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Good and evil characters


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I might soon find myself in the situation where one someone is playing an evil character is a group of good characters. The problem I have with this is I can't wrap my head around good and evil characters hanging out.

Fundamentally, it comes down to the fact that someone will come to the party asking them to do some difficult task for little to no reward. And the good guys will do it. But the evil one, in my mind, would think this was stupid. Why would he/she go along?

It's possible for me to come up with a plot in which the characters are thrown together. The current story I'm running would be perfect for that, but why would these people stick together after?

You guys ever have this problem?


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Your first course of action should be to see if the players themselves can come up with a good motivation for such a union. Letting them come up with their own dynamic helps keep the group together better than a GM imposed one (usually)

Barring that, you could get a particularly charismatic evil character to hang around after the goodies leave so he can extort a larger reward for himself from any quest givers. Wealth/power is almost always a good motivator for evil characters.

I try to stay away from good/evil combinations. It can be tricky and generally I assume a player who chose evil in a predominately good group is trying to be disruptive.


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If you have a paladin, or a lawful good cleric, you have a problem against their code.

I personally don't allow Evil characters in my campaign and if I do, it's only Lawful Good.

Yes it is possible. The evil player would have to help you out with a new backstory and proper roleplaying. Make the story in line with his intentions. A proper evil character puts himself before others, whether that means helping them or hurting them.


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First we need to look at what does evil mean.

I am Evil and generally it means....
1) I am concerned with my needs above the needs of others.

2) I am concerned with my wants above the wants or rights of others.

3) I have no personal issues with Killing/Stealing/Lying/Assulting/ect... to get what I need or want.

Evil does not mean.....

1) I ignore the concept that there are ramifications for my actions (going to jail, being killed, having people hate me).

2) I do not plan ahead and refuse to look at the big picture.

3) I do not care what people, even my friends think about me.

As an Evil Individual, I know better than to flaunt my evil. That is a quick way to loose friends and allies. Even us evil people like to have friends and have feelings for people. Evil is capable of love and caring about people even if in a very selfish possesive way. I still value my companions company though never more than himself.

I realize that I will sometimes have to do things these softhearted friends/allies of mine what me to do even if I dont get immediate compensation for doing it. After all I need those allies to cover my ass later when there is a large payment waiting for a task to completed.

I care about my personal safety. Your damn right I surround myself with good aligned allies rather than evil or neutral ones. Good allies wont sell me out. Good allies wont murder me in my sleep and take my stuff. Good allies will risk their lives to rescue me. Heck even when I screw them over, my Good allies will not immediately kill me, their stupid morals say killing is wrong. They have to trap me and try to convience me to change or at worst throw me in jail until I have paid my debt. As long as I dont force them into a corner and threaten them with serious bodily harm they arent allowed to kill me. Even if I try to escape they have to try to catch me without killing me first. Why you ask? Cuz they are good. Heck if I can get them to like me and care about me enough I can even get them to cover for me when I do something bad that they know is morally wrong. Why? Because their sad little soft sappy hearts dont want something bad to happen to a good friend and they know that deep down in side I'm really just a confused scared person that needs love. Excuse me while a vomit.

Basically, I am evil, I sure as hell wouldn't trust me and so I don't trust anyone like me either. So I make sure all of my friends and companions are sappy soft hearted saps. I sleep better at night knowing that.

Dark Archive

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slade867 wrote:
Fundamentally, it comes down to the fact that someone will come to the party asking them to do some difficult task for little to no reward. And the good guys will do it. But the evil one, in my mind, would think this was stupid. Why would he/she go along?

For money, power and experience, which, when you come down to it, are the same reasons that *most* good characters are doing it.

Evil can be very, very practical. Indeed, evil is *more likely* to hang out with good people because it's the practical thing to do, than the other way around. A good person might have some moral objection to associating with an evil person, but an evil person doesn't, as a general rule, have moral objections.

The evil person might roll their eyes when the good characters are going through options to deal with a situation and skip perfectly 'reasonable' options like 'let's just befoul / poison the river upstream of the bandit camp and wait for them to all be sick and / or dying before attacking their fortified position?' but he's still going to make more money, and gain more personal power, and garner more experience, travelling with a group of namby-pambys than he is on his own, and, since the mostly good aligned party will be regularly ganking local bandits, crime-lords, megalomaniac sorcerers, evil cultists, etc., he will be an integral part of removing any local competition...

While the rest of the good characters pat themselves on the back for breaking up the local evil cult, the evil character can repurpose their hidden temple for his own use, and perhaps even recruit some of the surviving weak-willed cultists as his own special friends.

The average good aligned party leaves behind gaping power vacuums in the local evil community, which an evil companion can exploit.

And even if he doesn't, it's perfectly self-interested to tag along with the good-guys and get rich and powerful alongside them, without having to worry about the nagging concerns that come with a group of equally evil adventurers, who may spend half their time and resources watching their backs against betrayal...

The LG cleric may flip out and attack you to your face, but he's much less likely to stab you in the back or poison your rations than a NE 'ally' would be!

If the whole 'but you're evil!' thing comes to finger-pointing and accusations, just be sure to have a good story of childhood abuse or 'raised as a slave by gnolls, and if we didn't act mean and hard enough, we'd get eaten for being weak!' or whatever to fall back on as an excuse for your naughty behaviors. Tearfully explain how it's so hard to escape the scars of your past. Let the saps think that you consider them your only hope for salvation, to learn a 'better way,' and to escape the nightmares and the memories of the horrible events that shaped your childhood and left you afraid to relax your guard and unable to trust others.

Practice big wet eyes in front of the mirror, and see if you can make your lower lip wibble. They always fall for that.

Just resist the temptation to steal from or attack members of your own party. That's killing the golden goose. Don't be dumb!


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Set wrote:
Stuff

***Agrees with what Set said and recognizes him as competition and will pass his name off to the first paladin he happens across.***


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This is a game where "detect evil" exists, but it's not like evil characters have it tattooed on their foreheads. It's a challenge to play well, and a lot of people treat "evil" (and CN, for that matter) as "I'm going to act crazy because I'm a PC and can get away with it." If your players are up to the challenge, and there aren't any codes to get in the way, there's no reason good and evil characters can't hang out.

Evil doesn't have to mean cartoonish villainy. It comes down to whether or not your players can see that.


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slade867 wrote:


Fundamentally, it comes down to the fact that someone will come to the party asking them to do some difficult task for little to no reward. And the good guys will do it. But the evil one, in my mind, would think this was stupid. Why would he/she go along?

Maybe the Evil guy has some other motivation other than money. What if the known bad guys happen to be a group/race/things that the evil guy has a grudge against? Maybe the Evil guy just likes killing things?

If the character is Lawful Evil it’s even easier; “Sure they are a bit sentimental but you have to stick together, besides I am sure that they will come around with me here as a good example”.


It is best not think in terms of alignment but of the interactions in our own daily lives or people we know who have close relationships with people of different morals. The key is for the characters to entwine their histories.
Maybe the evil individual is a younger cousin of one character who feel duty bound to protect their young relative and introduce to the perils and glory of adventuring.
Or maybe the a Character and the evil Character are old friends. They use to travel together in a more innocent time until divergent fortunes took them in opposite directions. While for one doors opened like clock work (inherited their father's master work long sword, the family name held in high regard for some service to the community) the evil character needed to fight to survive (bonfire leaves him/her orphaned and destitute. Mistaken for a wanted individual, there pleas of innocence falling on deaf ears and incarcerated wrongly) which resulted in there new harder out look on life. The Good friend remembers there past together and is will to excuse much of there current grimness sympathetic to what they have endured.


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First off, read this
http://paizo.com/forums/dmtz508x?Evil-parties-how-they-fail-and-how-to-fix- it

Also, here's my opinion.
1) Evil v. Stupid: Just because one or more PCs are evil, does not mean they are completely wanton and shortsighted in their actions. To use a quote from the above link, they won't walk across the street and kick a puppy in the face just for laughs. Everything they do benefits them or their friends (see point 2). They will also look for the long term, because actions DO have consequences.
2) Everybody Needs Somebody: Evil, with the exception of outsiders (whom are pure, concentrated evil) is still human(oid). All social, sentient creatures have SOME desire for friendship and love. Even if their heart is 4 sizes too small, there's still some room in there. The other PCs can easily be childhood friends, who stood up to the evil PCs bullies, which leads me to...
3) Evil Has A Purpose: People aren't born evil, nor are they born good. Most people are born neutral, and are shaped by their values and environment. WHY is your character evil? Somewhere on the WOTC website (try the 3.5 archives), Greg and Andy Collins did a fantastic series on evil. One of the biggest points was that you need a "Why?". Was your character bullied? Was his family murdered? Betrayed? Something made them who they are.
4) PC Interactions: Mixed alignment parties have some of the Best roleplaying situations EVER. Period. As long as your group is mature, the decision of what to do with the prisoners, or the captured boss, or the disarmed enemy fighter, can lead to shining examples of RP perfection. Does someone have an issue with you raising the dead? Picking a pocket? Give them a reason or, better yet, talk them over to your side. Also, noone says the other PCs HAVE to know your alignment. Pull them to the darkside slowly.


J-Rokka wrote:
Give them a reason or, better yet, talk them over to your side. Also, noone says the other PCs HAVE to know your alignment. Pull them to the darkside slowly.

But do this in a party where nobody has alignment constraints, because most people don't like their character breaking and a divine caster who's already one alignment away from their deity (or true neutral for druids) can potentially be ruined by alignment shift.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber
slade867 wrote:

I might soon find myself in the situation where one someone is playing an evil character is a group of good characters. The problem I have with this is I can't wrap my head around good and evil characters hanging out.

Fundamentally, it comes down to the fact that someone will come to the party asking them to do some difficult task for little to no reward. And the good guys will do it. But the evil one, in my mind, would think this was stupid. Why would he/she go along?

It's possible for me to come up with a plot in which the characters are thrown together. The current story I'm running would be perfect for that, but why would these people stick together after?

You guys ever have this problem?

For the profit... Or even the long term investment of having allies you may be able to manipulate to your advantage. Smart evil characters think of the long term. Dumb evil characters eventually prove that they're too stupid to live. Enlightened self interest is an easy motivation for any evil character with more brains than a slug to wrap themselves around.

Important thing to remember unless the character is a member of a class that has an aura... or is supremely extreme about his/her evil... you're not going to register on that Paladin Radar.


Atarlost wrote:
J-Rokka wrote:
Give them a reason or, better yet, talk them over to your side. Also, noone says the other PCs HAVE to know your alignment. Pull them to the darkside slowly.
But do this in a party where nobody has alignment constraints, because most people don't like their character breaking and a divine caster who's already one alignment away from their deity (or true neutral for druids) can potentially be ruined by alignment shift.

Thanks for adding this on, I typed this up right before bed so my mind was a little murky. This is really important because, if you ruin the other PCs, group relations will drop at amazing speeds. If you want a practical reason for this, consider these

1) If they're your allies, why would you weaken them? It makes you more likely to get harmed.
2) Even if they lose all their special abilities, that paladin still has an amazing armor class and full BAB, and is completely capable of killing/messing you up (not that PvP should ever be considered a good solution, but your PC doesn't know what theyre thinking ;))


Don't put in something with no reward or at least make it beneficial to the evil character in some way. It may require working with the player outside of the game, but maybe that village that is being assaulted by orcs is where the evil guy's family lives. Being evil does not mean you don't have any friends or family you care about.
Maybe going into the dungeon allows him to find an item he needs, is another example.

Contributor

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Also consider that many of the "evil" people are going to be "evil on a technicality" people. Like, for example, the wizard who thinks turning himself into a lich is a reasonable fallback plan if he somehow fails to get to 20th level and achieve immortality. Yes, it has more than a few downsides, but it's more attractive than the alternative, especially the first item on the agenda of the "alternative" is submitting to the "judgment" of a goddess whose moral authority you do not recognize and whose efficiency is hardly flawless. Your soul is your soul and is far more important to you than it is to her, so why trust her with it if you don't have to?

Yes, that other goddess who pioneered this whole undeath thing is evil, but that's because she's an amoral hedonist, not because every single thing she ever did was evil. Refusing to to bow to Pharasma's authority? Props to Urgathoa for that. If wanting to pursue a course of self-determination even after death makes you "evil," then so be it.

Since you have settled on the principle of self governance, you will associate with whom you choose when you choose and why you choose. Love, friendship, loyalty, and a whole host of virtues are hardly off the menu, and while you may respect Urgathoa or even admire her to an extent, that's only because someone had to do something first and pioneering undeath is what she did.

Indeed, you suspect that Urgathoa wasn't so much clever as lucky, finding that one unguarded gap in the graveyard fence. But accidental discoveries are part of magic, and you have certain ideas about refinements that can be done with this whole undeath thing, ways to make lichdom more palatable and less obviously a poor man's second prize in the whole quest for immortality.

Shadow Lodge

In game terms, Evil and Good are real, solid, objective components of the universe. This isn't vague existential musings over what "good" or "evil" means like we have in our world--in the game world Evil is EVIL and Good is GOOD--they're detectable, they're keyed to effects and triggers (Detect Evil/Good, Smite Evil, DR Good/Evil, etc) and so they are a real aspect of the group beyond any roleplaying considerations.

Evil's not monolithic, evil doesn't work together, so an evil PC may have his own reasons for helping the party to succeed--but why does a Good party want to help the evil PC succeed? Why forward his goals when you could easily have a fellow Good party member?

Thus, while you as GM could allow an Evil PC into a Good party, why would the Good party allow or want them there? Surely there are 10,000 other adventurers that would equally fill the bill and not be Evil. It's only because of the meta-game aspect that Player X wants to play an Evil Character--if you're not "outside" the game or the party, then there's no real in-game reason to allow or include it as 'like' tends to flock with 'like'.

As a GM, I only allow evil characters in evil campaigns, otherwise, it makes no sense that people would put their lives in the hands of someone who's potentially going to backstab them (literally or figuratively) when the moment arises--AND, if the Evil character doesn't take advantage of "evil" situations, then they're not really being evil--so why put it on the character sheet?

Or, if the Evil PC is doing Evil things (even "just" to NPCs)--torture, rape, murder, theft, why would the good party put up with it? Isn't that what they're fighting against?

You can, of course, contrive something where the party *has* to work with the evil PC--they're a plot point of some sort, but then you're forcing it on the other players since it's the only way they can go. If their morals were really opposed, why wouldn't they just drop the plot, drop the evil PC and go do something Heroic?

Lots of players think "evil is cool" or fun, or whatever, but it's typically not fun for everyone and really only is fun for the evil pc.

So, in short, unless adding the evil PC creates a benefit over having another good/neutral character, why allow it?

ymmv, my 2c etc.


ValmarTheMad wrote:

In game terms, Evil and Good are real, solid, objective components of the universe. This isn't vague existential musings over what "good" or "evil" means like we have in our world--in the game world Evil is EVIL and Good is GOOD--they're detectable, they're keyed to effects and triggers (Detect Evil/Good, Smite Evil, DR Good/Evil, etc) and so they are a real aspect of the group beyond any roleplaying considerations.

Evil's not monolithic, evil doesn't work together, so an evil PC may have his own reasons for helping the party to succeed--but why does a Good party want to help the evil PC succeed? Why forward his goals when you could easily have a fellow Good party member?

TSR/WotC/Paizo made it so for a few reasons, some of them make little to no senses today... and house-ruling exists for a reason.


Detect evil in Mr. Fishy games is for clerics, dragons in disguise[humanoid form], outsiders and undead. Normal humans, elves or who ever don't show up. Protection from good/evil works the same, againist certain overtly evil humans [evil cultist or necromancers] detect/protect/smite works as written against humanoids not so much.

Look at the Star Wars Saga the Emperor, the Sith, several if not all the officers in the Empire were evil. But what about the rank and file soldiers, the troopers, they where following orders and protecting their homes from the "Rebels."

The Dark Side was a "real" thing but the Storm Troopers and Rebels seemedto exist outside of it.

Shadow Lodge

Mr.Fishy wrote:

Detect evil in Mr. Fishy games is for clerics, dragons in disguise[humanoid form], outsiders and undead. Normal humans, elves or who ever don't show up. Protection from good/evil works the same, againist certain overtly evil humans [evil cultist or necromancers] detect/protect/smite works as written against humanoids not so much.

Look at the Star Wars Saga the Emperor, the Sith, several if not all the officers in the Empire were evil. But what about the rank and file soldiers, the troopers, they where following orders and protecting their homes from the "Rebels."

The Dark Side was a "real" thing but the Storm Troopers and Rebels seemedto exist outside of it.

Can't really compare SW to D&D--and the main reason is that in D&D things are more clear-cut.

Entire races are simply Evil, (Goblins = NE), Evil characters, even city guards or misc troops, etc, are all Evil if they check "evil" on their alignment when they're created.

Again, in D&D it's a palpable force, something inherent and innate to the universe--if you are evil then you're Evil, it's not a grey area and many of the game mechanics rely upon that basic assumption. Smite Evil doesn't work because the guy had some bad thoughts once, it works because the guy's aligned himself with the (legitimate/actual) force of Evil.


ValmarTheMad wrote:

Can't really compare SW to D&D--and the main reason is that in D&D things are more clear-cut.

Entire races are simply Evil, (Goblins = NE), Evil characters, even city guards or misc troops, etc, are all Evil if they check "evil" on their alignment when they're created.

Again, in D&D it's a palpable force, something inherent and innate to the universe--if you are evil then you're Evil, it's not a grey area and many of the game mechanics rely upon that basic assumption. Smite Evil doesn't work because the guy had some bad thoughts once, it works because the guy's aligned himself with the (legitimate/actual) force of Evil.

Like the dark side, huh? As previously stated Creatures that are overtly evil or good Clerics, Paladins, evil cultist, demon worshipers, Math Teachers, all detect and are affected as their alignment dictates. However BurgleCut while a nasty little git is not vaible target for smite evil.

For outsiders and undead Mr. Fishy totally agrees, but not for humanoids. Each creature has the ability to choose his actions and by them his alignment. Good tiefling or a an evil aasimar two humanoid creatures with defined alignments tendencies.

And goblins are NE but there isn't any hard rule that states that they are incapable of another alignment.

So what alignment or humans?
If this was the LotR then yes there is a list of evil and and you have to sign up.

Mr. Fishy doesn't play that way. He does see your point and would respect it at your table.

Dark Archive

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ValmarTheMad wrote:
if the Evil character doesn't take advantage of "evil" situations, then they're not really being evil--so why put it on the character sheet?

If an evil sentient literally can't resist a chance to do something evil when it pops up, even if that evil deed is guaranteed to get it killed, it's more robot than character.

Being evil doesn't mean that you have to be the Scorpion from this fable.

Having handled scorpions (and not been stung), I can also tell you that they aren't as dumb as the one in the fable, either, which primarily seems to have been made up to justify not bothering to try and give people a second chance, and to excuse writing them off as 'beyond saving' because 'you can't help some people.'


Why would an evil character be in a primarily good party? Why would a good party put up with an evil character?

How many of us have seen friends in abusive relationship with someone that treats them horribly or even beats them daily? Why do they stay in that relationship?

How many of us have siblings that constantly break the law are in and out of jail, steal, lie, cheat, etc... Ok maybe not alot of us but I do. And I still have to give him rides to work, lend him money, etc...why because life is more than "Your alignment doesnt match mine so I are out of my life."

Why have an Evil fighter in your group? Can you just walk out to "Rent-Adventure Inc." and request a new party member? Assuming you meet the person without knowing he is evil. You get to know them. Maybe you even like him. He has a great sense of humor and he's an amazing combatant. Sure you may not trust him once you get to know alot of his morals but you have learned to work with him. There are a few people at my workplace that I dont trust as far as I can throw them. But I don't quite my job.

If my best friend is dating a real looser who I know is a horrible corrupt evil backstabbing person that may even be cheating on her. Do I stop being her friend? I have to go to the movies with them and hang out with them. Sure I wouldn't want the guy in my house but he comes over to movie night anyway and I tolerate it. Do I say anything to her? Sometimes I do but usually she defends him and in a lot of ways is blinded by her emotions, etc...

Furthermore, Good cant just kill evil for being evil. Evil can be redeemed. People can change. Even Paladins are LAWFUL meaning they can not just kill someone because he "Pinged on the Evil Radar". The only class in the entire game that can not per the rules be in a party with a creature of opposing alignment is the Paladin and even then they can under specific circumstances. Heck a good cleric could very well being "babysitting" the evil character trying to convert them or fearing if they let this person go his own way how many innocent people will suffer.

If the game is just a straight kill the monster take the treasure, here are the x rules we follow for this "table top strategy game" then sure it's cut and dry Good vs. Evil.

But once you start getting into the roleplaying element there is no Black and White.

Shadow Lodge

Set wrote:
ValmarTheMad wrote:
if the Evil character doesn't take advantage of "evil" situations, then they're not really being evil--so why put it on the character sheet?

If an evil sentient literally can't resist a chance to do something evil when it pops up, even if that evil deed is guaranteed to get it killed, it's more robot than character.

That's an oversimplification of what I was getting at--which is, "Why play evil in a good party? I'm not saying you're an automaton because you're evil, no more so than a Paladin has to be mindlessly good, but I am wondering what is the point of bringing an evil character into an already-established good party?

As a player, at the outset, you realize that either you'll have to mitigate your PC's "evil tendencies" in order to work with the group, or else you'll play it as evil and let the party "deal with it".

Yes, you can justify it, you can try to make it work, but ultimately, how much fun is that for everyone?

If the group all wants to play, and is playing, Good characters, then that sets the tone, so what's the advantage or reason to introduce a new character that's opposed to that dynamic?

And, as the evil player, why would you want to be in a group that will oppose most of what you'd like to do? Or how do you play evil and not get kicked out of the group unless you don't act...evil?

The whole thing seems a contrivance to have "Evil" on your character sheet for no discernible value...

Again, if these adventurers are professionals, then that's their job, and their reputation, and having a "bad apple" in the group isn't something they'd want.

On the meta-level, as players, I just see it as a source of intra-party feuding...


ValmarTheMad wrote:
Set wrote:
ValmarTheMad wrote:
if the Evil character doesn't take advantage of "evil" situations, then they're not really being evil--so why put it on the character sheet?

If an evil sentient literally can't resist a chance to do something evil when it pops up, even if that evil deed is guaranteed to get it killed, it's more robot than character.

That's an oversimplification of what I was getting at--which is, "Why play evil in a good party? I'm not saying you're an automaton because you're evil, no more so than a Paladin has to be mindlessly good, but I am wondering what is the point of bringing an evil character into an already-established good party?

As a player, at the outset, you realize that either you'll have to mitigate your PC's "evil tendencies" in order to work with the group, or else you'll play it as evil and let the party "deal with it".

Yes, you can justify it, you can try to make it work, but ultimately, how much fun is that for everyone?

If the group all wants to play, and is playing, Good characters, then that sets the tone, so what's the advantage or reason to introduce a new character that's opposed to that dynamic?

And, as the evil player, why would you want to be in a group that will oppose most of what you'd like to do? Or how do you play evil and not get kicked out of the group unless you don't act...evil?

The whole thing seems a contrivance to have "Evil" on your character sheet for no discernible value...

Again, if these adventurers are professionals, then that's their job, and their reputation, and having a "bad apple" in the group isn't something they'd want.

On the meta-level, as players, I just see it as a source of intra-party feuding...

Intra-party fueding is one of the best things about this game. Without the roleplaying, character interaction and drama I might as well just boot up my computer and play World of Warcraft.

Many a great novel involve people having to work together even though they don't like it and are very opposed in views and morals. Look at alot of movies. If someone wants to take on this "Villianous" role and they are responsible enough to play it well then it can create a very dynamic and dramatic story.

It's not hard to work in an evil character into a good party.

Examples.

1) The campaign revolves around helping a duke deal with problems in his duchey. The "Evil" wizard is a long time apprentice of the Kings court wizard sent to aid the duke and his hired henchment. As long as the Evil Wizard plays his cards right and explains every evil action he did off to the duke in a logic fashion the party must continue to work with the wizard. If there are few other spellcasters around the party and the duke may need the wizard and so have to deal with alot of his questionable tactics and actions.

2) The evil character is a relative of one of the PC; brother, sister, child, etc...

3) The Evil character is key to the ultimate goal. "Only I know the password to the enter the secret chamber that holds the God-Stone that we must destroy to avoid the coming Cataclysm."

Heck it even can add very dramatic twists and plot hooks if the players work with the DM. Wouldnt it be cool if the Evil cleric that was the sole person to know the password to enter the chamber to get the God-Stone actually wanted it for himself. So after all the game sessions and working up to 15th level the party gets to their ultimate goal only to have the Wizard turn on them and try to use the power of the God-Stone against them. Heck some of the other players may have even suspected it and planned for it.

For me and most groups I have played in D&D/Pathfinder is about the Story and roleplaying.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber
FreelanceEvilGenius wrote:

Why would an evil character be in a primarily good party? Why would a good party put up with an evil character?

The former is generally a lot more plausible than the latter. For an evil person, the Good party represents security on several levels, they're less likely to turn on him, they provide a shield between him and his enemies.

It also helps to determine exactly what you mean by evil. Are we talking Crazy Chaotic Charlie? or say, Avon in Blake's 7, who'd fit my example of an mostly evil person in outlook coexisting with a group of heroic freedom fighters. Is he evil divine agent, or someone who's evil by his means rather than his ends?

As to the second part of the question, if the character is not an extreme case like an Anti-Paladin, or a gibbering chaotic evil cleric, such a person may go very well undetected for the first few levels. By that time if he's established a reputation as someone the party can rely on, they're that much more unlikely to expel him, especially if he party doesn't contain troublesome members like a Miko Paladin. Again the Avon-Blake's 7 example from above.


slade867 wrote:

I might soon find myself in the situation where one someone is playing an evil character is a group of good characters. The problem I have with this is I can't wrap my head around good and evil characters hanging out.

Fundamentally, it comes down to the fact that someone will come to the party asking them to do some difficult task for little to no reward. And the good guys will do it. But the evil one, in my mind, would think this was stupid. Why would he/she go along?

It's possible for me to come up with a plot in which the characters are thrown together. The current story I'm running would be perfect for that, but why would these people stick together after?

You guys ever have this problem?

It can work ok if they aren't at the extremes. Not a 'holier than archons' good and not a 'sacrificing babies to the demon gods' evil.

Think about people at work. There are people at my job who I would say are mildly evil (selfish, a bit dishonest, put others down to look better, etc...). I can work work with them on a regular basis. They are not my favorite people and I don't hang out with them after hours, but we can get the job done.

An even closer analogy might be a mercenary military squad (a pretty good description of many adventuring parties). Some of the guys in a squad could be very nasty, mean, unpleasant people. But they all stick together because that is what keeps the squad alive in crunch time.
Yeah, the evil guy may think it is stupid to do a job for no reward, but he sticks with his squad. He will probably complain everytime it comes up, but he will probably stick it out.

However, this requires the players to agree that their PC's will act like that. The good guys don't persecute the evil guy and the evil guy sticks with the squad. If either side can't agree, then it doesn't work.

Shadow Lodge

FreelanceEvilGenius wrote:


Intra-party fueding is one of the best things about this game. Without the roleplaying, character interaction and drama I might as well just boot up my computer and play World of Warcraft.

But, the issue is, just like WoW, the game often goes beyond the "screen" and into real life. If you've played on a PvP server, than you can understand the notion of griefing, and the frustration that can go along with it if you're on the receiving end.

Sure, the guy on the "other side" is just "playing his character", but after a while it becomes personal, and you--the player--get annoyed by actions that are only occuring "between characters".

Likewise, I've seen and GM'd games where "in character" actions have a negative effect on the players involved, and suddenly there's tension around the table as the players have suddenly jumped the game and taken things personally--as people are wont to do in a game where you often put something of yourself into playing your character.

Some of these were PFS games where characters and players are randomly thrown together, but some were home games where differences in "character" outlook became differences in player outlooks and then there's the slide into personal attacks and/or feelings getting hurt.

Again, in fiction the Evil Character can be interesting, or engaging, and you can get behind him--but fiction is scripted, and it's all set out for the reader, and there's no one behind the other characters to have their feathers ruffled.

But, to use fiction, let's take the movie Heat (1995) and the actions of "Waingro". Now, a party of professional thieves probably isn't even "Good" by D&D standards, but Waingro's murder of a guard spirals everything out of control, with the net result that basically everyone in the "crew" ends up dead (except Val Kilmer's character) as a result of that chain of events.

Now, as a character, De Niro's "Neil" is obviously enraged at how the heist went down, and that's fitting. But, again, going beyond the screen, if that was the game and I was playing Neil, I'd be annoyed, personally, that my PC was ultimately killed by the single intentional action of one of the other players who felt his character had to do something "evil" at that moment--and yes, maybe that was his character, etc., but it still resulted in a near-TPK.

You can have parties that have differences of opinion, and you don't need an "evil" character in order to achieve it.

And, again, if you have an "Evil" character who supports the group, and goes to rescue the orphans, turns in the bandits, and forwards the plot and the group's goals on every level, then, really, how is it an Evil character? The GM can only do so much, and the Adventure Path will progress more-or-less as written regardless of what alignment's on your character sheet.

For me, D&D is meant to be a cooperative game, it's not PvP, it's players and characters working together to overcome obstacles. They may or may not agree on how to do things, they may have personal attitudes or beliefs that conflict, but when it comes down to it they're "on the same page" and want to get the job done.

I just don't see how an evil character fits into a good party without either compromising his "evil nature" or else acting on his impulses/desires and "to hell with the party/consequences" (Waingro style)...

And, once you add in the inter-player tension, I just don't see the benefit. I've had emails from players complaining about X's evil character in the past, and how it's disrupting the game--and I don't see why one player's desire to play a certain way should affect the enjoyment of the other 5 at the table who would not, in character, have anything to do with Evil Bob, but since it's the PC Mark is playing, then they're stuck with him...

Liberty's Edge

i can think of two examples where the evil charactor in the good party has worked from personal experience. the first time i was a necromantic wizard with access to healing as no onw would ever play a cleric in the group. I discovered one of the pcs (2nd ed days) was a half vampire, and created specific healing spells for that charactor. i then experimented surgically on that half vampire charactor frequently. i was able to use the half vampirc blood harvested to boost the healing spells i used on all the other party members. to summarize, my motivation was access to an experimental subject, and the extra funds i was given to continue the excellent magical and non magical healing for the mostly fighter party. this party ground through many combats and we continued playing for longer than most parties with that group of players ever lasted.

the second did not last as long as i would have hoped. essentially i was a support oriented evil wizard. the campaing was centered around deposing the evil lord. everyone else wanted to liberate the lands, i was thinking that someone else was in my chair.

both evil charactors in a good party, and both situations worked well.

honestly, i have seen alot more disruption from the "good" aligned charactors than any evil charactor. especially paladins.

Sovereign Court

@valmarthemad - Evil is not allowed in PFS. It also sounds like your groups might be too pick up in nature for a good/evil mix to work out. Evil being banned is a very popular house rule for good reasons which you have touched on.

I have a group that has been playing together for years. The first session we play is purely making characters and talking about their fit in the campaign. Any issues are ironed out at that time and off we go. Look at my earlier post that highlights some of our good/evil character experiences. I agree the game is co-op and players need to work together. When it comes to evil/good parties not all roads lead to PvP or strife but it takes the right group.

Shadow Lodge

Pan wrote:

@valmarthemad - Evil is not allowed in PFS. It also sounds like your groups might be too pick up in nature for a good/evil mix to work out. Evil being banned is a very popular house rule for good reasons which you have touched on.

I have a group that has been playing together for years. The first session we play is purely making characters and talking about their fit in the campaign. Any issues are ironed out at that time and off we go. Look at my earlier post that highlights some of our good/evil character experiences. I agree the game is co-op and players need to work together. When it comes to evil/good parties not all roads lead to PvP or strife but it takes the right group.

The PFS game character was technically a "neutral" Cleric of Asmodeus, but if I had been GM then I certainly would have labeled his actions and character "evil". But, so it goes, not my call. And not my real point, but I do agree that many of my games are random pick-up games with players I've never met, and that definitely makes everything more difficult.

But, still, Evil and Good are polar opposites, and they'll always create issues if played in the same party.

Dark Archive

Pan wrote:
When it comes to evil/good parties not all roads lead to PvP or strife but it takes the right group.

It's probably easier to game with people who have read some books or watched some TV or movies that feature mixed groups including noble sorts and more selfish sorts, such as Firefly or the Dungeons & Dragons cartoon or Lost in Space or The Warriors or Farscape or many of the later Terminator movies or Azure Bonds or Dragonlance or X-Men or Watchmen or whatever.

There's not exactly a shortage of protagonist groups that have a crazy, evil and / or 'leashed' bad-guy on the team. Stargate had a pet go'uld, Star Trek had a pet klingon (and, later, a pet borg), Buffy had a pet vampire (and, later, a pet vengeance demon), the humans in the BSG reboot had more pet cylons than humans, by the end, Star Wars had that 'only in it for the money' dude who was on the fence about this whole 'heroism' thing until the last ten minutes of the movie, etc.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
FreelanceEvilGenius wrote:
Liquid Gold
Set wrote:
Also Liquid Gold

You guys are the best*. Thank you for those. I had a great time.

* At clarifying why evil would work with good.

Shadow Lodge

Set wrote:
Pan wrote:
When it comes to evil/good parties not all roads lead to PvP or strife but it takes the right group.

It's probably easier to game with people who have read some books or watched some TV or movies that feature mixed groups including noble sorts and more selfish sorts, such as Firefly or the Dungeons & Dragons cartoon or Lost in Space or The Warriors or Farscape or many of the later Terminator movies or Azure Bonds or Dragonlance or X-Men or Watchmen or whatever.

There's not exactly a shortage of protagonist groups that have a crazy, evil and / or 'leashed' bad-guy on the team. Stargate had a pet go'uld, Star Trek had a pet klingon (and, later, a pet borg), Buffy had a pet vampire (and, later, a pet vengeance demon), the humans in the BSG reboot had more pet cylons than humans, by the end, Star Wars had that 'only in it for the money' dude who was on the fence about this whole 'heroism' thing until the last ten minutes of the movie, etc.

Worf, the Terminator in T2, Wolverine, they all might be from an "evil" race, reformed "bad guys" or "loose cannons", but for all their swagger and banter I can't recall them doing anything overtly evil.


LazarX, I remember Blake's 7 very fondly: and Avon was one of my favorites characters on the show. Great example (in my opinion) of Lawful Evil. If he gave his word, he would keep: to the letter. But if he wanted something, and he had not promised Blake not to do it, he would do it.

Anyway, back to the topic at hand. Why would a good-aligned party tolerate an evil character? There have been many good answers here, but I keep seeing some folks going back to that old trope of 'but he's EVIL!' and 'it makes no sense if he doesn't act evil, he might as just be neutral'.

Evil does not have to commit specific acts in order to maintain their moral and ethical guidelines. In this regard, characters with an evil alignment have the most freedom in determing how they will act. They are not constrained by the idea that killing a bunch of prisoners will make them lose their alignment; they don't have to worry about what their diety (if any) thinks about how they interrogate a captured member of the local thieve's guild.

They can freely commit good acts, because for Evil there is only a single governing rule: THE ENDS ALWAYS JUSTIFY THE MEANS. Doesn't mean I have to kick a puppy when walking across a street, or pimp-slap a serving wench in the tavern when ordering an ale. I am free to use any means I see fit to accomplish my goals. Wow, that is pretty heady stuff.

Especially in a world where clerics and paladins are bound by codes and convinctions; where one wrong step, one ill-thought moment of violence can revoke their powers.

You don't have to play an evil bastard to be of an evil alignment. And sometimes, your party will appreciate you for being able to do things that they can't (not without risking their own afterlife).

Playing evil doesn't mean you have to pay dumb. In fact, good players who live by the golden rule of evil (see above) often have to play smarter than everyone else who just follows the precepts of good blindly.

At least that is how I see it.

Master Arminas

Shadow Lodge

master arminas wrote:

Evil does not have to commit specific acts in order to maintain their moral and ethical guidelines. In this regard, characters with an evil alignment have the most freedom in determing how they will act. They are not constrained by the idea that killing a bunch of prisoners will make them lose their alignment; they don't have to worry about what their diety (if any) thinks about how they interrogate a captured member of the local thieve's guild.

They can freely commit good acts, because for Evil there is only a single governing rule: THE ENDS ALWAYS JUSTIFY THE MEANS. Doesn't mean I have to kick a puppy when walking across a street, or pimp-slap a serving wench in the tavern when ordering an ale. I am free to use any means I see fit to accomplish my goals. Wow, that is pretty heady stuff.

Especially in a world where clerics and paladins are bound by codes and convinctions; where one wrong step, one ill-thought moment of violence can revoke their powers.

You don't have to play an evil bastard to be of an evil alignment. And sometimes, your party will appreciate you for being able to do things that they can't (not without risking their own afterlife).

Playing evil doesn't mean you have to pay dumb. In fact, good players who live by the golden rule of evil (see above) often have to play smarter than everyone else who just follows the precepts of good blindly.

But, on the flip side, what's the point? If you go along with everything the Good party does, you act in all ways as a Good character, you don't step out of line to give them reason to turn on you, and you do this for the entire campaign, then why put "evil" on the character sheet? What benefit did you get? What aspect of being evil did your character ever exemplify?

I'm not saying you have to "play dumb", but I am wonder what the point is? If you go along with everything the Good party does, and you get to the end of the campaign having saved the same orphans, overthrown the same evil tyrant, defeated the vile draco-lich, etc., all without ever doing anything "evil" then how is that character Evil other than because it's on the sheet?

What end did you justify in your quest to be (or forward the forces of/serve the great master of) Evil?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Just as Set and Freelance before him said: you're getting rid of the future competition/getting rich as all get out/gaining power for later.

Contrariwise, why have "good" there? After all you're making money from burned orphanages and ruined lives. Sounds neutral from that point of view. You're ignoring motive in favor of appearance.

It's tricky, to be sure, and not everyone can or should play this way. It's fraught with potential problems. Key word there, though, is "potential". It doesn't have to be a bad game, and everyone's play style is different.

What's been given here is good justification for evil characters to adventure with good ones and vice-versa. If it's not your play style: perfect, then don't! This was all just to help someone who asked for advice/help, so that's why it's here: to use or not, at your own discretion. Does it work for you, OP? :)


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In any group you need something greater then the individual characters to bind them together. Why do the LG Paladin and CG Ranger bother staying together when they're so different? They have common goals, work for some higher ideal of goodness, whatever.

An all evil party can serve the same house or guild. They may be bastards but family comes first (Bester from B5 is a great example). The problem is when you have ridiculous caricatures of people without realistic motives. Virtually nobody is ever evil for the sake of evil. People are evil "for the greater good" or as a means to an ends. Find out what motivates the evil character and use that to bind him.

In one game two of us played paladins along with a evil rogue. It worked because we were all of the same nation fighting a common enemy. Of course remaining ignorant of the fact that the rogue was sneaking behind enemy lines to assassinate people for the war effort helped too. He meant well in his own way. >.<


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It's really simple. I adventure with Good people because I love them; they're my friends and they've stood by me through thick and thin. They've sheltered me from my enemies, picked me up when I was down, and stood up for me when I thought I stood alone. They object to my methods sometimes. They limit my options. They interfere in my plans. But they're worth it, because what is all the power and all the glory in the Multiverse worth when you have noone to share it with?

Why do they adventure with me? Because they know I won't stab them in the back; anyone else, maybe, but not them. Because I get **** done when they're too squeamish to do it. They want the same things I want, but I'm willing to go as far as it takes to make them happen.

And because they know that it is only out of my respect and affection for them that I am restraining myself at all. Without me, they would be less effective at hurting the other bad guys; without them, I would be more effective at hurting everyone.

Dark Archive

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Viktyr Korimir wrote:
It's really simple. I adventure with Good people because I love them; they're my friends and they've stood by me through thick and thin.

If there's no one in your life that you don't love, and yet know for darn sure you can't trust (or that will only call you when they need to 'borrow' money that they'll never, ever repay), then I envy you your family.

It may not be true that 'every family's got one,' but that might be just because some of us were blessed with more than one. :/

Granted, in a role-playing game, where you can literally 'pick your family,' (and, oh, what a shock, it seems like the majority of players choose for their characters families to be either dead or on another continent, which may prove the point...), it might be fun *not* to have to deal with people whose notions on ethics, morality, etc. are wildly different than yourself for a short time.

Still, the advice in this thread, for the most part, has been how to justify a character teaming up with intelligent, affable sorts of evil characters, not backstabbing dicks (of any alignment). There's no need to put up with dickery. It's supposed to be fun for everyone.


Set wrote:
If there's no one in your life that you don't love, and yet know for darn sure you can't trust (or that will only call you when they need to 'borrow' money that they'll never, ever repay), then I envy you your family.

I cut people like that out of my life without a moment's hesitation. If I were stuck in a dungeon with them, there's a good chance I'd cut them out of their own lives, too.

Set wrote:
Still, the advice in this thread, for the most part, has been how to justify a character teaming up with intelligent, affable sorts of evil characters, not backstabbing dicks (of any alignment). There's no need to put up with dickery. It's supposed to be fun for everyone.

Well, yeah. The other reason I would prefer to adventure with heroes is that most people play "evil" in a way I wouldn't tolerate for five minutes without reverting to my more creative violent tendencies. I'm about six different kinds of an evil bastard, but I'm not a backstabber-- and I'm not going to be as merciful and restrained in dealing with a backstabber as my good Good friends would be. That's one of the reasons they need me; I can smell people like that a mile away and I'll have already dealt with them by the time my friends start thinking about what to do about it.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber
Set wrote:

by the end, Star Wars had that 'only in it for the money'

You mean Alec Guiness? Oh... I thought you were talking about the actors. :)

Dark Archive

I have posted a longer version of this on the AP threads but I'll do a brief 'Cliff notes' version here:

In our year long Council of Thieves campaign our Paladin (who was intelligently and very well role played by my friend Jason) was allied with my lawful evil Elven Wizard (who I played up as Niccolò Machiavelli with a dash of a pragmatic Elric.)

Since my Wizard believed he could never rule the city of Westcrown openly (nor did he cherish the direct scrutiny that being Lord Mayor of Westcrown would bring; as numerous assassination attempts on the Paladin would later prove) he decided early on that the Paladin was the "ideal face" for governmenship while he, the wizard, would "guide the power" from beind the thrown. (The wizard even had a butler/stooge named Wormtounge, who was the custodian of my Wizard's rare book store and hidden printing press, The Secret Page.)

During combat my wizard put himself directly in harms way many times to protect the Paladin because my Wizard really did believe the Paladin (ie. Smiting Meal Ticket) was destined to rule Westcrown; on one occassion, with his bonded Alexandrite rapier in hand, my Wizard charged and put himself directly between the Paladin and three vampires!

With the conclusion of the campaign, my character is now is an advisor on the small council of the Lord Mayor of Westcrown as well as the Signifier of the Hellknigts of the city, the Paladin is both Lord Mayor and Para Lictor of the Order of the Rack.

So who says Lawful Good and Lawful Evil cant come to an understanding?

Spoiler:
IMO Mark Moreland - who played in this campaign before he left to work for some sort of toy company/lifestyle cult - played a suicidal Chaotic Good/Neutral Bard of Milani that was more disruptive as a character. Kids! I wonder what ever happened to him? :D

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

One wonders if The Doctor might be a case of the obverse. When he's off alone as seen in "Waters of Mars" or in combat with the Racnoss, he has a tendency to go off the rails in violence, gloating in it, or occasionally lapsing into delusions of Meaglomania. "I'm not just a survivor... I'm the Time Lord Victorious" (Waters of Mars)

"You need someone to stop you."

-Donna Noble.

"With the amount of evil and darkness in you, it would have starved in a nanosecond. I choose my friends very carefully."

-The Doctor explaining the Dream Parasite to Amy and Rory. "Amy's Choice"

"No one fears the wrath of a good man. They have so many rules."

"Good men need no rules. Now is not the day to find out why I have so many."

-Madame Kevorkian and The Doctor "When A Good Man Goes To War"

This example might be a bit more complicated as it's unclear whether the Eleventh Doctor has an evil core within him or simply sees himself as such. But he clearly seeks out Good people to be his companions. (The only Companion his previous incarnation ejected from the TARDIS was one he discovered putting Earth's timeline in jeopardy for his own profit.)

Sometimes there are people who recognise their own evil and are looking to balance that tendency by seeking out those who would curb their worst behaviors.


LazarX wrote:
Set wrote:

by the end, Star Wars had that 'only in it for the money'

You mean Alec Guiness? Oh... I thought you were talking about the actors. :)

GRRRR!

Dark Archive

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LazarX wrote:
Sometimes there are people who recognise their own evil and are looking to balance that tendency by seeking out those who would curb their worst behaviors.

A good practice in life, as well. Recognize in your teen years that you have *zero* ability to moderate your use of alcohol? Spend more time with friends and / or a spouse that doesn't drink or go partying all the time. Avoid the 'fun' people who would drag you out to clubs and talk you into 'one more drink' and enable your own destructive behaviors (and, as such 'friends' seem wont to do, abandon you in a cold second once you crash and burn).

There's a good motivation for a person who feels that they are 'bad' to hang out with people they feel are 'good.'

And, in theory, 'good' people are supposed to *want* to help people, and be all compassionate and stuff, so it's a win for them, too.

A bunch of 'good' people who step around those who could use a hand up, and only share their good fortune with those who 100% fit their criteria of behavior (and, therefore, don't really need their help or counsel or support...) isn't 'good,' it's just a mean kid's clique of smug self-righteous creeps. It's not enough to only hang with the morally cool crowd that reinforces how much better than thou you are.

Sometimes you gotta get down there and wash the feet of someone you consider beneath you (or at least ladle out some free soup to someone that society is clamoring doesn't deserve free soup, 'cause literal foot-washing is so last millenium), to remember that 'being good' and 'feeling superior' are two very much exclusive states of being.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Set wrote:

Recognize in your teen years that you have *zero* ability to moderate your use of alcohol? Spend more time with friends and / or a spouse that doesn't drink or go partying all the time. Avoid the 'fun' people who would drag you out to clubs and talk you into 'one more drink' and enable your own destructive behaviors (and, as such 'friends' seem wont to do, abandon you in a cold second once you crash and burn).

There's a good motivation for a person who feels that they are 'bad' to hang out with people they feel are 'good.'

And, in theory, 'good' people are supposed to *want* to help people, and be all compassionate and stuff, so it's a win for them, too.

A bunch of 'good' people who step around those who could use a hand up, and only share their good fortune with those who 100% fit their criteria of behavior (and, therefore, don't really need their help or counsel or support...) isn't 'good,' it's just a mean kid's clique of smug self-righteous creeps. It's not enough to only hang with the morally cool crowd that reinforces how much better than thou you are.

Sometimes you gotta get down there and wash the feet of someone you consider beneath you (or at least ladle out some free soup to someone that society is clamoring doesn't deserve free soup, 'cause literal foot-washing is so last millenium), to remember that 'being good' and 'feeling superior' are two very much exclusive states of being.

Thank you sir. It shames me to realize that I have frequently played a Paladin or other 'good' character who might have been in such circumstances & didn't take such an opportunity. I shall have to be minded of that in the future.

Dark Archive

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Irnk, Dead-Eye's Prodigal wrote:
Thank you sir. It shames me to realize that I have frequently played a Paladin or other 'good' character who might have been in such circumstances & didn't take such an opportunity. I shall have to be minded of that in the future.

Oh, it's not a dig or anything, it's just that there's a huge focus on the 'stick' and none at all, it seems, on the 'carrot.'

Ideally, a good character should be focused on making more good in the world. Destroying evil can also be necessary, but it does nothing to *make more good,* and, indeed, is using the tools of evil, death and slaughter and destruction, in the service of good ends. As with a firefighter, who might occasionally have to use fire to fight fire, such tools should not be the only one's in your toolbox, nor the first one you reach for as the solution to every problem.

Good *can* be humble, giving and unselfish, even if that's *hardly* how the classical 'holy knight' has been portrayed.

The largest part of my disdain for the D&D alignment system is how it's most vocal fans are adamant that 'good' means 'able to commit genocide' and that 'evil' means 'self-destructive scorpions.' If 'good' can rationalize *any* atrocity, then why bother even using it? If 'evil' *can't* ever accomplish anything, because it's too busy stabbing itself in the back, why would it even exist?

IMO, some of the most vocal supporters of alignment tend to be the most ironically dismissive of it actually *meaning anything,* or of it having even the most fleeting incidental brush with morals or virtues or ethics, because playing a *virtuous* character, instead of a merely 'good' one is seen as overly restrictive or naive or unreasonable, and instead of accepting that maybe playing a truly good person would require some sacrifice and some thoughtful consideration before lopping off 'eads of them what annoyed ya, the concept of moral good is dragged down into irrelevance and watered down so that a 'good' character can do whatever the hell brutish or cruel or selfish they want and justify it.

It feels to me like some players want the moral high ground and self-righteousness of saying that they're 'good,' without actually having to make any of the choices or sacrifices that such a moral life would require.

It's hard to blame the individual, as the game has always kind of encouraged that sort of thinking. Good characters have rarely gotten XP for helping people or giving stuff to charity or wandering through the poor quarter dispensing healing or helping a family to set up a business so that they can support themselves long after the character has left town. For that matter, evil people don't really get XP for poisoning wells or ruining marriages or digging up graves. Ultimately, being good or evil, chaotic or lawful, is, at the end of the day, not terribly important mechanically, in game, or as a factor in character advancement or development.

Shadow Lodge

Quote:

reelanceEvilGenius wrote:

Why would an evil character be in a primarily good party? Why would a good party put up with an evil character?

Evil has every reason to prefer being in a good party. Sneaking, cheating, backstabbing, and taking advantage of other people is great... but only when you're doing it to someone else, NOT when they're doing it to you. Sure, you don't get to take the last 3 copper the widow has in her coin purse (at least when anyone is looking) , but on the plus side your party won't slit your throat in your sleep for your +2 dagger collection. So.. you know.. you come out ahead.

Good has fewer reasons to accept evil

Family

Longtime friends, probably from before the Evil character went too far down the slipery slope

They simply don't know: the evil character is sneaky.

Attempt at a conversion

Orders from on high

Fighting a bigger evil

Prophecy, he's the chosen one, or some other plot device.


I don't need to call myself "Good" to feel validated. I get all of the sense of moral superiority I need from my Blue and Orange morality, secure in my faith that I am very very Orange, and all of your holies and unholies are very very Blue. Only difference as far as I'm concerned is which ones can smite me-- though, ironically, the ones that can smite me are less Blue than the ones who can't. Mostly.

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