Ugly Equals Evil
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Phaedrus learned what beauty is From Socrates beneath the tree: Beauty is the only form Of spirit that our eyes can see So brings to the outcast soul reflections of divinity

(from) Death in Venice Thomas Mann

Basic Information

Somewhere between a trope and a cliche (not to mention being a well established staple of folklore) Ugly-Equals-Evil is the idea that something that is evil on the inside must necessarily be ugly on the outside - and therefore that which is ugly is necessarily evil.

This is much subverted - even by folklore - and yet seems to remain a staple of characterisation into the present day: a villain is still traditionally ugly (even if only following glamour failure) and a hero beautiful (see beautiful equals good). It is also this trope that ensures that the henchfreak can only find work with villains.


1. full source reference

Game and Story Use

  • Eminently subvertable both coming and going.
  • But also quite capable of being played straight - especially amongst genre savvy players.
    • Likely to be heavily in force - and at least partially justified where the setting's magic system involves corruption.
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