WikEd fancyquotesQuotesBug-silkHeadscratchersIcons-mini-icon extensionPlaying WithUseful NotesMagnifierAnalysisPhoto linkImage LinksHaiku-wide-iconHaikuLaconic

  • In the New World of Darkness, every person is subject to a zero-to-ten Karma Meter, with an average person falling in somewhere around seven. For normal humans, falling to a low Morality only gives a penalty in that getting to that level requires committing acts that would get you tried under the Geneva Conventions, if not thrown in prison for life ( though one is unlikely to drop very low without going at least a little insane ). For supernaturals, however, falling down on their respective morality scales often imposes supernatural penalties, and for both regular humans and all supernaturals, falling to 0 irreversibly corrupts you in some manner and you're turned into an NPC. Vampires become ravening beasts, werewolves become obsessive-compulsive cannibals, regular humans and Minor Supernaturals become sociopaths incapable of meaningfully interacting with others, Prometheans become the monsters they resemble, Sineaters have their minds and souls shattered with their Geist as much or more in control than they are of the pitiful wreck they've become, and changelings with Clarity 0 have a bad habit of disappearing into the Hedge and never coming back. It never specifies exactly what happens to Mages, but Fanon is that they're not an exception just because it doesn't say what happens to them.
    • Considering that dinging your Karma Meter for mages is synonymous with "allowing the Abyss to contaminate your soul", you probably don't want to know what happens to a Wisdom 0 mage.
      • Some become The Mad and are, as the name implies, completely insane. They range from 'merely' completely freaking insane mages, the equivalent of autistic savants of magic, to utterly transformed beings - bizarre and twisted constructs of flesh, minds freed from their bodies, forces of nature or supernatural phenomena. That's at best.
    • Geniuses, from the fanmade Genius: The Transgression, have to essentially be Mengele to reach these lower points. When they hit zero, their individual personality largely disintegrates, and they become monsters that won't give a damn how many people they have to hurt in order to complete their experiments.
    • It should be noted that mortals and Hunters are the only groups who actually follows what anyone would really call morals, even if there's noticeable overlap, because the supernaturals have already shed their human viewpoints, and different acts ding different numbers on different meters. Vampires are essentially fighting off mindless, bestial gluttony, while Mages have to resist succumbing to their own egotism, for instance. The books tend to recommend varying levels of harshness from storytellers if a particular act doesn't hit a listed threshold, but illustrates a noticeable move toward the lower end of the scale. The scales aren't balanced across each other, either. Sin-Eaters, for instance, can lose permanent ranks of Synergy, while a Changeling is never permanently barred from reaching Clarity 10, but a Changeling's clarity never makes exceptions for motivation or extenuating circumstances when considering dings on the meter; it might mean penalties or bonuses if the ST feels it's appropriate, but a degeneration roll is always made regardless.
    • It was eventually revealed what happens to those Clarity 0 Changelings who vanish into the hedge. It turns out they become True Fey themselves.
  • In the Old World of Darkness system, vampires who wanted to start down an alternate path of morality instead of the default humanity had to commit some atrocity in order to shed their humanity forever. Once this was done, they became true monsters who couldn't even pass for human. Note, however, that whatever atrocity the vampire commits isn't what pushes them over the MEH; it's the resulting rejection of humanity that the atrocity symbolized.
  • Happens every two seconds in the grimdark future of forty thousand AD.
    • Special mention goes to Ahriman, the greatest human sorcerer, who kicked dogs sometimes but was still incredibly likable. He even befriended a Space Wolf Psyker, who were the greatest rivals of the Thousand Sons (Ahriman's Legion). Unfortunately he ended up at first being a Tragic Villain after the Heresy started and the Space Wolves attacked Prospero, the home planet of the Thousand Sons, effectively forcing them into the service of Chaos; you could see why he joined rather than dying. After the Heresy failed they retreated into the Warp but started mutating rapidly. The threat that they could die out pointlessly caused him to hunt for the solution. When he found it he didn't care that it would essentially force all of the non-psykers in the Legion to an eternal life of slavery to the psykers of the Legion while being completely aware of what was happening and having no physical sensations of what was happening to them. Killing all but 1/100 of the Legion who were both psychic and strong enough to resist the effects put him straight into being a Complete Monster.
      • Err, no. It's not that Ahriman didn't care, it's that he didn't know. He had no idea that the Rubric would reduce the non-sorcerors of the Legion to essentially nothing, and indeed the whole purpose of the Rubric was to save them. Ahriman is a tragic hero, not a Complete Monster. Now Magnus the Red, who knew exactly what horrible fate was to befall his men and didn't do a damn thing about it, and actually ordered Ahriman not to intervene...
      • Actually it was Tzeentch who ordered Magnus to let Ahriman go, as it was all part of his plan.
    • Horus went over the line when he destroyed Isstvan III in an attempt to eliminate the loyalist elements of several Legions. This included members of his own Legion, who looked up to him like a father.
      • Flaying an Adeptus Custodes alive with a look was what finally convinced the Emperor that Horus was beyond saving.
        • This point was far more poignant when it was a simple Guardsmen who stood up to Horus rather than let him deal the death blow to his Emperor.
        • Half of 40,000's factions don't care about the Moral Event Horizon, and the other half don't even know it exists. Yeah...
          • In Dark Heresy you can spend experience to remove corruption, but you can't reduce your corruption level (every 10 corruption) and thus can never remove malignancies.
  • Exalted: Being a loyalist Abyssal or an Infernal counts as -- or requires -- crossing the Moral Event Horizon. Signing up with the Neverborn and the Deathlords means voluntarily killing absolutely everything; your family, crush, dreams and hope included. Hopping on the Reclamation wagon means that you will devote your godlike powers to freeing infinitely hateful demon-gods upon the world, who might as well rewrite reality so that nothing can die and everything suffers eternally. Still, this being Exalted, this doesn't describe all of them, or even most, particularly in the case of the latter. The Abyssals may repent and reclaim their original nature of the Solar Exalted. A possibility is convincing their good nature to the Unconquered Sun, who is now sadly addicted to godcrack and has not paid attention to Creation in a thousand years. Another is reaching Autochthon (who is hiding in a different plane of reality) and talking him into rewriting the corrupted Exaltation. Nobody has achieved either of this... yet. For an Infernal, stealing away the powers of the Yozis, subverting their control and becoming a proto-Primordial on their own can allow them to pursue their own heroic, not-necessarily-sadistic goals. This, of course, is about as difficult as inventing a new type of reality.
  • The Gothic Horror setting of Ravenloft for Dungeons and Dragons has an official term for one of these: an "Act of Ultimate Darkness," which is a requirement for becoming one of the setting's dreaded Darklords -- a near-perfect blend of Hypocrisy, depravity, cruelty, and selfishness. The clincher, though, is absolute refusal to acknowledge that what they did was wrong. Indeed, that's part of The Punishment for Darklords -- that if they worked up the moral strength to admit that what they have done is inexcusable and that they reaped what they sowed, their curse would be moot. Then again, the books pretty much say that if they were the sorts of people who'd be able to do that, they would never have become Darklords in the first place. Notable examples include:
    • Count Strahd Von Zarovich's murder of his brother Sergei over Tatyana, the woman both men loved, on their wedding day, leading to Tatyana throwing herself off the wall of Ravenloft as Strahd pursued her.
    • Lord Soth committed several major acts that would qualify as Acts of Ultimate Darkness:
      • He and his first wife, Lady Korrine of Gladria, had been trying to produce a son to be his heir, and Korrine had consulted a witch about the problem, who had agreed to help them, but had warned her that the child would be a representation of Soth's soul. Unfortunately, Korrine didn't know about the bad shit that her husband had done, including ordering the murders of his half-brother and sister by his seneschal Caradoc, else she would have known what would eventually transpire of the birth and would be of a mind to curse the witch. When she gave birth to the son in question, it had a face similar to that of dragon-kin with two arms on one side and a leg on the other, with the last leg placed at the bottom of the buttocks as if it were a tail. To say that Soth was pissed about this was a massive understatement, and thinking that she had cheated on him with some kind of demon, Soth murdered both Korrine and the monstrous child.
      • After marrying a second wife named Isolde he set out on a quest to stop the Kingpriest from unleashing the Cataclysm upon Krynn by forcing the Rod of Omniscient Wisdom into his hands (according to Isolde's vision, it would take many tries, and each time he was killed, he'd rise with greater power) in return for redemption. When Soth and the thirteen knights with him found the Rod, he left his soul due to the curse on the coffer, and was now a type of Lich, with his soul residing in the coffer like a phylactery, astrally projecting into his body, and unaware of this new state. On his way to Istar, he came across three elf-maids who proceeded to poison his mind about Isolde, telling him lies about her infidelity and saying that she had sent him on this quest to die in order to get rid of him. Soth got pissed again, returned home and confronted his wife just as the Cataclysm began. A chandelier fell on Isolde and their newborn son, and she begged for him to save their son, but Soth stopped himself from doing so, so as to prevent his own son from growing up as he himself had. With her final breath, Isolde cursed him to live the lifetime of every soul that he had caused death on that day, and as Soth's keep burned down, Soth became a Death Knight, and his retainers became undead.
    • Azalin Rex's execution of his own son after catching him freeing political prisoners.
    • Lord Wilfred Godefroy's murder of his wife and daughter with his walking stick because his wife hadn't given him the son he wanted.
    • Harkon Lukas abusing his position of the "Grandfather Wolf" in order to bring civilization to his homelands, driving out his own people in the process. Interestingly, the Act wasn't enough to catapult him to Darklord-dom; rather, it was using the colonists as a food source, which isn't normally a powers-check worthy act for wolfweres-rather, it was the betrayal of trust.
  • The murder of the beautiful cleric Aleena with a Magic Missile by Bargle the Infamous from the introductory adventure of Basic D&D would make the evil magic user an enemy for life for many a player back in the 80s.
  • In BattleTech, the Word of Blake violates centuries old rules on warfare forbidding Weapons of Mass Destruction from being used on civilians. All the other factions within the Inner Sphere are so horrified that they joined forces to annihilate the Blakists... with even more Weapons of Mass Destruction.
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.