Authority Equals Asskicking
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Basic Information

Authority Equals Asskicking is an authority trope. It stands for the idea that authority in any kind of organization - which is a kind of power - also translates into an equal amount of combat power.

Typical Recipients of Authority Equals Asskicking

See Also


TV Tropes Wiki entry

Game and Story Use

  • While this is hardly realistic, it often makes sense from a story perspective. After all, when the player characters have fought their way to the big villain of the campaign, it's somewhat of a disappointment if he falls over at the first hit.
  • If the pc's quickly gain a lot of combat power, this can be useful to prevent them from making gross changes to the game world by killing or threatening important leaders. Realistically such leaders would have very effective security, but in rpg's a high-level pc group may be far too powerful for that to work. (If security that good were easy to come by, there would be much less need for the pcs to save the day in the first place.)
  • This may be justifiable in fantasy settings where skill in battle or raw arcane power explains how someone got ultimate authority in the first place.
    • In some cultures, advancement might only be possible by challenging and defeating one's superiors in a fight.
    • Doubly so in any culture (like, say, orcs) where the leader is more the alpha male than any kind of political figure.
  • In settings where a powerful wizard can be akin to a one-man army, the law might forbid people without authority from learning and using the most powerful spells. Of course, enforcement may not always be worth the risk…
  • This is the logical conclusion of class and level system RPG campaign settings - those that are not run by superhumanly powerful high level characters rarely manage to explain why.
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