that are built with a recovery/redemption arc, but then I also like peppy and cheerful carefree characters occasionally.

Edited by Thrythlind
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I try not to judge.

 

It takes courage to put yourself out there creatively, and most early steps are likely to fall into any of a number of clichés. We all looked stupid taking our first steps. If our parents had laughed us down instead of encouraging us, how many of us would still be crawling? Not you (collective reader), of course. You're a bright special pronoun of wonderous untapped potential, and your every creative effort is a resounding critical and personal success. Everyone knows that. Not everyone is a roleplaying prodigy though. If you want to elevate people you have to encourage their efforts even when they could use more work. Otherwise, people might get the idea that you don't really care about how people roleplay. One might imagine you're just looking for validation that you're doing it right to cover the dreadful embarrassment we all feel when we put our creativity out for the judgement of others.

 

All that being said, as I came of age in the edgiest of times, I have a soft spot for them. Like any trope, overuse wears thin in time. But I try to remind myself that I am lucky to witness someone put a piece of themselves out there.

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I don't really know what the definition of the phrase is.  To me, it sounds like someone trying to make a character like Frank Castle/The Punisher, but they just come off sounding like an moody teenager with superpowers.  🤷‍♂️

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