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Episode 2089: Face Blandness


People in masks are mysterious and oddly threatening. Consider having a character in your game wear a mask. They could conform to stereotype and be a villain. Or you could give it a twist by making the masked person a friendly villager, or a neutral hermit, or whatever.

Then think about the reason why they wear a mask. If you wear a mask much of the time, people are going to expect you to be hideously disfigured or something, such as the Phantom of the Opera. So what better way to subvert expectation and truly shock people than to have a perfectly normal, even handsome face?

Other reasons for the mask can then be used. Maybe the person really doesn't want to be recognised. Maybe they are the forgotten twin of someone notorious (see The Man in the Iron Mask). Maybe they have a condition that causes sunlight to burn their skin*. Maybe they just don't like meeting new people.

Get creative! Give a character a mask, and then come up with a story for why, and how it can be of interest to a party of adventurers.

* One such condition, of course, is being a vampire.

Commentary by Keybounce (who has not seen the movie)

[Keybounce's comments will appear here when received.]

Commentary by memnarch (who has not seen the movie)

Wow, really? Kylo chooses to wear that helmet?? And here I was picturing an older person like the damaged/deformed Darth Vader who needed the mask to breathe. If you chose to wear a full face covering mask all the time, wouldn't you want to take better care of it or get a new one? Kylo Ren looks much younger than I was expecting and like such a doofus now. I think this definitely explains the computer slashing temperament though!

Looking it over again after reading, I found myself starting to chuckle more and more at the absurdity of Kylo's face reveal. Why would Rey care what Kylo looks like? Why would the audience care what Kylo looks like at this point; a sudden reveal like this is going to let most of the tension out of the interrogation without the expressionless mask being used. And why is Kylo bothering to comb and style their hair if it's always under a hood and helmet anyway?


Kylo Ren: We’re going to arrange a little exchange. You for the map to Luke Amidala.
Rey: Who are you?
Kylo Ren: Kylo Nabidalo Ren.
Rey: Never heard of you.
Kylo Ren: I remove my mask and helmet.
Kylo Ren: Look at me. Do you know this face?
Rey: Should I?
Kylo Ren: Perhaps not. But you will.
[SFX]: Slam!
Kylo Ren: Oh, you will.
Rey: I guess flattering yourself works better, huh?

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Published: Sunday, 19 December, 2021; 01:11:05 PST.
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