View Full Version : Evil Campaign

2009-06-29, 11:29 PM
A friend of mine is thinking of DMing an evil campaign and is asking for m help. Now I have never been in an evil party or used an evil character, so I'm not sure if I can organize a campaign like that... what is everyone's experience with an evil party/character?

2009-06-29, 11:46 PM
Evil != Stupid. If the party plays smart, they can cover each other's backs and focus on the goals without tearing each other apart. Heck, if the party plays smart, they can go after each other and still accomplish the goals. The key is making sure they have something more important to worry about than each other.

2009-06-29, 11:54 PM
It helps if you establish ground rules with the players before you start, otherwise you risk running a PvP game. I managed to be an evil character in a good party by having a pre-existing RP friendship with one of the other characters.

2009-06-30, 12:04 AM
Establish "work together or die" very early and very clearly. Start statting up things you normally wouldn't, like various townsfolk, the kings soldiers, the security of an inn and the kings castle. Basically, make stats for all the good guy/places.

2009-06-30, 12:17 AM
Seconded. Being evil does NOT mean your character has no friends, or backstabs EVERYONE he meets. That's stupid evil. Agree beforehand what is and isn't allowed. If the DM wants a pvp game, that's fine... otherwise, the characters could be a group willing to do some pretty awful things to accomplish their ends... whatever those ends are. Just be sure they have SOME reason to work together. Evil characters are a bit harder to motivate than good ones.

2009-06-30, 12:18 AM
Yes. Make it very clear that the goal of the party is FAR FAR FAR more important than stabbing each other in the back.

2009-06-30, 12:24 AM
Establish what you mean by evil too. Is evil kicking puppies or is it killing children, and then eating their corpses while singing kumbya with their parent's heads on spikes.
Is your evil psychological? Actions? Motives?
Are there things off limits? For sake of forum modesty I won't mention specifics (PM me if you want)
These kinds of ground rules are necessary. I also recommend trying to get evil who respect/ abuse laws. This way IC they have a reason to work together. Also try unconventional evil, an evil priest who can't stand blood (prep healing), an evil druid who fights undead but will kill humans on sight.

2009-06-30, 12:35 AM
Be careful when dealing with CE alignments. In most games I've played, that was often the one alignment that was outright banned for PCs.

2009-06-30, 12:38 AM
No matter what, an evil campaign is going to involve a whole lotta backstabbing. There will be internal conflicts frequently, and no one's going to want to take anything other than first watch because just about every evil character is the "kill you in your sleep" type. Imagine a party full of Nales and Belkars, and you'll be pretty close.

That's the whole fun of an evil campaign, though. You spend more time fighting each other than you do fighting your enemies, and it gives you a very fresh perspective on the people you play with. Also, if (like me) you plot the downfall of your party even when you're not playing evil characters, you really get to shine in an evil party. :smallwink:

2009-06-30, 12:40 AM
Well, Nale, Sabine, and Thog are going pretty well together.

We once played a totaly awsome group consisting only of CE characters. But they were all members, and all the members, of a small demon cult. There was lots of confrontation, but the characters had a common goal, which made them stick together for most of the time.
Was the greatest group I ever played.

Je dit Viola
2009-06-30, 12:51 AM
But here's a way that evil characters could stick together in a way similar to good characters:

LG Cleric: I want to bring about greater happiness.
CG Fighter: I want to save my little NPC sister's life.
N Wizard: I'm friends with the Fighter. Want to go kill some enemies?
Cleric and Fighter: Okay. Who first?

Evil Characters:
LE Cleric: My friends aren't happy enough - so I'll help them get it. How about you?
CE Fighter: My little NPC's sister's life is in danger because of those stupid LG characters. They won't help her. So let's swipe the antidote from their castle.
CN Wizard: Hey, looks like we have a common goal. Sort-of. Want to go kill some annoying people, or people who oppose us? How about we kill some 'greater evil' because we're the only ones allowed to conquer the world? Or we could kill some opposing necromancer's undead...blight to our causes...or an army of paladins who oppose free-will thinking. Then again, what's the nature of evil? Is anyone truly evil? Do you think it's possible to get a paladin to join us, if the circumstances worked rightly?
Cleric and Fighter: Just shut up and let us kill things.

See? Same thing, basically. No difference between a good and an evil party, when played certain ways. Whoo! Party!!!!

2009-06-30, 12:54 AM
Well, I'm currently playing in a game that was originally described as "evil" but it has really evolved to something completely different. More lawless than straight evil. I'd recommend something like that rather than pure evil. We are pirates(which should work for the whole evil thing). There are a few people with evil alignments(my wizard being one of them, though I'm terrible at playing an evil character, so he's mostly just selfish and arrogant rather than I kill and rape people for fun), but it ranges from CE to LN.

2009-06-30, 01:06 AM
I'm starting an evil campaign tonight.

When accepting players, I asked for them to include a reason their character will probably not try to kill the rest of the party.

Also, I gave them a powerful boss, a Black Dragon, Xiviria, who's the head of the cult they're in and decidedly active in local politics. (She wants to take over the city.)

On top of that, their first mission will be to hunt down a party who betrayed the cult, then complete their mission for the good of the cult.

So, we'll see how that goes...

Tiki Snakes
2009-06-30, 10:37 AM
Also, Being Evil does not mean you have to spend your time Fighting Good.

Evil is not reactive in that respect, and an 'Evil' group is as likely to take on the Assassin 'n' Theives Guild as the Holy Orders of Bahamut.

The way I see it, 'Good' is very reactionary. It is always alert, looking out for Evil and being on it's guard.

Evil doesn't give a hoot if Good lives or dies. Evil has places to go, things to do. Evil does not care who it is that stands in it's way, let alone why.

I second the point made above, too. Make it clear you are after co-operation and comradery with your diabolical scheme, not pantomime backstabbing and a one-session long train-wreck. :)

2009-06-30, 11:15 AM
Aside from the previously mentioned pirates, consider the following as parties...

Members of a mafia style crime family
A clan of ninjas
A group of ruthless government assassins/spies

Any one of those groups could easily be considered evil. They would likely consider murder and torture to be part of their job. But they could be horrified at the idea of turning on a teammate (unless said teammate had betrayed them first) and none would go out of their way to kill or torment innocents unless they had a good reason. Any one of them could spend a month in town without burning anything down or killing people, unless that was what they had been sent (i.e. by you the DM) to do.

One player I used to play with had this strategy for evaluating teammates characters. He would send them to the store with a shopping list and some money to buy common household items. If they couldn't do that without starting a fire, killing someone, or having the police called, he would immediately kill them for being a liability to the group. Not appropriate for every situation or every group, but the idea that murderous rampages are not necessary is always sound.

2009-06-30, 12:47 PM
We just started an evil campaign, and the characters are evil in the sense that they have no qualms with committing evil to complete their goals. However, no backstabbing out of the blue, of course. My character, for example, is evil but with neutral motives. The LE(NE? I cant remember) ex-con chain fighter was a military man who was betrayed (I think). The CE dread necromancer used to be a LG nobleman before bopping his head - his motive is to simply prolong his life and do his 'experiments' (Which our employers have promised. Lots of corpses on a battlefield.) I'm the NE rogue (going into assassin. Changeling) She just wants to survive, and knows that monetary gain is the means to that, and that killing can be a means to THAT. So she more has neutral motives with evil methods.

Not quite sure about the sorc. Ah well.

Anyway, enough about my party. The main ground rule you need to set is NO PVP (Unless it's talked about beforehand, of course.) Make it metagame knowledge, and enforce it strictly. Don't let people's characters take control of the players. It's a sad excuse to say "That's what my character would do" if it leads to strife within the party that nobody wants.

2009-06-30, 02:46 PM
I played for a few years in a game where we were all evil (some more than others). It was great. There were some "disagreements" in the group but we mostly worked them out.

Establishing a reason for the evil folks to be together is really the hardest part. Once that's done, it's pretty much the same as a good-aligned party except that your options are less restricted. :)

Our level of evil varied greatly. For example, my character was a cannibalistic, sadistic, necromancer who killed people to watch the expression on their faces. Our meatshield was greedy and liked the loot we were bringing in. The monk in our group was... well... not very evil at all. I'm pretty sure he was Lawful Neutral and just tolerated the rest of us. The psychic warrior was odd... she thought it was hilarious to join my character in eating all of our vanquished foes but was generally the nicest in the party. Our party wizard (other one, that is) was also in it for the gold and was quite callous.

necromancer: "We haven't had elf yet, have we?"
psywar: "Nope, don't think we have."
elf npc: "What are you guys talking about?"
necro: "Bet they taste like tree bark."
psywar: "I've still got the spices I picked up in that last town... maybe it'll be better if we spice it up."
wizard: "Guys... it's really hard to learn anything once you start talking about eating them. It makes them uncooperative."
necro: "Speak with Dead is easier anyway."

2009-07-01, 12:21 AM
Wow... that is hilarious.

Je dit Viola
2009-07-01, 01:04 AM
Hey...I was just thinking about the Order of the Stick group - Mostly good, 1 evil (Belkar)...and then an idea came to me!

What would it be like if you had a mostly evil group with 1 good person? How would that change the game? What if the 1 good person has been friends with the evil characters in the backstory...so that's why they're together? And how would you play it if your party was like that (in order to keep party in-fighting to a minimum) (i.e. none is preferred)

2009-07-01, 01:10 AM
The good guy doesn't torture his opponents for information and probably saves people on a regular basis. The evil guys would castrate the guy's children, if it got the job done. May not enjoy it, but they're willing to do it. And they don't save people.

2009-07-01, 01:16 AM
If you want to avoid the backstabbing, have them start out as members of some underground mafia. If you backstab each other, the family's father will have them whacked.

Or they start as cultists in a diabolic cult. Maybe they are posing as Pelorites, infiltrating them to cause people to lose faith in Pelor. If they fail the mission due to petty squables, their boss will eat their souls.

2009-07-01, 02:02 AM
I played a CE blue goblin psion/constructor in a group of Good characters.

He was a bastard, but he respected power, and so held more than a small respect for his teammates, and never tried to kill them.

He did make rather insulting compliments and play rather nasty pranks on them, but never something that would cause any real injury.

He was also the weakest character in the group, but made up for it in cleverness and guile, and then bragged about his accomplishments. The other players actually complained that he was overshadowing them; the funny thing is that he wasn't nearly as optimized as they, but instead merely used his 32 Int like nature intended him to do.

For instance...

We were fighting against this ancient black dragon dracolich, right? I think it had the shadow template. I had one of my largest astral constructs out, and it was explicitly sent to capture me and drag me back. It managed to paralyze me with a touch attack and was about to use its next round to carry me off. I had my construct pick me up and run off into the surrounding forest.

It followed.

The dracolich was blinded by the party cleric, just before it got out of spell range. I had my construct hide me in the leaf litter under the exposed roots of a tree, and I used my constructor ability to make multiple astral constructs at a time to create a bunch of mini-me's that I then had hide (very badly) so that it couldn't tell which was which with its blindsense.

I had my Huge-sized construct try to grapple the dragon, while all the mini-me's Aided Another for a fragtastic grapple check. The rest of the party caught up after a minute or so, then managed to finish it off.

I do have to say that I'm proud of staving off an epic-level threat with an ECL 16 goblin. :smallamused:

2009-07-01, 02:24 AM
It helps if you establish ground rules with the players before you start, otherwise you risk running a PvP game. I managed to be an evil character in a good party by having a pre-existing RP friendship with one of the other characters.

I've always wanted to run a campaign with all orcs from the same tribe, tearing up the countryside.

Wings of Peace
2009-07-01, 04:12 AM
A good point I think I saw in BoVD was that evil parties can actually be easier to motivate to work together than good parties since all an evil character needs is an incentive such as gold or potential power gain. Evil is self serving but so long as the characters can't solo the challenges and the rewards of said challenges pay off well enough there's no reason an enterprising team of evil characters couldn't look past their minor differences towards the greater personal gain.