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Thread: In your games?

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    RedKnightGirl

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    d6 In your games?

    Why do players choose to run evil?

    The power scale up is the same for good/evil. We all start out with to hit and save bonuses. Spell casting ability.

    The only thing I can see is that you ally or influential friend may show up early to help you.
    9 wisdom true neutral cleric you know you want me in your adventuring party


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    Titan in the Playground
     
    Knaight's Avatar

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    Default Re: In your games?

    People play games for different reasons, many of which have nothing to do with power scale, whether from personal power or connections (and that's an area where I'd expect evil to generally be a disadvantage). Others include exploring the psychology of a character as they adventure, engaging with the deliberate creation of narrative, or just enjoying the journey of an adventure. These reasons for playing tend to involve favoring variety, and not just mechanical variety. How that variety gets expressed can vary, but it can easily include some characters who could be categorized as evil. That's particularly true if other avenues of variety are shut down, such as in groups which only ever play games of one genre.

    Then there's just the murderhobo playstyle, where players just want to break things and kill enemies, which is just extremely prone to drifting towards evil. It's a somewhat less thoughtful evil than tends to come out of the other reasons, and is more analogous to the general point of games like Grand Theft Auto than anything. Said games are successful for a reason.
    I would really like to see a game made by Obryn, Kurald Galain, and Knaight from these forums.

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    Current Design Project: Legacy, a game of masters and apprentices for two players and a GM.

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    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: In your games?

    Mechanics aside, playing Evil is easier. That's the whole point. In games as in life, being evil is easy, being good is hard. When you play a Good character, you have to do things like put yourself at risk for the sake of innocents for little to no reward, and show mercy to enemies who will most likely turn on you at the first opportunity. Evil characters are free to take what they want from others, risk themselves only when it benefits them, and do whatever it takes to achieve their goals, no matter how unscrupulous.

    I'm not advocating playing Evil characters for this reason, but I can definitely see why it would appeal to some players.

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    ElfRogueGirl

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    Default Re: In your games?

    A story can be told from many different sides, and it can be interesting to see it from a side you rarely play.

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    Orc in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: In your games?

    Usually, my players play evil characters because they want to get away with being a jerk to my NPCs/each other. They are summarily corrected.


    I like to play evil characters because I like being able to practice necromancy and law without my DM telling me that I'm playing my character wrong. Those are things I like, and allow me to fill practical needs in the party, like resolving jail time and holding off minions during boss fights(and recycling minions after boss fights). Sometimes I like to play evil because I want to have an evil goal, like serial arson, world domination, or tax evasion. But generally, I play evil because I like to remind people that evil isn't always the guy on the other side of the battlefield, sometimes it's that guy behind you marking targets and keeping the party going in between fights who somehow happens to never pay for his own drinks.

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Kobold

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    Default Re: In your games?

    I don't know that I play Evil characters much. (I rarely play d&d so alignment is a rare thing for me to run into)

    But I'll play characters who are brutally effective, amoral, or scheming. That may not necessarily make them evil.

    My character Errant doesn't neatly fit into D&D alignment. (This is not an invitation to try.)
    He loves in a post-apocalyptic world, weilds a chainsaw, and wears a Knights Templar helm that whispers to him in the voice of his dead "wife."

    He is profoundly religious, believing in a sort of pseudk-christianity refocused around a female God who is basically just his dead wife's disembodied voice combined with a crucial spring of water called The Source.

    He has definite hardline rules about his interactions with The Source and his religious rites. At the same time, Errant is wildly unpredictable in his general behaviors, though these guiding principles can help people make educated guesses.

    Errant is generally kindhearted, but when he becomes angered or the voices tell him to, he will eviscerate people brutally, and without hesitation, in ways many would esteem as cruel.

    He's a little Good. A little Evil.
    A little Law. A little Chaos.

    He mostly just lets his emotional pain direct him around, which sometimes includes barfing that pain into the bodies of others until they're chunky salsa.

    Why do I play Errant?
    He's fun. And deep. And I love watching people react to him because they tend to be both afraid of what he'll do next, and eager to make friends and understand him. He's the distilled essence of the Hedgehog's Dilemma and that's super fun.

    So there's why I play that particular character who might be considered evil.
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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: In your games?

    One of the three groups I'm in wander towards an "evil stupid" alignment but will happily take "good" quests. As DM I find it useful to mention things like "if five straight townspeople are last seen alive with you the guards will be suspicious to say the least". Occasionally I play a smuggler type "unlawful decent" Warlock who has an eclectic Fey Patron, with the same crowd I just mention things like patience being a virtue and "wait, there is a better way".

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    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: In your games?

    My characters are my attempt to understand the strange sentient species that dominates this planet. Some of my tests seem best described as "evil".

    Also, my evil characters generally fit better with parties than my good characters. Evil characters care about the party; good characters care about morals.

    Also, GMs tend to do a better job thinking about hooks and such when I write "evil" on the sheet, instead of just assuming that the PCs will automatically follow the rails of what they believe good would do.

    Also, if the GM is the type to change characters' alignments, I'll save them the trouble, and start at evil. Or not bother worrying an alignment at all.

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    Default Re: In your games?

    A lot of players I encounter like evil as they think it is fun. They like the idea of being selfish and having no rules to follow(in character, in the game). Though, generally this is only ''stupid evil''.

    I do enjoy tossing such players into a game. Even more so, if they want an ''evil'' game. The players are never really ready to ''play evil'', they just sort of want to have silly cartoon fun sort of evil. They quickly find that evil is no fun...or not quite the fun they thought it would be.

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    Orc in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

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    Default Re: In your games?

    Quote Originally Posted by denthor View Post
    Why do players choose to run evil?

    The power scale up is the same for good/evil. We all start out with to hit and save bonuses. Spell casting ability.

    The only thing I can see is that you ally or influential friend may show up early to help you.
    To me playing evil is a matter of perspective.

    Rarely i play character that are evil for the sake of being evil: their "evilness" has always a root, a deep one, maybe in their culture (an "always evil" race), maybe in their past (a scar, a trauma) or something else (a curse, for example).

    I play evil to explore these "roots", sometimes to see how deep it can go, how much evil can i push myself to be, or maybe challenging myself to extirpate that root.

    I played good character with an evil background that ended their adventure being neutral, evil character that ended up with vile feats at the worst depth of evilness... and so on!

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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    HalflingRogueGuy

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    Default Re: In your games?

    I like the style of stereotypically "evil" characters a lot more than the "good" ones. Heavy metal album covers, horror movies/books, video games, doesn't matter: the coolest, most memorable characters are always evil.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    RedKnightGirl

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    d6 Re: In your games?

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Ultron View Post
    A lot of players I encounter like evil as they think it is fun. They like the idea of being selfish and having no rules to follow(in character, in the game). Though, generally this is only ''stupid evil''.

    I do enjoy tossing such players into a game. Even more so, if they want an ''evil'' game. The players are never really ready to ''play evil'', they just sort of want to have silly cartoon fun sort of evil. They quickly find that evil is no fun...or not quite the fun they thought it would be.
    Just because I am curious.

    I one time had an imp in the party. We were evil monsters. So reverse game.

    I had the imp paralyze a family.

    Took the mom and baby. Gave them as passage past a goblin village. Kept mom bound gagged as the goblins played football. No that was not fun the entire table was horrified by our actionsas a group. They to thought it would be greed and cartoon like. I decided to fully entrance my hated of humans.

    Is this what you mean?
    9 wisdom true neutral cleric you know you want me in your adventuring party


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    Troll in the Playground
     
    Rynjin's Avatar

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    Default Re: In your games?

    Evil characters have a lot of potential for storytelling that good characters don't. Redemption tales, for one, or the Well Intentioned Extremist (those with good goals, but no morality to give them limits on the methods they're willing to employ).

    Having a Token Evil Teammate is a common trope in many types of media (though like most tropes can be executed poorly). The Coldfire trilogy has what I hold up as the quintessential example of what a Lawful Evil character should be as the second main character of the series, and it would not be as effective a tale without his presence.

    If your player wants to play evil for these kinds of stories, where they're willing to employ questionable means in the service of good (or the goals of the rest of the party at least), it's a good thing to allow.

    Otherwise, it's usually best to leave that behavior to other outlets, because it's not going to be fun for the rest of the party or the DM unless they all signed up for that game.

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    Default Re: In your games?

    Quote Originally Posted by denthor View Post

    Is this what you mean?
    Example 1:

    Super cool evil characters walk into town and go to the magic shop. They kill the gnome shopkeep in 3.0 seconds, loot the shop, drink the gnomes blood, toss the gnomes body parts around town and Krugar the Krule puts the gnomes head on the tip of his sword and walks around town with it.

    Time passes, and the characters come back to the town to resupply....but find the town near empty. All the folks fled as soon as the characters were spotted or hid anything of value.

    And then this sort of thing starts to happen wherever the characters go.

    Example 2:

    Evil characters go to E-Mart(Evil Mart) and want to buy some coolz magic items. And they are shocked when the E-Mart sells them fake items, lies to them or best of all robs and loots them.

    Example 3:

    The evil characters ''Gooz into Tombstone to robbz the bank"...and are shocked when the cops, law and even good normal folk all turn against them and fight back.

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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    NowhereMan583's Avatar

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    Default Re: In your games?

    Quote Originally Posted by denthor View Post
    No that was not fun the entire table was horrified by our actionsas a group. They to thought it would be greed and cartoon like.
    Well, that's why it's called the "deep end of the alignment pool".

    It's a challenge, and it's complicated; to properly explore an evil character, you kind of have to get into the role, and that can leave your fellow players kind of shook up. (For an example, see here.) Most folks grow up exposed to the kind of goofy, harmless villains you see in children's television, and when they're playing an Officially Evil™ character, they just want to run around breaking societal taboos or crafting elaborate plans that are clearly designed for some plucky hero to foil. (Not to say that the latter isn't entertaining.) Playing someone who's actually, genuinely, realistically evil is difficult and kind of off-putting.

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