Roleplayer Library Review: The Count de Monte Cristo

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What a statement! What a book! Put on your parka's ladies and gentlemen, because I am about to gush all over you about one of my favorite books of all time!

Revenge and Justice....

In this world in which we live, we must live with people. To make things ridiculously simple, people can only treat eachother in three different ways: with indifference, with benignity, or with malice.

Most will treat us with indifference, and their indifference will have little effect on us. At times though, will will be visited on others with ill will: someone will try their best to hurt us, perhaps for an ulterior motive, perhaps just to see us bleed. And, at other times, another human's indifference to our situation will give us a hardship.

When we are hurt by a disease, all we can do is treat it. When we are hurt by the weather, all we can do is move on.

But human's inherent frailty, combined with their paradoxical strength, mean that when a human hurts another human, there are more options available to the victim than merely continuing on with life.

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas shows us how one man reacts to the humans that have caused him pain,  and which of those "options" he chooses change his situation. It's not Punisher: Late 1700's Edition (which would be awesome). It's not without "natural justice", either. You will only know when you read it.

And when you do, your intrigues will never be the same....

This book applies to:
Any game in which revenge or justice is a theme.
The King is Dead RPG by Sean Bircher
All for One (Either Ubiquity System or Savage Worlds)
Regime Diabolique
Vampire: The Masquerade
Superhero games

A humble sailor goes to hell...

We begin The Count with pathetic Edmond Dantes, a meek but hard-working sailor trying to make some papers stack for his Catalan fiance. It all immediately goes to crap when a jealous fellow sailor and a low ranking private join forces to ruin Dantes by framing him as a Napoleonic spy. The judge who sentenced him to Chateau d'ff had his own dark motives as well, and thus we establish the three major antagonists (or rather, targets) of a multi decade campaign of revenge.

Several themese appear over and over again in Count. One is hope, actually. Dante looses hope in the beginning, and regains it through a slick, somewhat slimy but kindly priest that he shares a cell with. Not only is Dante's faith constantly threatened throughout the entire story (as every good thriller should do), but other characters who come into importance also find their faith tested.

The other major theme is, of course, Revenge. Revenge is not treated as "good" thing per say, but its certainly not made out to be the worst idea. Dante's revenge does get out of hand, and he is remorseful, but also considers the entire chain of events to be "The will of God". For it not being a Gothic Novel officially, it still has a darkly romantic tilt to it.

Thus, this book is just, frankly perfect for V:tM. I mean, darkly romantic revenge, Dante feels trapped in the deliciously sadistic personna he was forced into (vampires feel trapped in the deliciously sadistic phenotype and culture that they are forced into). Come on. Not rocket science.

Revenge is actually such a common trope in the wider story of mankind, that this book probably is good inspiration for any game.

You know... this book is so damn good I don't have anything else to say about it. Just read the fucker. (so much for gushing...)

But wait, there's more!

*catches mic*

I have got to recommend to you NOT to read it. Unless audiobooks aren't your thing, in that case read it.

Download the FREE audiobook version narrated by David Clarke. He does every single MF'ing voice perfect AF. After you are done being brain-bombed by David Clarke's stellar performance, tell him how much you wish you could pay him $50k to narrate your favorite European Historical Novel at this link.

*Drops mic. On toe. Screams.*

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