ROs that aren't inherently good people?

Yeah… having your romance options mainly or only be paragons of virtue & morality gets old very quickly. I would truly appreciate some RO’s that are honestly morally grey. With an emphasis of not being redeemed or interest in doing so for the sake of the MC.

I don’t think a character should be considered evil simply because they dislike the MC(I’m not saying you’re saying that). I think they should be considered evil if they do evil things or actively seek/try to destroy or oppose the “heroes”

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Not really interested. When characters can be readily labeled as either “good” or “evil” overall, I lose interest in them. If the treatment is a little more nuanced… I might be interested.

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I’m surprised no one’s mentioned Jun/Junko from Samurai of Hyuga yet. They’ve done awful things to two different main characters (one of them being an RO), their actions have become crueler and crueler as time passes, and yet they’re a very popular RO (I really like them myself). It helps that the MC is canonically in love with them, at least on Book 2.

I’d reckon their portrayal is a great example of an RO who is not, as you put it, an inherent good person, but still a very interesting character with a great dynamic with the MC.

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What does this even mean though? Not fit by what standard? Whose standards? Like it’s still fiction, not real life, so I don’t see a problem with having bad people as romantic options. Personally, I like reading all sorts of romances, including problematic ones. The reading experience, y’know?

I agree, this is probably my favorite kind of RO to read about. I like pairing up my lawful good OC with these types because the dynamic is interesting and has the potential for tragedy. I would never want myself or any living, breathing person to be in a relationship with a bad person, but reading it as entertainment or an exploration of these kinds of relationships has all sorts of merit.

you beat me to it! Jun/ko is the best example I can think of in a popular hosted game. There’s like barely a hint of there ever being any sort of redemption for them (like, seriously, I don’t even believe it will happen), but two of the characters I play that game with are stuck in love with them and it makes for a great read.

All in all, I think I like diversity of romantic options above all else. If everyone’s good all the time, it’s not only boring it doesn’t reflect how humanity actually works. Way more interesting to have good people, bad people, and all those in between to flirt with.

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If there is zero basis, zero chemistry, zero anything, a character is not fit to be an RO.

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I really dislike Jun. For me a much better example is the romance version of Krassador in @AllenGies’ old Apex Patrol game.
Jun is a really, really creepy Yandere who does not even seem to respect the mc, which is why I do not like yanderes in general as at least some form of mutual respect is vital to even a fictional relationship for me. Jun, imho, utterly lacks that.

I agree, depending on the way his character development goes and whether or not he´s revealed to be one of the supervillains Vince in @RenaB ´s Model Citizens wip could possibly be another.

I also really, really like the wip ¨Regrets of the Traitor¨ for this reason.

If and when it is finished and if there was ever to be prequel of it in the form of the prologue ¨heroes¨ adventuring days my cute half-elf sorcerer would probably mostly fit this trope..

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I’ve written three explicitly “evil” ROs for my game TDUP.

I think I explored this less with Molloth than with Arcy and C’looth, but for the latter two, the RO is never evil towards you, but you see examples of murder and ritual sacrifice and death that follow them both around like a stench. You have to make a choice on whether their circumstances and worldviews provide sufficient justification for their actions, and if not, what you are willing to do about it.

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what do you call good or evil? that will really be more the question since for some of us the perception of those vary, for me an evil person is someone who will harm / kill others and feel no remorse for example,
some people may just call evil a person who do bad things like bullying or things not so harmfull (in a way)…
now is someone who kills people in revenge an evil person or not good people?..
in stars wars the sith are sometimes the victims of jedy murdering them just by being in the sith empire, the jedys for example are usually the good guys yet they are the ones that usually ends up killing more people either because they get corrupted or in an atemp to kill the siths…

i liked prodigal and i did see how someone like that can get crazy at times ( they murdered her mother when she was only a child…i think? been a long time since i read the game, also she only kill victims if the mcs dont listen to her… for example ¿so the gun or the one that hold the gun?)
about junko she kind of lost her mind when using the techniques and the awfull things that happened to her in the past, that and the mc leaving can make some feel betrayed and lost her mind. I dont think she is that bad or atleast was good in the past.

The ro that i liked most (dragon age origins) Morrigan, now again is she really bad?..i dont really think so.

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How about Preston in Tin Star? He’s, like, a stereotypical rich mogul cigar-smoking type who will sell someone out for a buck and remains that way throughout his life, even if you romance him (which you have to initiate by slapping him at one point, pff.) His one redeeming quality is that no matter what, he opens an orphanage in his retirement age. Kind of a milder example than Prodigal or Jun, but I think he counts?

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Makes me think of Loki or Negan (before imprisonment). I think I could fall for someone like that. I have the ability to empathize so completely that I could almost justify everything they do.

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Why do you all think that “good” seems to be the favored morality for RO’s while morally grey or evil seems to be neglected or a rare morality for RO’s ?

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Quillon from I, Cyborg and Hawkins from Mecha Ace are other good examples, the MC needs to have the compatible personality of a high Selfish/Warrior score to romance them, which is a fair idea.

Prodigal isn’t completely redeemed, I think, she stays Prodigal. My Prodigal-romancing MC was a lawful, incredible good guy who loved her despite her being evil, and believed (perhaps foolishly) that she could change.

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That’s what I’ve got planned in my WIP; one of the MC’s allies mighttttt have indulged in some naughtily murderous behaviour… but then so can the MC! Grey morality is always more intriguing, I find.

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Yeah, what’s great about Krassador’s character is that he is consistently evil whether the MC romanced him or not, but the player can see why the two of them were in a relationship to begin with.

I think Preston is a good example of a character who is neutral but selfish – even when romanced he doesn’t change much because of his relationship with the MC, but what change there is makes sense with the rest of his character and story.

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I also don’t think it’s fair to categorize ROs and people in general into good vs. evil because to be frank, no one is completely good or completely evil 100% of the time. For me, it’s about the RO’s treatment of the MC that matters. For example, Jun/ko’s past is totally relatable for the MC - they probably understand well how Jun/ko turned mad. However, even knowing their motivation, I could not see them as an RO due to the inherently possessive/ obsessive relationship between them, from both sides. Having said that, despite personal preference and depending on how their interactions evolve, I can understand why Jun/ko is attractive as an RO.

Then again, I identify Jun/ko and characters with similar traits as mad and not evil, just as a good character might just be good to those who don’t stand in the way of their goals and not universally good. Personally, I feel that evil compels a terror that stems from the fact that we don’t know the evil’s motivations, or if they have any. This type of evil would probably not be done well as an RO, or can be at most a misleading RO that uses MC to their advantage and nothing more.

Jess from ‘the lost heir’ isnt necessarily evil, but shes worryingly quick to embrace it.

I mean Jun is probably one of my favorite ROs of any game ever and he’s… subjectively… morally bad but even if thats just the great writing I also went with “Bouchard” in Black Cat and they weren’t particularly nice in that game course neither were any of the main cast… technically. Really it just depends on how well written the RO is though if your asking if an RO’s morality would stop me from pursuing them… signs point to no, unless they did something truly heinous and even then… yea I’d probably stick with them, what do I care if they’re evil? I tend to lean that way myself free to be you and me right?

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I actually don’t find there to be any problem with romantic options that ‘aren’t inherently good people’. And I don’t even think it requires a redemption arc. Most of the replies I’ve seen so far seem to be working with a couple of assumptions that I don’t think need to be made.

  • That the player must inherently make ‘good’ decisions about RO’s.
  • That the player must be the initiator of the romance.
  • That a ‘bad’ or ‘evil’ character must change in order to be an acceptable or appropriate RO.

Personally, I think that players should be permitted to play how they want - even if that means intentionally entering into a romance with a character they know isn’t a good person. It’s not even the ‘bad boy’ thing, some people will find even an evil character attractive and alluring. And, what if the player wants to be evil? Who better than an evil RO to suit them?

Also, am I the only one that would find it interesting for a villainous character to be able to exert some kind of manipulative/hypnotic control over the player? What about an evil character that pretends to be redeemed in order to romance you, but who is hiding the fact they haven’t changed at all?

It might be just me, but when I find myself attracted to Harley Quinn, it’s not because I think I can redeem her and make her a ‘good’ character - a lot of her allure is the fact that she isn’t good. Not all women want to redeem the bad boy, some of them want to join his evil cause. Works the same with men.

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I do feel like that there are some characters just meant to be pure evil with zero redeeming qualities that are meant to act as terrifying and hated adversaries to the MC. I could be wrong about this but, I don’t recall Mayor Victon from Hero’s Rise having any particular redeeming qualities and I had no regrets about killing him. I can think of a couple of comic book characters who are completely bereft of “goodness” i.e. James Gordon Jr., Red Skull, Carnage, Norman Osborn aka Green Goblin & The Governor. So while, morality isn’t a black and white thing especially in real life, I do believe that some characters are purposefully designed to be a villain that is pure evil and meant to be hated and frequently do horrible things to crush the idea of “oh maybe they could be redeemed or maybe there is good in them buried deep down.” FYI, I’m not saying characters like these would make good RO’s, I’m saying that there are or could be exceptions to the idea of no one being 100% good or evil.

When it comes to stories centered around vengeance seekers and their morality it doesn’t seem simple to judge them under the criteria of are they good or evil ? Sometimes it is a case of grey vs black where the protagonist has done horrible things but then you look at their enemy and you see that they’re worse than the protagonist.

I would find that to be an interesting experience and I would greatly enjoy the possible cat and mouse games that could be incorporated rather than your typical hero vs. villain fight. I think that would also break the mold of the hero always defeating the villain and would actually put the “hero”/player at a disadvantage that I think would be very interesting.

As a person who either primarily plays villain, anti-villain or sociopathic hero, I feel restricted when my RO options are self righteous paragons of virtue and I don’t have an actual partner in crime who is just as evil/amoral as I am if not more. Granted not all RO’s are like this(thankfully,) but the options for an RO that accepts my lack of morality are limited in my experience.

I wholeheartedly agree with you on this, I feel like giving a really good villain a redemption arc just so a goodie-2 shoes MC can romance them basically neuters them of a major quality that makes them unique. I’d rather the villain not be an RO at all if it’s mandatory for them to become a hero or redeemed and loose that integral part of their identity.

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Villains in movies/stories that are only evil and have NO redeeming qualities what-so-ever are poorly written, in my opinion. I am often cast as the villain in my shows, and one of my first acting coaches taught me that the key to playing a villain is not realizing you are one, OR atleast not thinking that you are wrong. This makes sense… for instance, in Negan’s eyes - Rick’s group were the villains. They killed a ton of his people before he even met them. Is he sadisitic? Yep. Did he see their story beforehand, like we did? Nope. Does he think that this is how he needs to survive in crazy circumstances? Absolutely. Anyway, yeah. Every well written character should have SOME redeeming quality that someone might fall in love with.

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