What You Are In The Dark is a morality trope that examines what happens when a character has a chance of getting something he really wants - wealth, revenge, love, or anything else desirable. However, he has to do something immoral to get it. There is seemingly no chance of anyone who would punish him for it finding out about the deed, so the character in question doesn't have to deal with any outward consequences. But he would have to live with the knowledge of what he has done, and the stain upon his conscience.
This is when a character finds out if he does the right thing or the convenient thing - in other words, if he is a true hero, or just a pretender.
Game and Story Use
- If you can arrange a situation like this, put the characters through it so that you - and the players - can get a feel for their characters and what they are made of. This can be a great source of drama, angst, and role-playing.
- However, in order to avoid scaring the other players away from making similar choices, you really should let that character get away free if he makes the morally dubious choice. Just note that this character is susceptible to such temptations, and tie in future encounters with similar opportunities - but higher chances of getting caught. Like the Devil and drug dealers know, the first taste should always be free.
- The Paranoia RPG has this event as a traditional scene in most adventures - the "Dark Room". Of course, the characters are supposed to use this opportunity to do their best to maim and kill each other…