It’s said that no one ever sees themselves as the villain, merely the hero of their own story. In the world of tabletop gaming, however, the heroes and villains tend to be rather distinguishable. Heroes wearing shining armor and stand for honor and virtue, while villains wear black and are covered in blood as they spout threats in a quest to destroy all life. Sympathy for the villain can be rare or so minor it becomes a nonfactor, and sometimes this is alright. However, when you create a story that may take months or even years to unravel, this black-and-white portrayal can seem a little bland and the adventure eventually redundant.
The Psychology of Gaming
“The essence of a role-playing game is that it is a group, cooperative experience. There is no winning or losing, but rather the value is in the experience of imagining yourself as a character in whatever genre you’re involved in, whether it’s a fantasy game, the Wild West, secret agents or whatever else. You get to sort of vicariously experience those things.”
– Gary Gygax