View Full Version : Black Hats: RP potential and Pure Evil

Fiery Justice
2007-11-09, 10:38 PM
Okay, so something thats been on my mind for a while, Black Hats. You know the guy, he's too evil for his shirt, he's so evil that it hurts, he bleeds and sweats evil. He's evil. You don't know this guy in real life, if you met him you would hate him and be repulsed. You would revile him. Or maybe pity him. It doesn't matter. He's still eeeevil. He's evil for the same reason people are good: It just seems... best. He enjoys pain and suffering because, well honestly, their pain and suffering. Same reason why humans like joy and peace. Their joy and peace. Its inconceivable that someone wouldn't like them. Its ridiculous.

But what if someone did? How would you react? How would your character react? How did this creature become such an abomination in the first place? What would he act like?

Pure evil is one of the few things humans can imagine what it would act like, and yet is completely and totally alien. We see evil as the enemy of all we hold dear, selflessness, truth, compassion, everything thats holy to us. And it is.

But what, when given form and somehow not destroying itself, does it look like? What happens when people do evil things for just that reason, that their evil, just like people do good things just because the action is good?

What is this person like?

And most importantly, even after all this soul searching, does he have potential?

And How would you play him?

Nowhere Girl
2007-11-09, 10:50 PM
Like this guy:


2007-11-09, 10:59 PM
Evil generally comes from a few select evil mills

Oppression usually results in the CE "end the world" kind of bad guys. He's been pushed too far over the brink and doesn't think human/demihuman life deserves to exist. Cliched redemption: Being shown that there is good in the hearts of man blah blag

Example: Billy McBBEG had his family murdered and he was tortured in unspeakable ways before escaping. He has grown in power and is now enacting revenge on the world that wronged him.

Misguided good: This evil guy has been repeatedly thwarted in his acts to do good and maybe accidentally does something horrible. He has seen how being good fails and believes that the natural way things exist is in a horrendous Darwinian state. He crushes all below him and thinks nothing of it. Cliched redemption: This hero does some amazing redeeming act that melts his icy heart and shows him that good does, in fact, do good.

Example: Bob Brandon Evan Gregori is a Paladin who fell with all the grace of an elephant off a skyscraper. He's done the good thing and following it to its end left a trail of misery and corpses, so screw good.

Deadly Sin: Greed: This evil guy is never happy unless he has power. He was likely always evil but continues to go down the path to being more evil. He will do anything if he thinks he will get more power. The villain will make deals with devils, murder, steal, or become.. oh say a Lich if he thinks he can get something out of it. Cliched redemption: This villain sees that his power hasn't brought him happiness and starts to give back to the world.

Example: Scrooge from "A Christmas Carol" is a minor version of him, but the evil Wizard cheating death by becoming undead and creating a legion of zombie followers is a bit more extreme.

there are a lot more but I don't want to type them right now:smalltongue:

2007-11-09, 11:35 PM
Fiery Justice is talking about something different, though. If you push your villain past realism, past believable human motivations, past cartoonish supervillainy, and into the realm of pure and inexplicable evil, you're entering Kefka's territory. This villain looks and sometimes acts like a human being, but in several ways just *isn't*. If you push your players hard enough, they'll eventually stop thinking "What's this guy's story," and start thinking, "This guy needs to be destroyed. Now."

Basically, if I wanted this sort of villain, I'd just steal it straight from Final Fantasy III/6. Let the players think he's a ruthless bastid who will do anything to achieve his goals- then keep moving his goals, and the things he does to achieve them- until it finally clicks that he's actually just a sadistic monster.

2007-11-10, 01:26 AM
i think a good example of someone(s) who just enjoys murder, torture, rape, mutilation, and just evil in general, is otis b. driftwood from house of a thousand corpses...hes a twisted and heartless bastard that laughs sadistically as he stitches together the bodies of one of his victims and a large fish...

2007-11-10, 01:44 AM
Evil isn't about ramapant murder and rape - while those are certainly components. Evil is about having a goal, and completely disregarding morality when it comes to achieving it.

Evil is an old story I once heard, about a woman who meets a man at her mother's funeral. They start talking, she's emotional, single, and things click. They have a wonderful time there, but when the funeral is over, they both go back home, and she has no idea how to get in contact with this guy again.

The next week, she goes over and kills her father.


Because then there'll be another funeral! If he showed up to her mother's, he's bound to show up to her father's, and she can pursue the man.

That's evil.


2007-11-10, 01:46 AM
driftwood's goal is pleasure...he delights in causing pain and misery...how is that not a goal? heck, i find that the perfect goal for a truly evil character

2007-11-10, 03:16 AM
This is what he looks like:


He is pure evil. As humanly as possible. Especially if you read the book. And he's actually not insane, which makes him a notch eviler than Joker.

I'd say that woman in the above story is psychotic. She's evil, but not utterly. There's room for her to sink more. While Alex is so low, there's nowhere to go but up.

2007-11-10, 03:32 AM
What is this person like?

I think Xykon probably covers such a person quite well. Read SOD.

2007-11-10, 04:54 AM
Personally, I feel that once you reach the point where your chracter is raping and murdering without a reason, just because he feels like it, or just because he can, you've gone too far. There's nothing that can really be done with such a character, unless you feel like participating in the RP equivalent of Grand Theft Auto.

Me, I make sure never to stray over the line past cartoonish villainy. That, even if it's nonsensical evil, is at least funny.

2007-11-10, 02:58 PM
i think of pure evil as someone along the lines of richard, the warlock from LFG


2007-11-10, 04:31 PM
Perhaps the Christmas Critters from southpark. *cringes*

2007-11-10, 07:41 PM
I have played thoroughly despicable charcters. None of them was entirely evil they still had some good quality, some love or loyalty even if only to one or two people while the rest of the world could go burn.
I'm not sure a human character could be completely evil that is surely the domain of devils or demons who really have no choice in the matter as that is what they were created to be. ( So does that make them truely evil as they didn't choose that path ?)
You can play the most sick twisted types but they won't last long because actions have consequences and sooner or later you will piss off someone enough ( quite possibly the other P..Cs) and you're gone.
Playable evil characters have to understand the consequences of their action and be smart about their evil.
That said I'm not sure it is possible to play an evil character in D'nD between Detect evil, scrying and zones of truth you just can't get away with it unless you never move out of places like Zentil keep where it is socially acceptable.

Zoraciel Ivtel
2007-11-11, 01:38 PM
Speaking as someone playing a chaotic-evil elven sadist, yes it is possible to be evil. You just need to be careful.

My biggest problem with having someone be just a creature of pure soul-less evil in DnD is it isn't realistic. If you want to keep your players believing in the world you've created and able to participate as humans, you need to keep some spark of reality in each of your characters, even your BBEG.

Fiery Justice
2007-11-11, 02:10 PM
Ah, but to the contrary, creatures of elemental evil should be perfectly evil. Demons and devils should be selfish, self-centered, and care for nothing and no one besides themselves, anything else is unrealistic.

Pure Evil is the ultimate Alien moment, a creature of pure evils actions may be obvious, but they make no sense. They are a incomprehensible alien, one has a better chance of understanding a cockroach's motives. Thats why you put them in, not an argument against, so they can go, "HOLY ****" and see something that the Human mind couldn't grasp if it tried.

Zoraciel Ivtel
2007-11-11, 03:13 PM
But assuming your DM is a human, how can their human mind portray that depth of evil clearly and well?

Fiery Justice
2007-11-11, 04:59 PM
Just think, "Whats the right thing to do in this situation" and then do the exact opposite. Which is why I came to the question, humans can understand what evil acts looks like, but they can't understand it in its fullness. Individual acts, but not the Evil Whole, if you will.

2007-11-11, 05:06 PM
Once or twice I've used pure evil characters in my D&D games.

Usually my BBEGs have a story, some kind of motivation that makes them do evil things. They're characters, usually the most well developed and interesting ones besides the PCs.

But sometimes you just want someone to be evil, despicable, hated, unsavable. The most memorable super evil guy I made wasn't even really a huge threat to the world. He was a mid-level N/E rogue who was good with throwing knives.

He also did unspeakable things to little girls in the sewers.

Of course, I made sure to go into detail about all the things he did to the little girls in the context of the game, but they were pretty bad and I realize some people might be offended by reading about them. Suffice the say my PCs never bothered trying to figure out why he was the way he was, they just made sure to kill him very, very dead.

2007-11-11, 08:46 PM
But was the Rogue really PURE evil. Was there no-one he cared for, not one bit of virtue in him. Was he loyal to his guild, generous to his fixer, kind to the guy who made his knives ?
I bet for him to opperate in society he had some good qualities, I really think only demons, etc can be Pure evil.
Also remember people are incredibly weird they can convince themselves that the most horrendous acts are good.
I remember a documentary in which a member of the Pro-democracy movememt of Burma was interviewed. He described a rally he had attended, the army appeared and the lieutenant requested permission of his captain to open fire on the unarmed protestors. The captain contacted command who gave the decision not to fire. The lieutenant resigned on the spot declaring he wouldn't be party to this betrayal of what made his country great.
He took a moral and self-sacrificing stance on the grounds he wasn't ordered to gun down innocent civilians.
No doub in his mind he was the hero defending order from the communist rabble and his cowardly superiors. Courage, conviction and self-sacrifice in service to an appalling ideology

2007-11-11, 08:48 PM
Yes before anybody posts its Myanamar now NOT Burma. Sorry