Jerkass Woobie/Tabletop RPG

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

  • Warhammer 40,000
    • The Emperor. Let's say that the guy is a complete Knight Templar and Well-Intentioned Extremist who thought that Utopia Justifies the Means. He started the greatest war of conquest in man's history and wiped out thousands of human and alien nations in order to ensure mankind survival. He wasn't the most exemplary and comprehensive father for his son; mind you, he was betrayed by half of them, his empire was shattered by a terrible civil war which nearly annihilated mankind, got many of his family, friends, and loyal collaborators killed, and, in the end, after being mutilated and mortally wounded by his most beloved son and having to kill him during his final confrontation with the rebels, he had to be placed in a life-support mechanism which reduced him to a living corpse, having to endure thousands of years of watching and protecting the Imperium in the psychic-Hyperspace realm which happens to be a literal hell full of cosmic horrors...Oh, and time is relative in the Warp, so yeah, may have been an everlasting experience there, you feel sorry for him.
    • The Thousand Sons chapter is really noticeable amongst the space marines in general. They initially were not part of the Horus Heresy and even tried to warn the Emperor when they got word of it. Cue the Space Wolves charging in and trying to exterminate them due to the high number of psykers and mutations which was determined illegal. They fled to the Eye of Terror due and, ironically, become part of the thing they were fighting. As a last ditched effort to save themselves, Ahriman casted a spell that accidentally wipes the bodies of his brethren, forcing them to a mindless existence as Animated Armor. Space marines are universal in their Jerkass Knight Templary, but you really gotta feel sorry for these guys.
    • Humanity in the GrimDarkness of the far future in general arguably fits. Their empire is overall xenophobic, repressive, stagnant, and warmongering, but the average person is rather ignorant, lives a stale life devoted to working to advance the Imperium's military in some way, lest they attract the attention of their superiors, is being constantly kept in the dark from their own government until it's too late for them to do anything about it, their government doesn't recognize them as individuals due to the gigantic size of the Imperium and its ObstructiveBureaucrats, and is, by all means, a plaything to the Imperium's High Lords of Terra. And the government's actions are arguably justifiable because everything else really can kill all human beings if they don't devote all their effort into their military and keeping it that way.
    • And then there are the remnants of the Eldar, whose entire civilization was Mind Raped into oblivion, and now they're dying out and have to live out painfully repressed lives because an Eldritch Abomination is out to eat every one of their souls and send them to a Fate Worse Than Death for all eternity. And yet they're xenophobic Manipulative Bastards who would gladly sacrifice a million innocent human lives to save a few hundred of their own.
    • As of fifth edition, the Necrons robotic unlives now suck as badly as everyone else in the galaxy, having been forced into a Fate Worse Than Death after being tricked by their gods and watching their empire fall apart through no real fault of their own. They would probably be the Eldar's best friends, except they're even more xenophobic and posses the universe's largest entitlement complex. And that's not getting into destroyers...
  • Seltyiel, a half-elven White-Haired Pretty Boy (or even borderline Captain Ersatz of Elric) magus who's canonically the paladin's pet project. Yes, he's also canonically evil...but with a backstory like that, you almost can't blame him.