Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Anatomy of a Horror Setting #8: Psychic Crime and Villainy

Hello, and welcome to the 200th posting of R.G. Male's Dark Corners.

Up until now these discussions have looked more or less at the large impersonal scale or at society's defenders and champions. The real fun characters of these psychic settings are the villains. They are most fun for the writer, the game designer, and the game master who runs the completed game. Crime and the doing of evil are easier for a psychic than for a normal wrongdoer. This much is a given. The ways to put psychic powers to use in criminal acts range all across the spectrum from petty crime, to white-collar crime, to the most heinous acts some of which are unique to psychics. The one different thing about psychic evil is that amongst all of the kinds of evil out there psychic evil has a common theme. That theme is violation. Except for psychic crimes using only machines, or prognostication, the psychic violates someone.

A truncated list of petty crimes tailored to the use of psychic powers, most notably telekinesis, involves things like petty theft, simple assault, trespassing, and vandalism. A woman's bank machine withdrawal is yanked from the machine before she can grab it. A man beats another man without using foot, fist, or any weapon that witnesses could see. A psychic temporarily disables an electronic lock to enter an office building. White-collar crimes include fraud, bribery, and insider trading each of which can be perpetrated by the use of mind reading or prognostication. Then there are computer crimes committed by technopaths. These psychic manipulators of machines and technology are only one path to the duplication of currently mundane cyber-crime and fraud.

The other path of fraud slips into the realm of the more undesirable psychic form of collecting information, mind reading. At the most harmless level purposely plucking thoughts out of someone is violating them in a molestation kind of sense. Taking this idea further we come to forms of mental manipulation upon a person that anyone would consider seriously violating the victim such as psychic possession. Then there are the ways to use psychic powers to kill such as pain manipulation, crushing hearts, exploding heads, and spontaneous bleeding. Beyond the terrible deaths are the fates worse than death such as induced insanity, being trapped in nightmare filled comas, constant horrific hallucinations, and permanent paralysis for no physical reason at all.

Mood: celebratory.
Music: Tales Of Another Broken Home by Green Day and Kill Devil Hill by Bruce Dickinson.

Green Day: American Idiot
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Bruce Dickinson: Tyranny of Souls

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