Author Topic: Confrontation, Conflict, And The Mentality Of Killing  (Read 3108 times)

Is Friday

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Confrontation, Conflict, And The Mentality Of Killing
« on: June 05, 2011, 11:48:56 PM »
Do we have any psych majors on the GDB? If so, I'd like to collaborate on an article that is geared towards a few goals. Folks, feel free to add to this with subjects you'd like explored.

Fight, Flight, Posturing, Submission
Most people understand "fight or flight" as a concept but have no idea what else may happen if they have never before been in a fist fight or are generally not in any situations that demand confrontation, i.e. most privileged teenagers/adults in the "safe" Western civilizations of today.

What happens when you kill someone?
After reading "On Killing" I started delving (no pun intended) into the subject and trying to find out more about the effects that killing and violence cause upon one's psyche. This is a diverse and incredibly deep subject.

Obviously, these two subjects in themselves could end up being a 10k word document for the game. For both of these I'd like to cover a lot of "examples" and with some staff/player input would like to detail the differences in thought process between a player and a Zalanthan.

HERE WE GOOOOO:
I'm drawing heavily from the book "On Killing" by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman. A lot of people do not agree with many things he says, but this is meant to be a document that provokes thought; It's not written as an absolute law.

Fight, Flight, Posturing, Submission

When confronted by someone or something, any humanoid or creature is going to go through a series of choices. Whether or not they are trained, if they are a coward, if their society places value on a certain trait such as survival or courage--are all factors to take into account when dealing with confrontation. Every situation is different! Try not to produce a blanket reaction to all threats, as that is a static approach to a dynamic problem.

First, we'll go over briefly on what each standard reaction is.

Ready? FIGHT!

Individuals who are raised in tribal cultures that value prowess in battle, zealous soldiers for either city-state, or confident ruffians are examples of humanoids that might react violently to confrontation. There are many reasons to fight, the least of which is basic survival. One can fight to establish dominance or settle a dispute.

Flee!
Individuals who become overwhelmed, caught off guard, have no good reason to fight, or fear for their lives may take to fleeing when attacked or confronted.

Posturing up.
Hitting someone in the face that steps within your personal space is not normally a person's first reaction. Usually, there is a sequence of posturing with the hope that one might submit. Puff up your chest, bristle your feathers or hair to make yourself seem larger, or talk big; All in the name of avoiding physical conflict.

Submission...
When your cards are down, sometimes you have no other option. Rolling over and begging for mercy is not beneath anyone when it comes to having your life spared. It can be less extreme than life-or-death; A Trooper can cause a wimpy Runner to curl up and become coerced out of fear, the Runner holding onto the hope that he won't be hurt or lose too much of his sid in the process of submitting.



Situational Awareness
Someone's reaction to violence/coercion is going to depend mostly on the following:
- Personal values gained through individual experiences.
- Cultural values, (city, tribe, employer.)
- Danger involved, (whether it be immediate, as grave as death or as unconsequential as a bar scrap.)

In Zalanthas, your personal pride is likely to be low on the totem pole of importance. Survival is important and should outweigh cultural influences in many cases. There are exceptions, which should include members of organizations that 'brainwash' its employees. i.e. Allanaki loyalist militia, Lyksaen beserkers. If you can justify it, then do so--just understand your reasonings.

Not every conflict will end in death. Sometimes all that you have to lose is some of your sid, but in return you aren't risking jail time or future harrassment. Many times it is better to submit or flee, because while you might not die--you certainly don't want to deal with the consequences of not doing so. Masochists might make up the playerbase, but it is safe to assume that most people do not enjoy unecessary hardships.

While you as a player might look at being thrown in jail as a nuisance where you go afk, grab a drink, and read up on the GDB while waiting for your time to expire... put this into perspective:
- Your PC was just pulled by one of their limbs across uneven terrain for a prolonged period of time (ouch!)
- Your PC was stripped of weapons. (Defenseless!)
- Your PC is now within some dark, unknown dungeons. (That's scary!)
- Your PC is awaiting a possible visit from a Templar, a feared and often vicious enforcer of the law. (Now's a good time to shit your trousers.)

Your average Zalanthan is not looking to attract the attention of your local Templar, nobles, militia, or savage criminal in a negative light. You are going to want to respect the social tier, understanding that they can and may make your life miserable in one way or another. This makes the submission a common one for city-folk.

You might be getting mugged, but is telling a Templar the best option? What if the mugger is in the Guild and has paid off the local militia? That would only mean that you might be killed for trying to cause him future problems. Sometimes, it is best to simply cut your losses instead of playing a cry-baby. Templars do not exist for the downtrodden, so do not treat them as super heroes.


author's note: I'll be adding to this, but I think this is a good start. I'll probably be done by sometime next month. :)
« Last Edit: December 24, 2011, 01:36:17 PM by Is Friday »
And then I sat there going "really? that was it? that's so stupid."

I still think the best closure you get in Armageddon is just moving on to the next character.

lordcooper

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Re: Confrontation, Conflict, And The Mentality Of Killing
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2011, 11:40:24 AM »
Interesting idea for a topic, I'm sure to find this pretty useful.

How about a short section on the reasons and mental processes prior to the act?  I've always had difficulty turning an offence into the "S/he must die!" thought and would appreciate a few tips on that.
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fuck authority smoke weed erryday

oh and here's a free videogame.

a strange shadow

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Re: Confrontation, Conflict, And The Mentality Of Killing
« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2011, 11:42:57 AM »
This comparison probably gets drawn a lot, but, look to Africa for inspiration regarding the mentality of killing and 'cheap life'.

There are uncles attempting to murder their own nieces because they're a burden on the family resources. Murder and rape are not only commonplace but accepted as a part of life that you just deal with and move on from. You get mentally fucked up, yes, but you just sort of shrug it off and live your life as best as you can.

Dakota

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Re: Confrontation, Conflict, And The Mentality Of Killing
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2011, 06:14:35 PM »
I think a lot of it depends on the mentality of the PC / or clan / tribe. Some its avoided. With others its seen as honorable and more of a release, perhaps bordering along pleasure without touching the fringes of a psychopath. Granted this is perhaps more akin to some of the delf tribes but still I'm sure this could be broader in spectrum with various crews in Houses. I've seen some clans though wear and display remains of the dead they have killed. That in its own should say a lot.
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Barzalene

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Re: Confrontation, Conflict, And The Mentality Of Killing
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2011, 06:32:00 PM »
This immediately made me think of Andre Dubus III's book townie. As a pre-adolescent Andre was sort of a wimpy kid. And he lived in a tough neighborhood where he was bullied. Later his younger brother was bullied. At about 16 he starts working out and boxing. He's still not a violent guy at this point. Just confident. But now he's confident enough he's not running from fights.

It turns out that fights are very different than boxing. He almost beat a guy to death in a diner one night. He completely starts losing his shit.

The thing that he said, that I thought had particular bearing on this question was this: It's like there's an invisible membrane that surrounds other people and keeps you from hitting their face. When you're going to do violence you have to break through that membrane. But to do that you have to break through a membrane of self control in yourself. It can stay broken.

He said it better than this, of course.
Varak:You tell the mangy, pointy-eared gortok, in sirihish: "What, girl? You say the sorceror-king has fallen down the well?"
Ghardoan:A pitiful voice rises from the well below, "I've fallen and I can't get up..."

Barzalene

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Re: Confrontation, Conflict, And The Mentality Of Killing
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2011, 06:35:06 PM »
It seems as if he was saying or at least you can extrapolate the premise that before break that thing in yourself that keeps you from violence, your inclination stops you from hurting people and you have to make a conscious choice, but after you break away that barrier there is no or less inclination stopping you, you now need to make a conscious choice not to do violence.
Varak:You tell the mangy, pointy-eared gortok, in sirihish: "What, girl? You say the sorceror-king has fallen down the well?"
Ghardoan:A pitiful voice rises from the well below, "I've fallen and I can't get up..."

bcw81

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Re: Confrontation, Conflict, And The Mentality Of Killing
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2011, 06:53:17 PM »
A great book for this topic is the tried and true Ender's Game.

Quote
A female voice says, in sirihish:
     "] yer a wizard, oashi"

maxid

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Re: Confrontation, Conflict, And The Mentality Of Killing
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2011, 09:32:14 PM »
I am a Psych major.  You have my AIM already, if you want to discuss.

Is Friday

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Re: Confrontation, Conflict, And The Mentality Of Killing
« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2011, 08:16:14 AM »
I am a Psych major.  You have my AIM already, if you want to discuss.
I'll be working on this every Sunday and let you know when I've got my first draft finished. Thanks.

Another topic I thought should be covered...

The mentality of a military lifestyle, from slave to commoner to noble
The social/political differences in mindset between the slave, commoner, and noble with varying examples of each. How they interact and where the dynamics exist.
And then I sat there going "really? that was it? that's so stupid."

I still think the best closure you get in Armageddon is just moving on to the next character.

Is Friday

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Re: Confrontation, Conflict, And The Mentality Of Killing
« Reply #9 on: December 24, 2011, 01:27:54 PM »
I wrote up the first part this morning! I'll be expanding on it as people weigh in with their thoughts.
And then I sat there going "really? that was it? that's so stupid."

I still think the best closure you get in Armageddon is just moving on to the next character.

Iiyola

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Re: Confrontation, Conflict, And The Mentality Of Killing
« Reply #10 on: December 24, 2011, 07:58:18 PM »
Gonna follow this. Interesting!
Sometimes, severity is the price we pay for greatness

lordcooper

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Re: Confrontation, Conflict, And The Mentality Of Killing
« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2012, 11:54:34 PM »
Looks pretty good so far man.  Could you possibly go into a little detail on how people's actions generally change with regards to the presence of bystanders, being outnumbered, outnumbering the person/s instigating conflict and witnessing violence being committed against others?
Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam

fuck authority smoke weed erryday

oh and here's a free videogame.

My 2 sids

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Re: Confrontation, Conflict, And The Mentality Of Killing
« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2012, 08:08:03 AM »
My thoughts, add sociology to that psychology.  Given that the majority of PCs live in century old, non-changing, very defined societies I'd say the societal thought will be first and individual thought second.

Societal thought - don't draw attention.    That is, almost any response to a threat (be it lowly Amos or up-and-coming noble who is low in their house) is going to be quick, furious, and very targeted (so as not to draw attention via drama or flashy show)

Example:  Instead of walking over and slapping someone in the face with a glove and saying, "I challenge thee!"  (as one might in other RPGs) Amos may walk over and whisper, "Why don't you say that again?" then walk over to a dark corner of the room.   OR  land a few swift shots of the fist to one's gut before walking away.  OR  Sometimes you're the one taking advantage, sometimes you're the one eating shit -- as long as everything is quiet.


Societal thought - Clan is everything.  That is, your own personal honor and ability isn't as important as your clansmen. 

Example:  Amos can insult you until he's blue in the face, but if he talks about your family... that's going to get under your skin real fast.  It also means that you don't rely upon yourself to fix your problems/ take on a fight  NOR do you run to the authorities (or even higher ranks) -- Rather it means you gather a friend or two who "have your back"


Societal thought - Survival.  That is, life is valuable!! But its understood that people do what they need to do in order to get by/ keep things running smoothly.

Example:  Few would openly try to murder, but a lack of medical ability (and thus death) wouldn't weigh heavily on the heart of someone as they drive a blade into some feck's shoulder.  OR if a victim think they're too valuable to disregard  their attacker's orders than they're asking for bad things to happen.  OR If you happen to be the stick that breaks the kank's back and must be made an "example" to others -- so be it. 
 
"The Highlord casts a shadow because he does not want to see skin!" -- Boog

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Cind

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Re: Confrontation, Conflict, And The Mentality Of Killing
« Reply #13 on: January 04, 2012, 11:29:50 AM »
statistically on earth, the majority of murders are committed against persons whom the killer knew intimately. I can't give you the names of these textbooks, but pretty much every time i saw murder mentioned in a sociology textbook it mentions that more murders occur within the inner circle than without. for people without political motives who aren't part of large organizations whom they must do unsavory things for, for the everyday Amos who's been grebbing salt since he could run in a straight line, this would be most valid.
Playing something new could be just what you need!

Is Friday

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Re: Confrontation, Conflict, And The Mentality Of Killing
« Reply #14 on: January 04, 2012, 12:42:00 PM »
Maybe if we're talking about the Western world.
And then I sat there going "really? that was it? that's so stupid."

I still think the best closure you get in Armageddon is just moving on to the next character.