The Many Faces of Badassery

By | June 9, 2009

Once upon a time, Ila Tarquin** introduced us to TV Tropes. (Warning: once you click through, all productivity will be lost. For at least an hour.) It’s filled with all sorts of plotlines, plot twists, character archetypes, conflicts and cliches that you can find in all sorts of entertainment media.

One of my favorites is the Crowning Moment of Awesome,* in which

a fictional character does something for which they will be remembered forever, winning for them the eternal loyalty of fans.

I like this one especially, because if you notice, it doesn’t require any swashing or buckling, no need for witty banter or ultimate pwning of the baddest bad guy in the universe. Even the smallest moments can be filled with awesome — it all depends on the character, and where the moment fits into his or her story. It can happen in a crowd, in a small group, or even on one’s own.

It can come at any time during a story, not just the climactic scene, and can happen with more than one character. When a Forsaken rogue named Tikee arrived at Nox’ fire Barrens to drag Davien back to Undercity for her crimes, every Tauren in attendance barred her way. The moment was completely unplanned — simply one character after another getting up and RP walking their way over to stand between Tikee and my floppy-hatted mage — but it had an epic feel to it.

In-game, there’s Thrall’s return to Outland at the end of the Greatmother questline, or (let’s go old-school for a second, even though the chain is no longer in the game), the march through Stormwind with Marshall Windsor at the end of the Alliance-side Onyxia chain.

Your turn! What are some of your favorite CMoAs, either from WoW lore, or your own RP?

*There are tons and tons of CMoAs on the tropes site. I’ll digress briefly with my favorite one, from The West Wing. The first time I saw this episode, and heard the first notes of “Brothers In Arms” — just the low, low note of the guitar, I got chills. They didn’t stop until well after the credits rolled.

**I stand corrected, by Tarq himself, who needs to get his ass over here and post. <3


Beltar on June 9, 2009 at 4:15 pm.

And thus was born Davien’s Portable Wall o’ Cow. ™

I have never had a character experience a true Crowning Moment of Awesome. I am congenitally incapable of writing them. Linedan, in particular, has the potential for them; he’s a huge-ass Tauren prot warrior in high-end gear, so he’s at least got the badass look. But for whatever reason, I find myself totally incapable of writing him that way. Look at the climax of the Maunt storyline we did. Threnn rescues Bricu, Lin gets the shit kicked out of him, falls in the river outside Stratholme, and has to drag himself back to Light’s Hope, mostly naked, with four cracked ribs and a bad case of athlete’s hoof. You might’ve considered his standing his ground and allowing Skyborne and Rashona to escape from Maunt Manor a CMoA, but can you have a CMoA when Bricu’s already been dragged inside and the whole plan’s gone to hell in a bucket?

I suppose his closest was in that abortive Zul’gurub storyline I did around the time of Uthas’ plague, where three undead jumped him in EPL and he went batshit on them, ending up beating the last one into a pulp until he broke his shovel. (Although that was more of a way of simply disposing of the shovel.)

Turning this back on you…Threnn’s final confrontation with Maunt. Serious CMoA.

Mommacow on June 9, 2009 at 10:02 pm.

I think Lin deserves a CMoA. He’s wound so tight that any type of release would be six kinds of awesome.

itanyablade on June 10, 2009 at 3:23 pm.

I’m not really sure Dorri has a crowning moment of awesome…

But she was involved in Keltyr’s.

In the fallout from Elerlissa being banished from the body of the elven paladin that she had possesed, all the things that Dorri had been doing, all the little evils she had her fingers in came to the surface.

Those revelations made the normally calm Keltyr a little crazy. And Dorri got the brunt of it. Keltyr’s descent into booze and drugs was actually one of the best RP weeks the group had had in a long time. Kel’s player managed to drag a huge host of people in just by RPing Keltyr before raids. It was fantastic. And he totally amazed me with the depth he was able to convey.

In the end, he risked everything and did something extremely illegal by putting his trust into Destril and Ambika to get Dorri’s mind returned to the way it was. And that moment of awesome, when he looked at Then’liath and Destril and said that he was grateful, picked Dorri up and rode away was one of my favorite WoW moments.

Bricu on June 24, 2009 at 2:42 pm.

The only CMOA I can think of for Bricu was discussing knowledge of Uthas’ continued existence. Tarquin asked a question, “Who gets the first shot?” and bricu walked in and answered it with “Me.”

The channels were alive with “HOLY CRAP AWESOME.”

There is the brief Forum moment where Feathermoon declared Bricu their emperor. Those were the days.