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  1. Heh. Yes, in more than one game I have had PCs astonished that NPCs actually took offense at grandiloquent threats made against them! Curiously, when I asked them if they knew of any historical incidents where royalty allowed lower- and middle-class people to mouth off so in public… they had no answer. Gee. What a surprise.

    I’ve never been able to understand those who feel being the hero also imparts script immunity. That’s one of the reasons, in fact, I couldn’t watch many of the old Dr. Whos as well. A witty quip does not stand up well to a machine gun butt delivered forcefully to the nose, you know?

  2. The part of this review that has me thinking the most is actually the first part: the others also deserve good thought, but as a friend of Collie, they’re also been thoroughly discussed in the past, so instead, I will give voice to the new thought in me.

    Mouthing off to the bad guys (especially bad guys which are or could be more powerful than you) has become incredibly chic these days. Harry Dresden regularly mouths off to everyone: organized crime bosses, faerie queens, powerful necromancers, fallen angels. Of Buffy the Vampire Slayers’s weapons, the ‘snark’ is right beside the stake in her toolbelt. Maybe being snarky is less worrisome when you’re just Robert B. Parker’s Spenser, and the only opponents you’re going up against are normal humans. But in the urban fantasy world, where you’re got all kinds of supernatural baddies, even gods (like the Morrigan), minding your Ps and Qs would seems to make far more sense.

    The thing is, of course, is that it’s dramatic. And, dare I say it, fun. Spider-Man taught us this. Being totally offensive and irreverent in the face of danger and power has a certain thrill that comes with it. It makes the danger seem a little less, to be able to laugh at it. Even when you’re going up against someone totally out of your weight class, like the Hulk, or the Juggernaught, or even Thanos.

    That said, there is a difference between being disrespectful, and outright threatening. Spider-Man, let’s face it, is not that threatening. He puts himself between innocents and danger, but he’s really not that violent a person. Andrews’s protagonist may be doing the same, trying to protect people, but she does threaten, as does Dresden. And it’s important to realize that just because an act makes someone seem impressive and badass, and ads something to the dramatic moment, does not mean that it’s A Good Idea.

    It’s important, I think, as Collie rightly highlights, to remember this. Especially since she GMs for me, and will rightfully smack me down if I get too uppity. ;)

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