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Thread: A Dark Problem

  1. - Top - End - #1
    Pixie in the Playground
     
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    eek A Dark Problem

    So, here's my problem: I've got a really great gaming group that has been playing for about three years, and recently both of the games that were being DMed came to their climactic endings, so naturally we were all in search of something new. We settled on Monte Cook's World of Darkness mainly because it seemed cool and we could stick to the D20 system.
    I'm now GM-ing a game with a mixed group of Vampires, Demons, and Werewolves and I've run into a problem...my players don't want to be the good guys! I've never had any experience running an evil game, so I was hoping the combined wisdom of RPGnet forums could provide me with some sage advice! Additionally, I'm new to the whole World of Darkness idea, so any advice you can give me on running a horror style game where the characters essentially start out at 4rth level would be immensely helpful too!

    Some more specifics, just in case this will help:
    Our party consists of: 1) Ventrue Vampire (played by the guy who usually keeps the story rolling. He really wants to play an Angelus-eske character from BtVS, with an emphasis on corrupting, driving people insane, and never working for anybody but himself. O_O How does one GM that?!)

    2) Deva Vampire (she isn't too much trouble...she just wants to play an evil seductress. Which for some reason doesn't seem to be too hard.)

    3) Mekit Vampire (who thought we were playing a game where we would be good guys...so he's at a loss for what to do, just like me)

    4) Demon (Who wants to rule the world through money.)

    5) Werewolf (He's the lurker of our group...he just hangs around without roleplaying too much, which is sad.)

    Essentially, the only thing keeping the group together is a temporary situation that makes them work together. I'm wondering if uniting them under a common cause is the only way to make this work...
    Hopefully, that helps some. Let me know if there's anything else I can clear up.

    Happy Holidays, all!

  2. - Top - End - #2

    Default Re: A Dark Problem

    I remember reading an article about DMing in one of the last of the Paizo Dungeon mags. I think it was Monte, but I'm not sure. Anyway he said "It's not the DM's job to find reasons for the PCs to work together. If any of your players say "my character wouldn't join the group because of X", the correct response is "well, enjoy rping with yourself. I'll see ya later."" Granted he wasn't specifically talking about evil campaigns, but I think the principle holds true anyway.

    I personally have no patience for players who can't think of reasons for their PCs to work together. I spend hours planning and prepping their adventure; the least they can do is come up with some excuse as to why their PCs want to work together even if it's as lame as "well these chumps might help me attain world domination."

    As to how to run an evil campaign, I don't have much experience myself but I suggest just letting the PCs do whatever they want. Obviously they need opposition, but it doesn't necessarily have to be heroes or the law that opposes them; there are plenty of other evil folks in the world. I imagine when players want to play evil characters, it's because they just want to run wild for a while. So let them.

    For example, give the demon an opportunity to take over a small church, thereby beginning his ascent to world domination. The priest and his community will of course try to resist, but that's the fun part. You could have rejected lovers come after your vampire seductress for revenge, possibly even as a group. For your weirdo vampire you could...just let him try to drive others insane, I guess. The werewolf can kill things that the other characters need dead, and your good character can attempt to foil the others' plots.

    I don't know anything about WoD, so I can't make any specific suggestions

    TS

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: A Dark Problem

    Positive and Negative reinforcement.

    When they work together give them magic items and things to murder. When they stop working together cut their limbs off and steal their ****.

    Eventually they will realize that refusing to work together makes horrible things happen to them.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Orc in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: A Dark Problem

    If you've got to labour to keep the party together, or even to get them to work with one another in the first place, then your group doesn't sound very great. Seeing that that appears to be the main problem, talk to your players, try to find out their characters goals and motivations. Help them work out the reason to work with one another. Best part of this is, if you know the characters, a plot will come.
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  5. - Top - End - #5
    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: A Dark Problem

    For evil campaigns, it's best to have them face something to bring them together, be it a bigger bad who is trying to destroy something they like, or a group of heroes.

    However, this should be used only as an original setup to get the ball rolling. Once the group meets up remind them that being evil doesn't mean they're stupid. Try to convince them that their characters would figure out they can get what they want by staying in the group. Evil does not mean lack of cooperation.

    If this doesn't work and you still want to run the game I would suggest a continuous stream of opposition.

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    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: A Dark Problem

    My suggestion: Change your thinking.

    The standard mindset is that the GM provides the villians and the impetus to stop him, the players act the part of the heroes, assault the fortress, foil the villains plan, and make off with the treasure.

    When playing as the antagonists instead of the protagonists, things need to change. Look at every movie and book out there. The protagonist is inherently reactionary, rushing about madly trying to fix everything, while the antagonist rushes about madly trying to keep two steps ahead of the protagonist.

    So put this to work for you. Stop thinking that you have to provide the plot. They want to be the villians, so they provide the plot. They come up with the evil schemes, set up their villanous lair, build the death traps, and deal with the pesky heroes. You provide the protagonists in the story, the cops, the special forces, the adventurers, and what not that are trying to puzzle out the scheme and put an end to it.

    This shifts alot of planning from you to the players, but requires you to be decent at improvising.

    If their schemes are petty and their ambitions small, let them suffer the consequences. Let the police catch on to their random spree of serial killings, and watch as the players up the ante, moving to take out the police or corrupt them into pawns.

    If the players want to conquer the world, let them. Just make them earn it.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: A Dark Problem

    Trope time.
    The characters are brought together by some powerful entity/organisation. They are agents for said entity/organisation. They don't like each other, but they fear entity/organisation more so and thus they have an uneasy and unholy alliance.

    Then, you can gradually pull the entity/organisation away from the story and bind them together through the game itself.

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    Orc in the Playground
     
    Lizardfolk

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    Default Re: A Dark Problem

    I am not familiar with Monte Cooks WoD, but I did know the old World of Darkness well. If it is anything like the oWoD running a multispecies campaign of evil is going to work out..very scary.

    If that demon is Faustian and a devil or lammasu, he is going to outshine the vampire manipulator in every regard and probably wreck him. Because he is evil, and because a vampire would be f***ing with his breadbasket and they occupy the same niche.
    The problem with evil is that self-interest is the biggest motivator. And if you have something worth them working as a team, it is probably worth them screwing each other over. Well, that, and in WoD evil tends to be highly competitive and willing to rip each other to hell.
    Last edited by Doomsy; 2008-12-19 at 05:36 AM.

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: A Dark Problem

    Does anyone else realize this is the 100,000th thread?

    That is super awesome.


    As for that actual topic, have you ever seen The Warriors? Gang violence is a great uniter, especially when it's an entire city of psychos out to get you.
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  10. - Top - End - #10
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: A Dark Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Vadin View Post
    Does anyone else realize this is the 100,000th thread?
    Wow...I feel like I should let some balloons loose.



    Happy 100,000th GITP!
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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: A Dark Problem

    I have a few ideas, but what do Demons do in your world?
    Are there official rules for them, or are they home brew
    if there home brew whats there background and mechanical effects

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: A Dark Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Kyeudo View Post
    So put this to work for you. Stop thinking that you have to provide the plot. They want to be the villians, so they provide the plot. They come up with the evil schemes, set up their villanous lair, build the death traps, and deal with the pesky heroes. You provide the protagonists in the story, the cops, the special forces, the adventurers, and what not that are trying to puzzle out the scheme and put an end to it.
    True. The term used most of the time is "sandbox". Think Grand Theft Auto. Of course, you should try to provide opportunities so that their interests align (if they are bad at finding ways to do that). Perhaps they scout out and town and need you to tell them the week spot. Well tell them that there is a single male executive who controls most of the events of the world and works incredibly hard to do it. Corrupting him and taking over his work should fall in just about everyone's interests - wheras other scenarios might not.

    Evil can be assaulted by either good or evil - which makes things interesting. Sometimes when the good guys play the "enemy of my enemy" game, they work together with the evil guys against other bad guys. Well the PCs can have good and evil working together against them or they can even work with good guys to get rid of other adversaries. They have to be careful though. Good guys don't respect them and evil guys are too selfish to be loyal. It's a risky game to play, but includes a hell of a lot of plot. Carefully fleshing out other groups and NPCs in the world can do wonders for making the PC's sandbox schemes have a degree of plot and continuity.
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  13. - Top - End - #13
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: A Dark Problem

    had a guy who made ln in an evil campaign. he was an honor driven wanderin swordman. the parties answer try to corrupt and twist him to their needs and if at all possile blame him for their deeds.

    the werwolf is the muscle he might not want to tlk too often. take him to the side and get an idea for motivations give him an occassional spotlight.
    Join the bard defense league


  14. - Top - End - #14
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: A Dark Problem

    Also, why would a werewolf hang out with a vampire
    I realise in NWOD its not longer kill on sight, but they dont have much to overlap.
    I would suggest that a Pure is emproching on the Ventures land?

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    Pixie in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: A Dark Problem

    First off, thanks for all the advice everybody, it's given me a lot to think about!
    Second, sweet! 100,000th thread! Yay giantitp!
    Now to clear things up:

    lisiecki: Monty Cook's WoD is different from the oWoD as well as the new one. Essentially, about a year ago beings from another dimension attempted to destroy ours. They failed not due to any heroic action on humanities part, but due to the unknowing aid of the Awakened: Humans who are just more...human and for some reason keep us from being eaten by otherworldly beasties. Now, these alien beings are too alien to recognize humanity (if that makes sense), so they sent beings from their reality to try and fix the problem. That translates into everything supernatural. So now the playable races are:
    Vampires: when the soul of an evil individual from our past is forced into the body of your average joe. They get the usual vampire abilities, but they have the added bonus of having two conflicting souls. Fun stuff that...

    Werewolves: When a spirit of pure savagery is put in the body of a human. These are different in that the alien spirit is pretty much in control all the time, but they've merged with the human soul enough to get by in our world.

    Demons: Active spirits sent by the invaders that don't merge with humans, they can just take the shape of whatever they want. They can grant bonuses in the form of infernal pacts, and can be pretty crazy. These are the only ones that know the full story behind why and how our dimension was attacked. (And of course, the demon in my game spills all the beans on the situation without a second thought...so much for any mystery on that front.)

    Mages: With the intrusion came magic. Anybody who was trying to do something magical whether they be street magicians or cultists suddenly found that their mojo WORKED.

    Awakened: Humans that are hardier and more skillful than an average person. They keep our reality from falling to crap, and as such, most of the above are trying to hunt them down and kill them.

    So...that's the breakdown. I hope that answered your question. My problem with this system is that it's too clear cut with no room for mystery. You've got a bunch of supernatural creatures trying to kill one supernatural race. And mages do whatever the hell they want. Sure, there's some room for corporate intrigue and the like, but still. I'd like to scrap this and not use the intrusion story, but my players like it. So I'm struggling to figure out what to do with it...

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Egiam's Avatar

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    Default Re: A Dark Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Kyeudo View Post
    My suggestion: Change your thinking.

    The standard mindset is that the GM provides the villians and the impetus to stop him, the players act the part of the heroes, assault the fortress, foil the villains plan, and make off with the treasure.

    When playing as the antagonists instead of the protagonists, things need to change. Look at every movie and book out there. The protagonist is inherently reactionary, rushing about madly trying to fix everything, while the antagonist rushes about madly trying to keep two steps ahead of the protagonist.

    So put this to work for you. Stop thinking that you have to provide the plot. They want to be the villians, so they provide the plot. They come up with the evil schemes, set up their villanous lair, build the death traps, and deal with the pesky heroes. You provide the protagonists in the story, the cops, the special forces, the adventurers, and what not that are trying to puzzle out the scheme and put an end to it.

    This shifts alot of planning from you to the players, but requires you to be decent at improvising.

    If their schemes are petty and their ambitions small, let them suffer the consequences. Let the police catch on to their random spree of serial killings, and watch as the players up the ante, moving to take out the police or corrupt them into pawns.

    If the players want to conquer the world, let them. Just make them earn it.

    That rocks. Wow.

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    Default Re: A Dark Problem

    *squeals at getting to post in the 100,000th thread*

    Linky.

    (And no, that is not a RickRoll.)

    Beguiler, you just got served.
    ALL hail DirtyTabs, creator of this wonderful UserClone TRONpony!
    *sigh*
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