In the fiction on which I am working – it needs a name, doesn’t it? Let’s call it Pandora Excess for now, both it and the RPG of the same working title will need name changes, but it’s fine for now – I was planning on having it as a quest story, much like the Borderlands games and the Guardians of the Galaxy movie. I find, though, that I am a fan of revenge dramas. Not all of them, but one of my favourite hardboiled action novels is the Hunter by Donald E. Westlake writing as Richard Stark. It’s the basis for the fantastic movie Point Blank and the pretty good movie Payback.
The Hunter is about a criminal who gets double-crossed and goes looking for vengeance. The thing is, in this case, the revenge is about justice – in a weird way. This isn’t unlike the plots of movies like Silverado, Yojimbo, or the Limey, all movies which I love. In Silverado and Yojimbo, the events in the movie lead to the revenge-justice. In the Limey, the crime sets the movie in motion, but is only seen in flashback.
To me, this quest for justice outside of societal norms is very visceral. I like the idea of being able to deal out justice while at the same time getting the catharsis of revenge. Having never taken vengeance, it may leave one as cold as we have been told in many, many morality tales, but I still like to see it in fiction.
As such, Pandora Excess will now be about a crew of mercenaries who got betrayed, and the boss is getting them back together to take a crack at the person who betrayed them. Like the Limey, the betrayal which sets the action in motion will be discussed, but won’t actually be part of the story. Much like in the Hunter, woe betide anyone who gets in their way.
You can learn more about the Hunter at Wikipedia.