I think the main thing to take away from this thread is that this game doesn't exist in a vaccum -playstyles differ ,and the reaction to that can sometimes be surprising.
I was going to take some things away from this tread, maybe not the main thing, but some things, but I realized I couldn't kill it first, and do not want to besmirch my murderous hobo reputation.
And it twas, upon the 6th Middas of Hearthfire, that the Grand Hobo Army of the People's Sovereign Republic defended their home against the tyrannical Dragonlord Hobo and his nigh invincible army of Hobo Dragonriders.
There was much Hobo blood shed this day. But, it's not murder, if it's WAR.
So, in 88 posts I've had one response to my request for an example of how to do evil that is
Maybe I just didn't grab anyone's attention and we all got exciting about people twisting words like bandit and greed but I'd still really like to read some examples.
My one evil character came about in a spur of the moment pickup game where one of my players who had never DMed before made up a story off of the top of his head.
He assigned me and the Black Goblin and Father Varnalium characters; he told us what race we were going to be, and what class, and what we had for equipment and everything. I ended up being a human druid with a quarterstaff. Being told what I had to be was very annoying...but he didn't tell me what alignment I was, so I opted for neutral evil.
And thus was born The Mad Hermit who lived deep in the woods and hated other people. Well, other humans, anyway, but other than that he was a cheery, boisterous fellow who delighted in killing poachers, lumberjacks and other invaders into his wooded realm.
The storyline involved him meeting up with two halflings and going to town. We fought and killed some marauding goblins on the way, and when we arrived in town we went straight to the nearest greasy spoon and ordered breakfast. While we were eating, I mentioned to the owners that we had saved the town from being razed to the ground by goblin banditti and that they should give us a reward. They demured. I demanded that in payment for our heroic efforts, they should give us a free pie. They refused. I replied that just a slice of pie would suffice in recompense for valiant deeds. They told us to get lost.
So I cast shillelagh on my quarterstaff, smashed in the pie display case, ordered my animal companion wolf to growl at the slackjawed patrons, and I took, not one, not two, but ALL THE PIES!!!!
I am evil. Yes, I am.
Well. That was far from heroic.
Doodlebug Anklebiter wrote:
I don't know what's considered boring to you, but I am currently playing an evil character who's not traumatized. He's a CE Fey-blood Sorcerer, so as you could imagine it's heavily focused on enchantment. My challenge was to be as evil as possible while never directly killing a single innocent.
So far he's managed to rack up a higher kill count than most mass murderers simply by using some well placed words and spells.
He fooled his cousin, a well respected public official, into killing his wife and best friend. He tricked a jewelry shop owner into leaving him in charge, razed it and burned it to the ground, and then pinned the blame on a recently freed slave. Then sold the stolen gems back to the jeweler . . . you know, so he could get back on his feet. Currently he's working for both a LE General of an opposing army and a CE pirate lord who are trying to kill one another. And since he couldn't resist, while on the base of the LE general he went ahead and turned half the guard staff against the other half by convincing them there was a traitor in their midst. Didn't even have to roll a bluff check on that one since there totally was. And most recently settled a dispute over 50 gold by polymorphing the other person into a turtle and making it the party mascot. Going to use the gold he got from that to get a druid cast "Awaken" so he can be sure his new friend is 'enjoying' every moment of his new life.
But nicest guy in the world. Totally friendly, talkative, and always quick with a kind word. Has a sort of obnoxious love of puns; just about the only trait I share with him (I hope). No tragic back story. Actually had a pretty good life, idyllic small town, lots of friends, close with his family . . . well, except the ones he framed for murder anyway.
I think the best way to play evil for fun is to remember that being evil isn't about always being evil all the time. It doesn't mean you have to be an anti-social jerk. In fact, it helps if you're not. Be a villain with good publicity.
Freehold DM wrote:
All credit goes to Ashiel for that one! I'm going to have to track that Dragon issue down now too. More options to pull from, the better. :D
Getting back somewhat to the main post, though, I'd just have to say that I don't see enjoying being evil or being good mutually exclusive.
Sometimes I want to be the hero. With so much injustice in the real world, and having so little power to change it, it's refreshing to be able to right a major wrong. To be the example; the knight in shining armor who will defeat injustice and bring peace to the land. And while there are a lot of complaints about no-win ethical dilemmas for good-aligned characters, those scenarios help us define who we are as moral actors. Playing a good character helps me realize the kind of person I want to be, even if I don't always live up to it.
On the other hand, well, unless you're rich enough you don't get to do everything you want. Often you have to be not just forgiving of people who wrong you, but downright grovel to them because they're in positions of authority, or it will negatively affect your other relationships, or because it won't be worth the consequences of challenging them. Feels good to unleash some of that anger and frustration in a safe environment where nobody will actually get hurt. And let's face it: Villains are compelling. Just figuring out what would make a person act out in such a way is novel in of itself.
Neither one is Badwrongfun. It's not a reflection on somebody being naive or immature, respectively.
Yeah, that specific part(gear on defeated enemies) is still something I'm wrestling with. If it can curb the tendency to strip dead people naked, that's a welcome bonus, but the big thing I want it to deter is players feeling like they need to go out of their way to kill people to take their stuff. I think that major element is down pat due to the stipend, but that still leaves whatever their enemies were carrying. Thinking about just subtracting that equipment's worth from the stipend, and if they actually bury fallen foes with their belongings respectfully, that value gets added back to the stipend. Probably. Still working it out. Some folks are already using their own approaches in their games right now though.
Looted gear that's obviously ancient and/or of Thassilonian design though, totally going back to HQ to be studied and catalogued!
Mikaze's post history is FULL of awesome.
Mostly wang jokes honestly.
Now we're getting the good stuff!
The only type of evil PCs I allow in my games are those with interesting and difficult long term goals. They must be ambitious and proactive - and their goals must be important enough to them that they won't risk failure by being bastards for no useful reason. Clowns, thugs and psychopaths are fun diversions for a few games, but I don't build campaigns around them.
Hmm, my current party are the rightful inhabitants of a palace, and gave away all the loot from a recent boss fight as restitution to the innocents that were made to suffer at the hands of actual bandits (pirates in this case). That "all PCs are murderous banditry-prone hobos" mantra is looking a bit flimsy from behind my GM screen...
Great story. I laughed. They must have thought they were in skyrim.
You could play an evil samurai, that is obsessed with renown, careful to never do what is dishonourable, whom attacks those that are, while also holding some evil opinions and views on how things should be run. This person isn't traumatised or boring, but an adaptable evil melee char with a code. Even evil can have honour.
I would be very interested about which solution you ultimatively come up with.
I can provide you with hours and hours of immense viewing pleasure that will illustrate hight quality yet team driven evil.
Watch and learn.
Deadwood is so good. Hangdai!
Party I am dming for right at this moment (we are on a snack break) just ran into an evil party before (ranger/ninja and knight). Now they were out hunting another group, setting a trap, and were not interested in the pcs at this time. The pcs and the evil party got along, and they later met up to trade some loot and buy some poison. Even flirting with the archer/poisoner and making him happy, beam and almost giggle and sell his wares at a good price. He got to shoot adventurers at a bridge, and then be buttered up by a hot ninja, he is thrilled. Life is great being evil!
Off they went on their separate ways, they will meet again.
3.5 Loyalist wrote:
Indeed, an excellent series.
3.5 Loyalist wrote:
Implying a good party can't do all of that and get along even better with other adventuring parties?
You know, unless you play in a world where poison is automatically evil (houserule) and sex is also evil (houserule).
Apologies for the response, but the way I read this message isn't giving me much aside from a strong feeling of annoyance.
I don't think he said that, though. This sounds more like an evil party having a good time with a possibly less than evil party.
I once had a character doing everything to protect his home and way of life.
Happily the campaign was to defend our village so there was no problem.
I'm going to have to disagree with you there. In my evil game(thus far, anyway), evil characters are evil as a way of life, not necessarily doing things to get another marker on their "evil" card. They worship(indeed, one is a cleric) evil deities, regularly participate in to-the-death bloodsport with only slightly willing participants on the other side, regularly commit acts of grift, petty thievery, and are trying to figure out how to kill several people and inherit their wealth. However, not only do they not advertise this(with the exception of the priest and the gladiator), none of this keeps them from being cheerful and friendly people that making friends with NPCs, which my players most certainly do and it sounds like what happened in the above game. Evil people need friends, companionship, and to be loved too, which is an important thing I discovered in the first and only evil game I had ever played in, and it ended up being one of the most eye opening experiences I had at the table.
Think you got the wrong message here. I am not playing a sex is something you should feel guilty about Twilight adventure here. So I'll be clearer and add more context:
Party encountered a good adventuring party (mostly). Cleric and Pally led, it was out to deal with an evil druid (the same quest the party is one). Party helped them out, but continued on their way and didn't respect the wish of the cleric/good party to leave this quest to the forces of good and shiny helmets.
Later they met a smaller evil party, which laid a bridge ambush for the cleric/good party and reluctantly let the pcs through after some diplomacy.
Evil beat good, while the pcs rested. One from the evil party met up with the pcs later, visited their camp and he was just so happy with how his day went. Offered some poisons, party ninja obliged but also used a nat 20 seduction/bluff check by 3.5 rules to get a serious discount. Evil ranger got a kiss, buttered up and left quite happy even though he sold his poisons at a low price.
Did the party act heroically? Well they didn't help the agents of good a second time, but they did allow the evil party to take out the competition, so they could continue on with their mission. The evil party wasn't in service to the druid, they just kill most that trespass in their neck of the woods, but the party weren't their targets at that time. I like some party vs party conflict, and the potential to set another party up for a bad time.
Solid gold!CE spellcaster couldn't respect the villagers, so he got the axe.
Freehold DM wrote:
Evil parties can be great fun, especially in a heavy intrigue/politics game.
3.5 Loyalist wrote:
Real life politicians are already mostly self-centered idiots that'd count as Evil by D&D standards, so I'd rather play a Paladin of Abadar in a politics game than a Cleric of Asmodeus because I'm tired of being reminded how s*ty my home country's political situation (and probably that of many other countries) is when I could instead be dropkicking corruption in the face. But that's just my personal opinion on the whole matter.
Taking the first issue of the OP's question, there is another problem in this situation that i failed to recall begin attended in this post.
One thing that works nicely to me is, when the players starts to do out of the way things, i put an npc that makes it better, and "villainise" it. Doing this, make the characters act as heroes, and be rewarded by it.
In the examples mentioned above, when the rogue started to burglarize people's home, he could had entered in a home at the exact moment to witness an assassination attempt, then he is thanked as savior for the would be victim. When the fighter started to pick fights at the tavern, there is the tavern bully present, who feels offended to see someone else do what he do best. Then, when the fighter defeats it, the tavern's patrons cheer him to give to the bully what he deserved, gets a free mug of beer and jolly company. When the wizard start to threatens people with magic, he could encounter a villain who do not threaten, he acts. Then, when this villain is defeated, he is awarded by the city's sheriff. Or, if it scaled to the them trying to burn the city, they witness some orcs trying to do the destroy it too, along with them. Defeating the orcs, the city pardon's them and allow them to stay in town, as heroes.
The OP stated he wanted a heroes campaign, taking his words, he is not a computer, when players starts to do disgraceful things, adapt and change the situation to throw the light of heroism at them again. Sooner than later, they will get proud to begin treated as heroes and act accordingly.
Heroes needs villains.
3.5 Loyalist wrote:
Yeaahh, while a merchant game can be fun, I have been baffled by the mercantile focus of many players. You want to shop for how long?
My players used to take everything they could - "Wait, he died in one hit so his clothes aren't that ripped up. We should wash those before the stain sets and sell them later. Oh, and give me a hand hauling this table back to the exit, I think we can get a few silver for it." - from every dungeon and then head back to civilization and sit in the city until every last bit of their (really lame) loot had been sold for a fair price or used as a gift to gain them favor (like when they gave the city guard their "spare arrows" - all 3,000 of them).
Initially I just went with it, especially because one player would track the list of everything claimed and then do the math on what price it should be able to fetch based on the rule-books and a few questions like "is a table worth as much as a chicken or a dog?".
It did wear on me pretty quickly though, and I've worked very hard to discourage the behavior in favor of encouraging them to only "loot" things for two reasons: 1) they intend to use it personally, even if only as a trophy, 2) it is actually treasure (things found on the coins, art, or gems tables).
It has been extremely difficult, but we have made great progress... mostly due to very strict adherence to encumbrance and time limits - and to the idea that people just don't want to, or can't afford, to buy most of the stuff they would drag out of a dungeon.
Seriously, i have been begging people to take the good alignment from time to time. The best i can get is lawful neutral. I'm sick of it and the problem is that i really like gaming and most of the people who game in my town are like the select few i have played with. All the good ones have moved to other countries.
PBP might be your solution :). (Or moving out of the town).