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Intra-party Conflict


Advice

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Advice please. . .

My player of a chaotic evil priest went into a Chaotic Good ruler's castle and declared himself to be . . . evil and a worshiper of Incabulos. In the ruler's face.

So the ruler asked him to hunt a unicorn in the Celedon Forest. One of the players is plotting against this very vocal priest.

How I want things to go down.
During the hunt, the party is attacked by bounty hunters, all looking to bring our CE priest in, dead or alive. Preferably dead.

How the other player wants things to go down.
The other player will disguise his character as the CE priest, doing evil deeds in his name and wants to drive the bounty up. Then kill him when he's of no use.


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that's intra-party conflict btw - inter-party would be between 2 parties


dharkus wrote:
that's intra-party conflict btw - inter-party would be between 2 parties

Thank you. I must have forgotten. :D


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Do you think your players are mature enough to handle this? Just from an outsider's perspective - going on the little bit of evidence you have presented - I would guess that they are not.

I belive this will end up badly, unless you decide to accommodate the players and let them "win". The game is something different to each player and to each gaming group, but I don't believe this the point of role-playing games. Playing a functional evil character requires patience and maturity. What do you suppose would happen in real life if someone confronted the mayor and declared himself an evil cultist?


Well, the player of the CE character hates the alignment system. I have thought about removing alignment entirely, but I think that won't solve the in-character problem of him going around to every good nation and saying he's evil.

I want to teach him a lesson that you don't do that when you're playing an evil character.


Ciaran Barnes wrote:
What do you suppose would happen in real life if someone confronted the mayor and declared himself an evil cultist?

IRL the mayor lacks the power to have the cultist hanged for it. He could still send them to hunt down a unicorn, though.


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I agree with Ciaran this will end badly. Before it ends badly think about this. The party wants to do evil things becoming evil themselves. You can do two things allow everyone to play evil and stupid throwing good guys against them until they are killed. Or have the evil player make a new character of a non evil alignment.

The Exchange

Is this part of the story? Is this the game you want to run? Sounds like a player driven sandbox style game. If so, you should as a DM expect all sorts of shenanigans from your players.

However if there is an overarching story you are trying to tell and you are letting the players highjack your game, try to get them back on track. Otherwise your game is doomed. I know there's a lot of players who want to play "rockstar" characters and monopolize game time and the GM's time, but its unfair to the other players at the table. Putting a good cohesive gaming group makes for a good cohesive PC party.


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I mean, "hates the alignment system" is one thing (I'm here sometimes) but "subsequently decides to play a chaotic evil character" (i.e. the biggest jerk imaginable) is a whole different kettle of fish and should set off warning bells. You can, after all, dislike alignment and play characters who are not tremendous jerks that undermine the goals of the party. Personally, I won't allow chaotic evil PCs full stop, though LE and NE are fine.

Heck, one of my favorite "fallback characters" for if I need a concept fast for a character I know how to RP, is the high INT character who has an in-character objection to the conflation of "alignment" (i.e. the elemental stuff outsiders are made out of) and "ordinary ethics", who is naturally a principled "true neutral."

You can have games where the PCs work together to accomplish a shared goal, and you can have games where the PCs try to undermine each other to get a leg up, but you really shouldn't do both at once. Pathfinder is sort of badly structured for the latter unless the GM does a lot of work to give the PCs a long-term goal that's less important than "save the world" while simultaneously crafting concrete entities for the players to have sufficient allegiance to that they feel justified in undermining that goal.


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I would like to say that it is totally possible to play as an Evil character in a good aligned party without hiding your alignment. Heck it is even possible to play a Chaotic Evil person in a good aligned party, though probably not a LG party. Remember that CE and CG are only two alignment steps away from each other, and parties function perfectly well with CG and LG characters. However for this to work it requires mature heads in all areas, the evil players, the good players, and the GM.

Going around declaring yourself evil is a tough thing to do, especially in a world where good and evil are themselves tangible forces like gravity or friction. However it is something I've seen CE characters do and get away with. The declaration is seldom, "I'm evil!!!! Muwaahaha" to the ruler but rather equally undiplomatic things that amount to that without directly saying it.

Often, my evil characters are traveling with the party because they are part of a duo-character design. A bodyguard, a lover, a mercenary, or what have you works great as an evil counterpart to another character. Lovers tend to work the best for CE and NE, but those are just examples. After all, telling the ruler "We're here to help, but if you ever hurt my partner I'll scalp your whole family." Is just as much a declaration of evil, but with character motivation firmly behind it.

Basically, just remember that Chaotic evil is someone who looks out for their own self interest with no regard for the law or people who they do not care about. In order for CE to function in a party, they need a reason to assist the party. Since selfishness is the best way to appeal to CE characters, having them attach themselves to another party member during character creation is a great way to bond them into the game.

Focus their "evil" actions not into randomly kicking puppies or eating cats, but rather into protecting another character. Or country, or orphanage, or whatever the goal of the adventure happens to be at the given moment. The difference then, between a chaotic evil and a chaotic good character, is how far the Chaotic Evil character is willing to go for their attachment. The chaotic evil character will torture, kill, deceive, and do whatever it takes to keep the object of their desires safe from harm. Really moving stories can come from an "evil" characters slowly going all out over time and sacrificing themselves into a storm of blades for the person/thing that they love. Final sacrifices aren't just for Paladins after all.

Its not quite a redemption story, but something as close to it as an unrepentant CE character will come to.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
ShroudedInLight wrote:
Remember that CE and CG are only two alignment steps away from each other, and parties function perfectly well with CG and LG characters.

This is a veeeeeeery inequivalent comparison.


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ShroudedinLight I think you ideas for playing evil is an interesting take. But your logic is flawed, You are focusing more on the chaotic part not the good and evil aspect. Consider this analogy. Batman is for this example Chaotic Good. He fights for the cause of good but often breaks the law to do it. Superman is Lawful Good he works with Batman but hates his methods but can often times overlook them since they fight for Good.
Now Joker is Chaotic Evil kills for fun. He doesn't work with anyone and has betrayed and even killed those he has worked for even though they were evil themselves. He has tortured and killed people just out of boredom. Other times he has targeted someone knowing it will cause others pain and suffering.
A Chaotic Evil person will never play nice in a group. They might work with someone for a moment but if a situation comes along that that person likes he will betray the party in a second. He won't warn them or even apologize when he does it.


The trick to intra-party conflict is to remember the difference between player and player character. It's the PCs who are figthing. The players should all enjoy this and be open about their intentions (which always should be to have fun and create a good story, never to "win"). The second PC conflict turns to player conflict it's time to end.


Derek Dalton wrote:
A Chaotic Evil person will never play nice in a group.

Yeah, the problem with a Chaotic *evil* character in a group is that a chaotic character is, by definition, not especially consistent and will on a whim default to whatever behavior defines the other half of their alignment regardless of the prior state. This is fine when we're defaulting to altruism (CG) or base self-interest (CN) but when we're defaulting to "THE GREATER GLORY OF EVIL!" we're going to have problems with the rest of the group.

Lawful Evil works just fine with the group, because LE isn't going to just on a whim decide to switch sides or throw a monkey wrench into the works. If Asmodeus himself decides to team up with Iomedae to help fight off some demon incursion or existential threat to Golarion, we can be reasonably confident that Asmodeus will stay precisely within the bounds of what he agreed to do, and can be trusted to stay consistent with his own interests (getting rid of demons or saving the world, in this case). He's not nice, and he's certainly not good, but you know where he stands and you can work with that.

In practice "Chaotic" seems to be often read as "Extra" as in "Extra Good" or "Extra Evil".


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Its a nonequivalent comparison because people play Good and Evil to comicbook levels, as the superhero comparison below you suggests Rysky.

But since we are using Superheroes we might as well fill out the metaphor. Batman and Superman fought, a lot. You can google an innumerable number of comics where Bats and Supes are at each other's throats. They work together on occasion, but also conflict on occasion. More over, Superman and Batman's alignments can be argued. Batman works together with the police commissioner and has a personal code that he follows in which he doesn't kill. While he might fight evil while wearing a costume, he does so because revealing his identity would lead to the destruction of the people he loves. That is an awful lot of Lawful Good, and we do see Lawful Good Batman show up in some comics. We also see Chaotic Good Batman. That is because the character's interpretation is left up to the author, but the point is that a character's alignment depends on the aspects you choose to emphasize.

The Joker is an interesting character, and is 100% Chaotic Evil, but while his motivations make him inappropriate for a PC even the Joker has Standards. The man refuses to work with Nazis and saves Batman's life on a number of occasions. The Joker NEEDS Batman, he is the yin to his Yang. Without the Batman, there is nothing left for the Joker. His whole point is the conflict between the two characters. This makes him an excellent villain, especially given Batman's own personal code of rules against Killing.

Now, the Joker is an extreme example of Chaotic Evil partially because the man is a total psychopath. However, you do not need to be a psychopath to be chaotic evil. You need to be willing to do absolutely anything to accomplish your goals, but you do not need to enjoy it. There is no requirement in being CE that requires you to eat 9 puppies a day, heck there is nothing that says you have to backhand every Beggar that tries to get you to spare some coin.

If the Beggar is slowing you down from catching an opponent you might cut him in half, or just shove him out of the way roughly, but under normal circumstances just being CE doesn't mean you have to do those things.

So, ultimately, this all comes down to Goals. The Joker's goal is to toy with Batman, but he is also criminally insane. Its part of his sthick as a mad clown. The Joker will do anything to mess with Batman, from crippling the commissioner's daughter to Kidnapping the mayor, to setting up elaborate and mad schemes to present batman with ways to stop the Joker only if he chooses to violate his own moral code.

Now take that idea of "willing to do anything for their goal" and design a character with a goal that aligns with the party. As I said, a lover is a great way to incorporate a CE character. Being deeply in love with the other party member, the CE character follows them everywhere and does their best to fulfill that character's wishes...whatever it takes. If they want that lovely golden ring the CE character will do whatever job it takes, or just flat out steal it, in order to present it to their partner. Of course, getting caught would ruin things for their Partner, especially if the partner is good or neutral aligned. So, the CE character has to be careful to not wind up screwing up their partner's day/plans by ending up in jail or run out of town.

The death of the CE's lover can lead to a sworn quest for vengeance, a period of morning, maybe another lover after the period of grieving.

Now, a lover isn't the only way you can do this. Something similar can be done with, say, an Orphanage. Instead of setting it on fire, maybe the CE's little brother is in it and has to protect the town just like the rest of the PCs. Perhaps the CE cares for his ailing mother and needs to find the cure, the same cure the party is looking for. Etc etc

Long term goals are better than short term goals, which is why tying the CE's goal to the overall campaign OR another party member is the best way to ensure that they last the entirety of the campaign. As always, discussing these things in advance with your GM is important. Honestly, there are only three people in my group of six that I'd allow to try to play a CE character and we would have this same discussion before hand.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

The point I was making is that CG and LG will get along far, far more often than CG and CE will. Just because there are exceptions doesn't change that. A CE character that gets along with a CG character is an exception, not the norm.


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I am stuck on a few things...

Why is a CG ruler wanting a unicorn hunted down? (but that may be handwaved for now...)

1. Is being "evil" or declaring oneself "evil" automatically a death sentence in this land?

2. Is worshipping that deity illegal or forbidden?

Unless the PC commits crimes, there is no reason for bounty hunters to be after him if the answer to 1 & 2 is no.

It would be different if the PC declared he "Relishes the thought of human sacrifice and drinks blood in rituals to his dark god, etc..." thinking he is getting shock value - and he would be de-facto declaring himself not "evil" but counter to good order and respect for life, etc., and find himself hunted and strung up by vigilantes (not the class, but those with that intent) or banished from the land.

Then there is the whole, "No one really considers themselves 'evil,' dynamic."

Everyone believes their priorities and decisions are rational, well thought out and proper for them to do so in their own minds. No one says, "I going to do XXX because it is evil/because it is not a good idea/because there is no cause for me to."

I find myself agreeing that declaring oneself "evil" does take the alignment system to a cartoony level.


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mardaddy wrote:

I am stuck on a few things...

Why is a CG ruler wanting a unicorn hunted down? (but that may be handwaved for now...)

A. I needed a questing beast that could be an actual questing beast. So I decided on a black unicorn.

Quote:
1. Is being "evil" or declaring oneself "evil" automatically a death sentence in this land?

A. He worships Incabulos openly. The God of Disease and Disaster in Grayhawk. In the Duchy of Urnst, it's not an automatic death sentence. People at best avoid you, and at worst try to kill you. The problem is, he killed and ate a taxman that worked for the Duchy of Urnst. Yes, it may be fun. But I like to teach him a lesson.

Quote:
2. Is worshipping that deity illegal or forbidden?

Normally it is.

Quote:
Unless the PC commits crimes, there is no reason for bounty hunters to be after him if the answer to 1 & 2 is no.

Q. Does killing a tax collector, and then eating him count as a crime for you?


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Oh god its this character, I remember your previous topic about tax collector consumption.

I think you should pull aside the player and talk to them, honestly. At this point they are playing Chaotic Stupid, not Chaotic Evil.


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Who is this fun for?


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Yeah, I think we covered this here. It sounds like your group isn't mature enough to handle the nuances necessary for this kind of dynamic, and are dealing with it poorly - by becoming chaotic-stupid themselves.

Killing and eating a tax collector is plenty of crime.

The good members of the party would likely and should have immediately reported such behavior. If he successfully hid it from the party, he should be free.

If you go up to a king (or duke or whatever), declare yourself of allegiance to a demon lord, and describe yourself as chaotic evil, the duke's response is probably going to be one that destroys you. On purpose.

The thing is, he's not engaging in chaotic evil behavior - he's engaging in antisocial behavior, in a way that that explicitly alienates all those around him.

It could be fun, in the proper group, but, as-presented, it's not - it would be aggravating and awful and disruptive.


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Greyhawk, huh? Have the church of Incabulos hire Warduke to find and crush the crazed fool who's acting completely without subtlety and wrecking all their plans.

Obviously, you should talk to the player first. That said, this looks like a classic case of "I'm a PC, I can do whatever I want" combined with "I don't like that this game uses alignment, so I'm going to play up everything I think is bad about alignment in protest". So I don't have much hope for the diplomatic solution. If he wants to be disruptive, the world is fully capable of disrupting him right back.


Again Shrouded your logic is faulty regarding Chaotic Evil. Reread the alignment, I just did. Everything in it pretty much states what I said earlier. Yes Superman and Batman fought over how to accomplish their goals but they never tried to kill one another. Joker's focus is on Batman but my point regarding him as a perfect example of Chaotic evil is valid.
Now after reading more about this guy he isn't Chaotic Evil he's Chaotic Stupid let me screw with the campaign. He gloats he's evil wanting someone to pick a fight with him. The problem is when someone does that can beat him he's probably going to whimper and whine because he think's the GM is picking on him. The fact the party wants to raise the bounty on him and then collect it is not good but rather neutral bordering on evil. I expect the campaign to melt down pretty quickly.


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The Joker is chaotic evil, but he is also a psychopath and not every chaotic evil character is a psychopath. Psychopaths are typically chaotic evil, but one does not equal the other.

So lets go over the important part of Alignment which is decision making, Chaotic Evil characters are both Chaotic and Evil. Chaotic characters have a disregard for rules, Evil characters put their own desires above others. That is all the alignment demands from its adherents.

Now even Chaotic Evil characters have motivations, they do not take an action without a reason for taking the action. When they take the action, their reason for the action is not simply "Because I'm EVUL!" since no one thinks that way.

Lets look again at Joker, Joker acts chaotically but he does not act randomly. If Joker acted randomly he wouldn't be the terrifying villain that he has become over time. Joker can be patient and deliberate in achieving his goals, which is part of what makes him so very dangerous as a villain. His actions all further his goal of dicking with batman as much as physically possible. The joker does not ever shift away from his goal of dicking with Batman, and even when presented with opportunities to find out who Batman is or kill him -> The joker does not take up those opportunities because they would ruin his game. As much as we say the Joker is CE, and he most certainly is, the man also has his own goal/code and follows it. Batman relies upon Joker following his goals a number of times, so despite being CE the Joker is predictable at least in regards to Batman.

So when creating a CE character the first thing you do is decide upon a goal that aligns with the party's motivations. That goal is what humanizes the character, and makes them playable. Without a goal you are just a dick, with a goal you are a dick with a purpose and that purpose makes you predictable enough to play with. The GM can plan on your responses, and the other character's in the party understand that while you'd slaughter any number of puppies if that was needed to complete your goal, you are not going to randomly eat the tax collector unless doing so would advance your objective.

Remember, just because a character is capable of despicable acts does not mean they want to do them. Just as a Lawful Good character might not want to kill, but does out of duty, It is perfectly possible to have a CE character who doesn't enjoy murder, but will murder any number of people to complete his objective. The difference between a CG and a CE character is that the CE's morality won't get in the way of their objective or make them feel bad afterwards.

I mean if you want to play CE as completely irredeemable, that is ok. Lots of CE characters are irredeemable for anything aside from the most powerful of outsiders. However, I like my characters to have motivations that make sense. When you design three dimensional characters who take actions based upon their expected consequences, and accept those consequences, I find it creates a more believable world.


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Quote:
Q. Does killing a tax collector, and then eating him count as a crime for you?

Why is this even being asked?

Quote:
Unless the PC commits crimes, there is no reason for bounty hunters to be after him if the answer to 1 & 2 is no.

He DOES worship a forbidden deity - so marginally criminal.

And he HAS committed a crime by cannibalism so the answer is YES to question 2.

My third question was only relevant if the answer was NO to both 1 & 2. It is obviously NOT.

Dark Archive

ShroudedInLight wrote:

The Joker is chaotic evil, but he is also a psychopath and not every chaotic evil character is a psychopath. Psychopaths are typically chaotic evil, but one does not equal the other.

So lets go over the important part of Alignment which is decision making, Chaotic Evil characters are both Chaotic and Evil. Chaotic characters have a disregard for rules, Evil characters put their own desires above others. That is all the alignment demands from its adherents.

Now even Chaotic Evil characters have motivations, they do not take an action without a reason for taking the action. When they take the action, their reason for the action is not simply "Because I'm EVUL!" since no one thinks that way.

Lets look again at Joker, Joker acts chaotically but he does not act randomly. If Joker acted randomly he wouldn't be the terrifying villain that he has become over time. Joker can be patient and deliberate in achieving his goals, which is part of what makes him so very dangerous as a villain. His actions all further his goal of dicking with batman as much as physically possible. The joker does not ever shift away from his goal of dicking with Batman, and even when presented with opportunities to find out who Batman is or kill him -> The joker does not take up those opportunities because they would ruin his game. As much as we say the Joker is CE, and he most certainly is, the man also has his own goal/code and follows it. Batman relies upon Joker following his goals a number of times, so despite being CE the Joker is predictable at least in regards to Batman.

So when creating a CE character the first thing you do is decide upon a goal that aligns with the party's motivations. That goal is what humanizes the character, and makes them playable. Without a goal you are just a dick, with a goal you are a dick with a purpose and that purpose makes you predictable enough to play with. The GM can plan on your responses, and the other character's in the party understand that while you'd slaughter any...

I kind of see both sides to this argument, but I am thinking you are basically saying that a CE pc has to act a lot more like a CN pc in order to be playable and not ruin the campaign for everyone. I think a good part of being CE is enjoying causing others misery. You may not always do so if you think it's cost outweighs it's benefits, but you will generally want to do something "evil" for the fun of it. NE is probably more along the lines of "I'll do terrible things if I have to, but I won't necessarily enjoy it." I will admit that the alignment system is kind of hard to nail down and often leaves a lot of room for interpretation. I can understand why many people dislike it.


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I don't think a CE has to necessarily enjoy causing pain and suffering. Sure, she's not against doing it if it benefits her, or doing anything that has to be done: betraying, killing, torturing...
But someone who is intelligent enough won't do it, not because of morality but because of the consequences.

In my late RoW game we have a CN character who followed a CE goddess and a couple of LG characters. He ended being praised by both LG characters because of his loyalty. He didn't care to risk life for us and that's what we knew of him. He also stayed behind when we let a prisoner alive and coup-de-graced him when we didn't realize as long as he thought he'd be causing further trouble. But the party never realized (players did, PCs didn't). Our conflict with him never was worse than some divergence of opinions.

A CE character can be played, but with subtilety.

Dark Archive

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Now I'm tempted to create a character that's Chaotic Evil, but he thinks he's doing the *right* thing for the *right* reasons, and he hates what it's making him do, but it's the only way to *fix* everything.

Nobody would ever understand!

...wait, isn't that Loki Laufeyson?

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16

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Yeah it is.

Dark Archive

Kileanna wrote:

I don't think a CE has to necessarily enjoy causing pain and suffering. Sure, she's not against doing it if it benefits her, or doing anything that has to be done: betraying, killing, torturing...

But someone who is intelligent enough won't do it, not because of morality but because of the consequences.

In my late RoW game we have a CN character who followed a CE goddess and a couple of LG characters. He ended being praised by both LG characters because of his loyalty. He didn't care to risk life for us and that's what we knew of him. He also stayed behind when we let a prisoner alive and coup-de-graced him when we didn't realize as long as he thought he'd be causing further trouble. But the party never realized (players did, PCs didn't). Our conflict with him never was worse than some divergence of opinions.

A CE character can be played, but with subtilety.

But you admitted that the character was CN not CE. Do you really think there wouldn't have been a lot more unpleasant intra-party conflict if he had played a truly CE character?


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It depends on both the player, the other players, the PCs they are playing and the story, of course. In this case it could have been worked, assuming the character was the same but with a CE alignment.

In my S&S we have a CE character too and she is not the most bloody one, I have to say. Probably the CN cleric is much worse.

I mentioned RoW first as it had a much more diverse group alignment wise. The pirates were mostly CN so no conflict.

Honestly, I don't think anything had changed a lot if our CN druid was a CE druid. He was subtle to the point we sometimes wondered if he was good despite he openly worshipped an evil goddess. But the player was good and knew how to roleplay an alignment not to create conflict in the party.


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Playing an Evil person doesn't really have to lead to conflicts with party members of different alignments, unless the player specifically plays the character in a backwards, conflict seeking or just plain old stupid way.

If you have an Evil character in a party of mixed alignments then a good way of being Evil is simply to help the party along, while making sure that every collective action taken, by the party, profits you. When ever an argument is presented as favouring a Good solution, you present the same general argument, but twist it, to make sure you gain something from it. Whenever you help someone, make sure that they feel indebted to you or that they need you, so that they will cut you some slack at a later time.

The best kind of Evil, in my opinion, has never been the baby eating, cat kicking, stealing from beggars kind. It's more rewarding to be the necessary kind of Evil, the kind that helps but at a price, the kind that makes a difficult choice easier and the kind that seems to care for the very same thing, that you do, while slowly subverting, changing or eroding them.

It's very rarely about Evil with one swift blow, it is about Evil by incrementalism.


This sounds like a cluster-f waiting to happen.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Tacticslion wrote:

Yeah, I think we covered this here. It sounds like your group isn't mature enough to handle the nuances necessary for this kind of dynamic, and are dealing with it poorly - by becoming chaotic-stupid themselves.

Killing and eating a tax collector is plenty of crime.

The good members of the party would likely and should have immediately reported such behavior. If he successfully hid it from the party, he should be free.

If you go up to a king (or duke or whatever), declare yourself of allegiance to a demon lord, and describe yourself as chaotic evil, the duke's response is probably going to be one that destroys you. On purpose.

The thing is, he's not engaging in chaotic evil behavior - he's engaging in antisocial behavior, in a way that that explicitly alienates all those around him.

It could be fun, in the proper group, but, as-presented, it's not - it would be aggravating and awful and disruptive.

In addition to the linked posts, and concepts, from here, I also mention a couple of Calistria-specific methods of playing an antipaladin (the latter specifically in the context of Mummy's Mask, but could be used as a method of extrapolation).


Shrouded in Light Sure some psychopaths are Chaotic Neutral with a few being Neutral evil. Now the thing about Chaotic Evil is doing random acts of evil is exactly what makes them Chaotic evil. Demons are Chaotic Evil. They sometimes have goals and desires. Sometimes they actually follow through with a focus. Most times however they won't. Demons have tried to unite the Abyss none have succeeded. Why because demon are so unpredictable even other demons don't trust them.


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EltonJ wrote:

Advice please. . .

My player of a chaotic evil priest went into a Chaotic Good ruler's castle and declared himself to be . . . evil and a worshiper of Incabulos. In the ruler's face.

So the ruler asked him to hunt a unicorn in the Celedon Forest. One of the players is plotting against this very vocal priest.

How I want things to go down.
During the hunt, the party is attacked by bounty hunters, all looking to bring our CE priest in, dead or alive. Preferably dead.

How the other player wants things to go down.
The other player will disguise his character as the CE priest, doing evil deeds in his name and wants to drive the bounty up. Then kill him when he's of no use.

If you want this to go down at all, the first thing you need to do is make sure all the players are on-board and OK with this. You don't need to reveal the specifics, so long as you clear it with them that there will be internal conflict, and someone's character will probably die. You may need to specifically talk to that one player and say that his character will die. If this is anything less than crystal clear and 100% accepted, abort, back out now, and try to come up with an alternative.

Depending on your GMing style, you could go full-on realistic consequences, and have your target die of poison-using archer bounty hunters, robbers, or dysentery. For a softer consequence, you could have reputation of his cult worship get out, and have all the shopkeepers charge extra, and all sources of non-cult information clam up once he shows his face. If he acts different, you don't need to make people automatically figure out, since you've successfully altered whatever CE behaviors he's been displaying. But I suspect you are already past the indirect intervention point of no return - you've given this player a lot of freedom, and he has gone pretty far with it. Restricting him would probably feel oppressive to him, since you've let him get away with a lot of stuff, and he has no reason to think you would change now. To make significant changes (namely character death), you either need to change your GMing style (permissiveness), or talk to this player directly. And changing your GMing style will probably feel like a (no-fun) betrayal on your part unless you communicate. Bottom line - talk to your players before you make big changes. (Also note: You can reserve the right to make big changes mid-game by making an agreement with players beforehand)

If your players are alright with going down this route, and your CE priest is OK with dying, let him go out in a blaze. He cannot start out as public enemy #1 immediately, since this weakens the impact. At this point, you probably have to have split the party, so you could consider holding some separate sessions in addition to full-party sessions. Instead of disincentivizing doing evil, start giving him increasing bonuses towards CE play. Keep an eye on this closely, since Chaotic and Evil characters given free reign tend to bring out the absolute worst in players. But *relatively* minor evils - petty theft, vandalism, arson, demon-summoning, necromancy, etc. should be on the table. Restrict more major ones as you see fit, but increase the incentives - perhaps a human sacrifice may reward the player with a special magic item. Do not make it easy, but make it rewarding. And reserve high-value targets by keeping them well-defended as attacks increase.

An alternative possibility to splitting the party fully - have all the players make a second set of characters. The CE character's player should make a more party-friendly character (to switch to once the priest dies), while the other players should make NE, CE, or CN lackeys to join the priest. The second party should be slightly less powerful, but otherwise be competent. Simple characters are better than complex ones. Make sure the players don't get *too* attached. Also consider having an alternate form of stat enhancement (automatic bonus progression recommended) so that they don't leak loot and double the party wealth when defeated. Regardless of if you have a mirror party set up, you should split your time between the CE priest's group and the regular party. I'd recommend the mirror party setup, so that nobody loses any playtime.

You could initially have the main party setting up the CE priest for a fall, so that they can kill him and get a huge bounty. If your regular party is particularly unscrupulous, they could be doing that in conjunction with the CE priest. You could even have them rescue the priest from hanging once or twice (in disguise), á la The Good + The Ugly. A couple mid-difficulty run-ins with mid to low-difficulty bounty hunters seems fine, but you should not send an army after them. Regardless, the bounty-boosting is a good plot idea. However, there should be a definitely split at some point. Through incentivizing evil play (only for the evil character), their morals should become too repulsive for the rest of the group. Additionally, their increasing power should make them a genuine threat to safety. Make sure the party and priest do not meet up until you set up a finale. The priest should have the requisite strength (with an evil second party, summoned demons, or necromantic creations) to be a credible threat. They should always have an easy/plot-convienient way to escape, but not one that allows them to harass/kill the regular party. Perhaps a minute-activation town teleport stone, so they can always leave a town before the party arrives, but not fast enough to pull combat-speed guerrilla warfare. The bounty should be pretty large at this point as well, although that is a secondary concern.

The finale to this arc should be a climactic battle between the good and evil groups. A single shared objective with some sort of time component would be key. The GM and CE priest would run one side, while the rest of the party would run the other. If you used the double-party setup, you would have a slightly stronger regular party fighting against a boss-priest and several humanoid minions. If you didn't, you would still have a boss-priest, but the minions would likely be various demons or undead. The regular party could have a large number of allied soldier/minion types that get killed for the sake of the plot, but they wouldn't be player-controlled. How exactly you set up the battle wouldn't really matter, but the primary point is that the CE priest would die in epic fashion, after becoming a credible plot-threat and taking down a lot of non-player people with them. The normal party would triumph, and the CE character's player would rejoin the party as a not-CE character. And maybe an artifact would let you one-time resurrect any fallen members.

Your shared objective could be the sacrifice of an incapacitated mid-higher-level angel, a necromantic orb of great power, a life-stealing unicorn scepter, a rod that spontaneously could turn things to gold, or whatever, so long as it ceased to be useful if the regular party won, had magical powers that could possibly resurrect fallen allies (but only once), and was not game-breakingly powerful as a weapon.

To summarize: Yes, your idea could work. Get everyone onboard with it first. Proceed mostly as planned. Then set up an opponent faction headed by the priest. Make them a credible threat. Have the main party slay them. Priest gets evil deeds, glory, and epic death. Main party doesn't have to suffer from CE party member.


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I'm not sure what the OP/GM is aiming for. In his last query he was given sound advice from many people to either dump the player or carry out the consequences of the character's actions in game. Now here he is a week or so later asking a similar question and seemingly having ignored all the given advice. The advice hasn't changed, so unless the GM is deliberately running a Paranoia style game that is intended to disintegrate he needs to either kick the player out or demonstrate that actions have consequences.


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playing evil requires finness doesnt matter what kind of evil, unless the entire party is evil then you can feel free to ultra uber murder hobo your way arround so long as every one else agrees.

however lets say some guy you have never met b4 just walks right up to you and anounces that they are a chaotic evil incabulos what would your reaction be, i know mine would be this guy is a crazy person lets go send him off to go do somthing away from here and hope he doesnt cause trouble.

i see no problems from this character

the other character i see plenty of problems with diguising themselves and the other party member to comit crimes and blame them on the evil guy and then kill said evil guy thats were i see the problems


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Lady-J wrote:

playing evil requires finness doesnt matter what kind of evil, unless the entire party is evil then you can feel free to ultra uber murder hobo your way arround so long as every one else agrees.

however lets say some guy you have never met b4 just walks right up to you and anounces that they are a chaotic evil incabulos what would your reaction be, i know mine would be this guy is a crazy person lets go send him off to go do somthing away from here and hope he doesnt cause trouble.

i see no problems from this character

the other character i see plenty of problems with diguising themselves and the other party member to comit crimes and blame them on the evil guy and then kill said evil guy thats were i see the problems

But the guy isn't roleplaying a cleric of Incabulous. Incabulous clerics are secretive and do not reveal their true identity and certainly do not cure disease - this was all discussed in the other thread.


Hugo Rune wrote:
Lady-J wrote:

playing evil requires finness doesnt matter what kind of evil, unless the entire party is evil then you can feel free to ultra uber murder hobo your way arround so long as every one else agrees.

however lets say some guy you have never met b4 just walks right up to you and anounces that they are a chaotic evil incabulos what would your reaction be, i know mine would be this guy is a crazy person lets go send him off to go do somthing away from here and hope he doesnt cause trouble.

i see no problems from this character

the other character i see plenty of problems with diguising themselves and the other party member to comit crimes and blame them on the evil guy and then kill said evil guy thats were i see the problems

But the guy isn't roleplaying a cleric of Incabulous. Incabulous clerics are secretive and do not reveal their true identity and certainly do not cure disease - this was all discussed in the other thread.

who are you to tell other people they are not rollplaying corectly? there is no right way to roll play each person does so diferently its how he wants to play his character.


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As long as everybody enjoys and you're not causing trouble to the table. Which is not the case.
Also, if you pick a character concept you should try to roleplay it on a coherent way and stick to your character. If you want to play anything different... then play anything different.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Lady-J wrote:
who are you to tell other people they are not rollplaying corectly? there is no right way to roll play each person does so diferently its how he wants to play his character.

Because he's a cleric of Incabulos.

Incabulous explicitly expects the promotion of disease. Unlike Urgathoa, Incabulous is so radical, that he has zero other non-evil quasi-allies, and exactly one other evil quasi-ally... by which I mean he and the god of murder tolerate each other.

Sure, one could be a cleric of his without being evil.

That's not what this guy is doing.

Curing disease for Incabulos is like a cleric of Sarenrae suggesting that they murder orphans and raise their corpses as undead, "just this once" - it really doesn't matter what said cleric's purpose in doing so is, that's "ex-cleric" territory. The cleric should have immediately and irrevocably lost all cleric powers right there, until he received an atonement from a fellow worshiper... which, as noted, good luck finding those.

That is what Hugo means when they suggest he "isn't roleplaying a cleric of Incabulous" - he is literally ignoring everything about what makes a cleric of Incabulos a cleric of Incabulos, and just sinking to random acts of nonsense.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Lady-J wrote:
however lets say some guy you have never met b4 just walks right up to you and anounces that they are a chaotic evil incabulos what would your reaction be, i know mine would be this guy is a crazy person lets go send him off to go do somthing away from here and hope he doesnt cause trouble.

Incidentally, this might function in most settings (I'm still not convinced), but in Greyhawk, nope. There are methods for gaining that kind of social acceptance: killing and eating a tax collector (which, incidentally, should be well known to the governor by now, via hired mages and/or clerics, if they're using PF rules), means dude is so far out of line that it's hard to even consider.

Ruler: "Hey, our tax collector disappeared. Does that have anything to do with the crazy guy who worships a deity of doom and despair that showed up recently?"

Commune cleric: "Yes."

Ruler: "Did he murderer the guy?"

Other commune cleric: "Yes."

Ruler: "Welp! Everyone kill that cleric, next time he shows up!"

This is, in zero ways, a leap of logic, and well within the budget of pretty much any government capable of hosting spell-casting clerics.

Lady-J wrote:
the other character i see plenty of problems with diguising themselves and the other party member to comit crimes and blame them on the evil guy and then kill said evil guy thats were i see the problems

This is totally correct, though. This is unfortunate, at best.


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And those acts of nonsense, I must add, aren't justified for the character being chaotic, I must add.

There's a tendency to match chaotic with nonsensical, volatile or insane. That can be the case, but not necessarily.

A Chaotic person doesn't feel the need to adhere to any kind of rules or keep his word, he acts like he feels like to. But that doesn't mean that he cannot be thoughtful, loyal, or subtle.

A Chaotic character is loyal because he wants to, not because he has given his word, or someone is commanding to do it.

A Chaotic character can have long term plans and be consistent, he just doesn't adhere to imposed rules to keep his plans going, he just does whatever he thinks it's better.

A Chaotic character can obey the rules, but he wouldn't because he believes in rules, but because they are telling him to do something that they would already do (if you're chaotic and you see a sign commanding you not to jump into the molten lava you're probably taking the advice unless you have fire immunity) or to avoid being in trouble if they are caught.

The most common issue with chaotic characters is the misconception that some people have mistaking not having moral issues with some things with having the need of doing that thing to show that they are indeed chaotic.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

^^^THIS^^^


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This will not go well.

You should have a conversation with the CE player and discuss "fitting in with the group". He might not like the alignment system, that's fine. But that has nothing to do with him walking into someplace declaring he's a worshiper of an evil god and basically acting crazy.

It's also really not good to have the other players basically plotting to get another PC killed. That's not productive. What's the reasoning? Is it because that PC is evil?

If that's the case the party should abandon that character. If they wouldn't work with such a character, it's valid for them to all say "See ya, we don't want to work with you". Everyone at the table should bring a character to the table that works well with the party. If one player has built a character that is at odds with everyone else, they should honestly save that character for a different party/campaign.


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Tacticslion wrote:
^^^THIS^^^

Glad you're aggreeing with me because after reading again what I posted I can barely understand my last paragraph. I messed up badly with my language there or it's just me?

@Claxon, I think you are right. In my experience, characters plotting against characters is often a bad idea. I used to play that way in Vampire, where campaigns were themed about treachery and treason, and in the long term it caused too many tensions.


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Derek Dalton wrote:
Shrouded in Light Sure some psychopaths are Chaotic Neutral with a few being Neutral evil. Now the thing about Chaotic Evil is doing random acts of evil is exactly what makes them Chaotic evil. Demons are Chaotic Evil. They sometimes have goals and desires. Sometimes they actually follow through with a focus. Most times however they won't. Demons have tried to unite the Abyss none have succeeded. Why because demon are so unpredictable even other demons don't trust them.

Fortunately, someone else has already addressed these points.

Kileanna wrote:

And those acts of nonsense, I must add, aren't justified for the character being chaotic, I must add.

There's a tendency to match chaotic with nonsensical, volatile or insane. That can be the case, but not necessarily.

A Chaotic person doesn't feel the need to adhere to any kind of rules or keep his word, he acts like he feels like to. But that doesn't mean that he cannot be thoughtful, loyal, or subtle.

A Chaotic character is loyal because he wants to, not because he has given his word, or someone is commanding to do it.

A Chaotic character can have long term plans and be consistent, he just doesn't adhere to imposed rules to keep his plans going, he just does whatever he thinks it's better.

A Chaotic character can obey the rules, but he wouldn't because he believes in rules, but because they are telling him to do something that they would already do (if you're chaotic and you see a sign commanding you not to jump into the molten lava you're probably taking the advice unless you have fire immunity) or to avoid being in trouble if they are caught.

The most common issue with chaotic characters is the misconception that...people...need...to show that they are indeed chaotic.

I edited down that last paragraph a little bit, but the point is that a chaotic character does NOT need to act randomly. That isn't a sign of chaos, its a sign of immaturity.


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Thanks for helping me to make sense!


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Claxon wrote:

This will not go well.

You should have a conversation with the CE player and discuss "fitting in with the group". He might not like the alignment system, that's fine. But that has nothing to do with him walking into someplace declaring he's a worshiper of an evil god and basically acting crazy.

It's also really not good to have the other players basically plotting to get another PC killed. That's not productive. What's the reasoning? Is it because that PC is evil?

If that's the case the party should abandon that character. If they wouldn't work with such a character, it's valid for them to all say "See ya, we don't want to work with you". Everyone at the table should bring a character to the table that works well with the party. If one player has built a character that is at odds with everyone else, they should honestly save that character for a different party/campaign.

Kileanna wrote:
@Claxon, I think you are right. In my experience, characters plotting against characters is often a bad idea. I used to play that way in Vampire, where campaigns were themed about treachery and treason, and in the long term it caused too many tensions.

This is fundamentally the game problem at play, here.

It's antisocial behavior in a manner that excludes any sort of reasonable interaction with a group, followed by the group reacting poorly to it - both in-character, and out-of-character.

Kileanna wrote:
Glad you're aggreeing with me because after reading again what I posted I can barely understand my last paragraph. I messed up badly with my language there or it's just me?

You did not, actually!

The phrasing was a bit awkward in construction, I guess, and maybe you missed a comma, but the basic structure was correct.

If you really want to talk about your sentence...:
What you originally wrote is actually correct, and does, in fact, make sense.

Quote:
The most common issue with chaotic characters is the misconception that some people have mistaking not having moral issues with some things with having the need of doing that thing to show that they are indeed chaotic.

This is fine. It is, however, clunky (a problem I, as a native English speaker, have from time to time, too). This doesn't make it wrong, just a little awkward.

I suppose (going with ShroudedInLight's edit as a baseline) a "cleaner" way to put it might be:

Quote:
The most common issue with chaotic characters is the misconception that people feel the 'need' to show that they are indeed chaotic; they improperly conflate this compulsion to engage in bizarre behavior with not having morals.

... or something. Really, it doesn't matter - that's one of many ways of rephrasing it, and someone else could probably do it better than I, if they just looked at it for a bit.

But your point still remains, and is pretty solid as-presented.

:)

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