The Token Evil Teammate


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Liberty's Edge

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How many of you as GMs allow evil characters in your standard non-evil campaign?

How many of you as players have played alongside or as the token evil teammate?

What roles do you guys find most fitting for the TET in terms of group dynamics? Alignment? Classes?

I'm always sort of fond of the TET characters. Be they Jayne from Firefly, Alice Morgan from Luther, Loki from the most recent Thor movie, Jack from ME2, Morrigan from Dragon Age- I feel like the TET can provide a valuable perspective to an otherwise monolithic group of "heroes" (or muderhobos, depending on your group). They can give the opportunity, if played well, of interpersonal friction within the party that doesn't necessarily lead to blows. You can redeem 'em! You can fall to their level! They can provide a pragmatic counterpoint to an otherwise circuitous plan!

Just not in a party with a Paladin. Ever.

Shadow Lodge

I'm currently both allowing one and playing one.

In my Kingmaker campaign, one of the players is a CE Warmage and the kingdom's Magister. He started out pretty two-dimensional, admittedly - all about burning and killing - but he's smoothed out and fleshed out significantly as the campaign has unfolded, and has become one of the star characters.

However, the alignments in that party are all over the place - they have also an LG Oracle, an LN Samurai, a TN Cavalier, and a CN Fistfull of Denarii Hunter. So there's no shortage of alternate perspectives for just about anything all around.

As a player, I'm playing an LE Zen Archer in Age of Worms. The rest of our party includes a CN Thug Rogue, a LN Druid, and - you guessed it - a Paladin. She and my monk have had many a discussion on differences of morals and opinion on many things. She hasn't smited me yet, but I'm also currently too low-level to detect evil on (only 3rd, might get 4th next session or two). Also we and the druid get along far better with each other than any of us does with the Rogue - our party is very much Lawful-leaning outside of him, so there's that involved as well. (And a bit of guy vs girls, since all the Lawful characters are female and the Rogue's the only guy in the party. ;) )

This isn't the first time we've had a Paladin and an evil character in the same party, either. Our group seems to be able to handle it pretty well.

Sovereign Court

I don't.

Liberty's Edge

Hama wrote:
I don't.

Why not?


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As long as they have a coherent reason for staying with and aiding the rest of the PCs, I have no problem with it.


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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

"Im not evil, I'm just drawn that way."

I like playing evil characters from time to time, perhaps because they are so far afield from my normal personality. Evil doesnt mean that he/she acts like a you know what to other party members, so I see no problem with having one in my campaigns as well.


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Orthos wrote:

As a player, I'm playing an LE Zen Archer in Age of Worms. The rest of our party includes a CN Thug Rogue, a LN Druid, and - you guessed it - a Paladin. She and my monk have had many a discussion on differences of morals and opinion on many things. She hasn't smited me yet, but I'm also currently too low-level to detect evil on (only 3rd, might get 4th next session or two). Also we and the druid get along far better with each other than any of us does with the Rogue - our party is very much Lawful-leaning outside of him, so there's that involved as well. (And a bit of guy vs girls, since all the Lawful characters are female and the Rogue's the only guy in the party. ;) )

This isn't the first time we've had a Paladin and an evil character in the same party, either. Our group seems to be able to handle it pretty well.

As the player of the paladin in the group, I find it's an interesting dynamic. It helps that the paladin's oaths are specifically against undead, and that her archetype sacrifices Detect Evil for Detect Undead.

Sovereign Court

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StrangePackage wrote:
Hama wrote:
I don't.
Why not?

Disrupts the party dynamic, inevitably leads to PvP, which most of my players couldn't handle. There is bound to be some hurt feelings and, well, in my 15+ years of gaming I have not met a single player who can actually do a TET properly.

Usually it's just an ET.


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I allow them for players I trust to do it properly, or in a campaign with mostly Evil or evil leaning Neutral characters (like my Skull and Shackles game).

My favorite alignment is Lawful Evil. I find it very fun to play, and it doesn't cause any problems with a normal party if you play it right.

You get to be the guy who does the dirty work, the necessary but unsavory things. But, of course, you don't see yourself as evil.

Hama wrote:


Disrupts the party dynamic, inevitably leads to PvP

It doesn't though.


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There's kinda this "sour spot", in my experience. If you get a group of players who aren't huge on roleplay, they'll probably come up with little excuses to leave each other alone. That can be fun. If you get a group of players who are really good roleplayers, they'll make the conflict part of their story.

Sadly, there's this "sweet spot" between the two where at least one of the players is trying to roleplay but not trying too hard to make the team work. That's where the trouble often starts. Maybe it's the LG character who refuses to work alongside evil people, even in dire straits. Maybe it's the guy who decides to play a paladin or assassin when he knows the rest of the group wants to play strictly bad guys/good guys. But problems almost always arise from one or two non-team players, and it's not always the player playing the odd man out.

Grand Lodge

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StrangePackage wrote:
How many of you as GMs allow evil characters in your standard non-evil campaign?

Generally, yes. But if the story being told is more traditionally heroic, you'd better have a good explanation. For instance, in one of my games all of the PCs had been falsely accused of a crime and were trying to clear their name. Because of the self interested motivations, I allowed evil characters without question. In another, the PCs were tasked with saving a town and a Druid's grove from a rogue Blight Druid granted tremendous power. In that case you'd better have a compelling story why your Chaotic Evil Barbarian decided to help out these innocents instead of slaughtering them.

Quote:
How many of you as players have played alongside or as the token evil teammate?

One of my most memorable characters was this. The key is never to outright antagonize the group. You can manipulate them, subtly, but never force them to do anything. I was strongly allied with the CN Pirate in our party and I simply kept the worst of what I did hidden from him.

There was actually even a great storyline where my character tried to lead the Paladin to the dark side by creating a test of moral fortitude he was intended to fail. In the end, the Paladin passed his moral test and frustrated my character, but it was a marvelous bit of storytelling that let us both test our role playing chops.

Quote:
What roles do you guys find most fitting for the TET in terms of group dynamics? Alignment? Classes?

Any alignment I think works. Some people will say never chaotic evil because that means always backstabbing the team or doing the most evil thing possible all the time, but I say those people don't know chaotic evil (Stupid Evil is its own beast). But for classes? Anything with a high CHA - Bards and Sorcerers are my two favorites for this role. If you're going to be -ahem- "morally questionable" you'd better give the group a good reason to keep you around. Haste and Inspire Courage are great reasons.

Wizards, Alchemists, Rangers, Rogues, and Witches also make good choices. What it boils down to is evil PCs need to be schemers, and it's hard to effectively play evil with a class whose schtick is All Combat All the Time. You can write "CE" on your character sheet, but if your fighter is just mowing enemies down then he's no different form the other murder hobos and could just as easily be "CN" or "TN". If you want to play that evil up, you won't have the skills or spells to do much besides start random fights and kill those weaker than you.


I've never really played a high Cha evil character. My most prominent one is a combat beast (Invariably some variant of Monk, usually with a splash of Fighter, this is his current incarnation), but he brings a bit more to the table besides hitting harder than anyone else (Most prominently, trying to lie to him will only end in tears.).

Playing an evil character is really all about the attitude. Got an opportunity in the last campaign I played him in (they all keep dying for one reason or another, but we just resurrected this last one) to basically be Vaas while interrogating a captured guy (bad cop to the party Cleric's "good cop". We ended up me ripping his tongue out and the Cleric Plane Shifting him to Hell, so it ended up more as Bad Cop and Worse Cop).

The Exchange

StrangePackage wrote:
How many of you as GMs allow evil characters in your standard non-evil campaign? How many of you as players have played alongside or as the token evil teammate? What roles do you guys find most fitting for the TET in terms of group dynamics? Alignment? Classes?

1. Quite a few of us; those who have learned how to handle fire, and those who have not yet learned that fire burns. So to speak. Personally, I've only had to deal with people who were playing the "disruptive, anything-to-be-the-center-of-attention" type of EPC. Who are only 'fun' to themselves: pass.

2. I have endured far too many mopey brooding gothic tragic misunderstood 'teammates'. I've run at least one not-very-redeemed villain, and I've run several good-aligned characters stuck adventuring with a bunch of amoral psychos.

3. Assuming the character isn't just one painfully drawn-out "Look at me! I's EVUL!" experience, an evil teammate is usually either the tank or the scout. An evil character who attempts to be his group's leadership or diplomat will rarely be appreciated, even if he's successful. Each evil alignment has its own way to 'succeed' in a non-evil team; with notable exceptions, the LE character is usually most successful as the Man of Honor, the NE as the Secret Manipulator, and the CE as the Boisterous Over-Actor - or, as you (obviously a fellow TVTropes addict, poor fellow) would have it, a Large Ham.


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This is the only evil character i've played. Her 1st incarnation was NE with the gravewalker archetype, but the game stranded before we even got to lvl 2. My evil tendencies were merely being mean.
So i support the mention of "the attitude", evils can be fun, no need to go killing left & right.

Childlike halfling, gravewalkers carry a spooky poppet (child's doll in my case). Smacking a potesting man in the jewels with a doll filled with dirt was more effective than the bluff of the good aligned guys. Fighting when escaping bonds? Kicking the ankles works too.

Dark Archive

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I've seen it work fabulously and I've seen it fail miserably; it depends on the maturity level of the player. One thing to keep in mind is that evil doesn't have to mean psychotic. For example, Jayne from Firefly was CE but he was able to work with the rest of the crew.

Shadow Lodge

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BlackOuroboros wrote:
it depends on the maturity level of the player.

Quoted for emphasis and truth.

Dark Archive

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Just to expand on my thoughts from earlier, TET work better in games where the good guys are actively trying to be good. What I mean by that is in MurderHobo games, the difference between a "Good" MurderHobo and an "Evil" MurderHobo is rather small so the TET has to be psychotic, not evil, in order to differentiate themselves. In a more well rounded game where the good player might have a problem with wantonly slaughtering every road bump that gets into their way; a TET can make a fantastic dog shooter.

For example, lets say the party has to deal with some sort of obstructive bureaucrat that is causing them a problem in their city; he isn't evil, just a jerk who doesn't like them for some (probably good) reason. In this scenario, the good players are in a bind because they can't just murder the guy so they have to work around the problem by getting in his good graces or try going over his head... or the evil player could just dominate him or have him discreetly bumped off. Likewise, evil characters have more... leeway in getting information from prisoners than actual good characters do. The classic example of a TET in this sort of scenario was Garak from Star Trek: Deep Space 9.


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Hama wrote:
StrangePackage wrote:
Hama wrote:
I don't.
Why not?

Disrupts the party dynamic, inevitably leads to PvP, which most of my players couldn't handle. There is bound to be some hurt feelings and, well, in my 15+ years of gaming I have not met a single player who can actually do a TET properly.

Usually it's just an ET.

I find that immature players play good and evil immaturely, its not a dynamic built into good and evil - it doesn't have to happen. Most people, even evil people want to be liked, so they hide their overt evil proclivities if they have them. You could be a 'friend' with someone that does evil things, but also keeps it private. They could even do 'socalled' good things with evil intentions, but never reveal their intentions. You don't necessarily know that your best friend is secretly a serial killer, because he hasn't revealed that to you. Paladins can only detect overt evil, as in high level evil spellcasters, undead and evil outsiders. A paladin cannot detect an evil fellow party member automatically.

So the consideration that I have a good aligned PC and yours is evil, so this means there must be party disruptions, game delays and arguments over a given groups inability to be mature while playing a game, is blatantly false. Immature players are immature beyond this and will reveal their immaturity in many other ways. You're discussing an immature player problem, not an alignment issue.

I've run entirely evil parties, and parties of mixed alignment throughout my 30+ years of RPG gaming, and aside from one or two corner cases with groups I only played a couple of sessions. Most groups of players I've ever dealt with was certainly mature enough that opposing alignments didn't necessarily cause party problems in game.

Dark Archive

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Hama wrote:
StrangePackage wrote:
Hama wrote:
I don't.
Why not?

Disrupts the party dynamic, inevitably leads to PvP, which most of my players couldn't handle. There is bound to be some hurt feelings and, well, in my 15+ years of gaming I have not met a single player who can actually do a TET properly.

Usually it's just an ET.

Ironically, I used to have the same feeling about Paladins. I think the real problem is that some players view their alignment as a rigid straight-jacket or, worse, an excuse to be an over-the-top pastiche.

Sovereign Court

Kinda goes away as one gets older IMHO. We used to have that crap all the time back in high school and first years of university. Now though? Nope. Maturity is very very important.

There are outliers, of course.


Rynjin wrote:

I allow them for players I trust to do it properly, or in a campaign with mostly Evil or evil leaning Neutral characters (like my Skull and Shackles game).

My favorite alignment is Lawful Evil. I find it very fun to play, and it doesn't cause any problems with a normal party if you play it right.

You get to be the guy who does the dirty work, the necessary but unsavory things. But, of course, you don't see yourself as evil.

Anybody can do that. Well, not Paladins, but who cares about them.

Sovereign Court

Zhayne wrote:
Anybody can do that. Well, not Paladins, but who cares about them.

People who play paladins, people who like to play paladins, people who play the game...lots and lots of people.

Dark Archive

Zhayne wrote:
Rynjin wrote:

I allow them for players I trust to do it properly, or in a campaign with mostly Evil or evil leaning Neutral characters (like my Skull and Shackles game).

My favorite alignment is Lawful Evil. I find it very fun to play, and it doesn't cause any problems with a normal party if you play it right.

You get to be the guy who does the dirty work, the necessary but unsavory things. But, of course, you don't see yourself as evil.

Anybody can do that. Well, not Paladins, but who cares about them.

Well, part of that depends on the GM and on the game he's running. For example, in my upcoming game I'm planning on making killing in cold blood a big deal both legally and alignment-wise. Even on it's best day, it a "Neutral" act. Note that in self-defence or in a dangerous situations, all bets are off. So good character can and should have a problem with just blowing away the prisoner they took, even if he is an evil cultist.


StrangePackage wrote:

How many of you as GMs allow evil characters in your standard non-evil campaign?

How many of you as players have played alongside or as the token evil teammate?

What roles do you guys find most fitting for the TET in terms of group dynamics? Alignment? Classes?

I'm always sort of fond of the TET characters. Be they Jayne from Firefly, Alice Morgan from Luther, Loki from the most recent Thor movie, Jack from ME2, Morrigan from Dragon Age- I feel like the TET can provide a valuable perspective to an otherwise monolithic group of "heroes" (or muderhobos, depending on your group). They can give the opportunity, if played well, of interpersonal friction within the party that doesn't necessarily lead to blows. You can redeem 'em! You can fall to their level! They can provide a pragmatic counterpoint to an otherwise circuitous plan!

Just not in a party with a Paladin. Ever.

Hmm... Not sure I would classify Jayne as Evil. Loki definitely is, but I wouldn't really call him Token or part of the team. But I get where you are coming from.

The answer is very rarely. There are groups where it works. Groups where the RP is very minor and/or completely glossed over. Groups really into the RP who can also keep separate what is and isn’t in-character (seems to be rarer than you might think). Close friends who understand each other. Mature individuals. Long term groups.

The problem is if even one person at the table doesn’t handle it well, it can ruin the game and possibly the friendships for everyone involved. I saw that happen about 7-8 years ago. One person played and evil PC poorly (meaning CE PvP douche bag). One other person couldn’t keep that separate from real world feeling. People started taking sides. Kaboom! The group of long term friends broke up and as far as I know still don’t talk to each other.

I wouldn’t allow it in either of my current groups. I think there are at least a couple of individuals in each group that couldn’t handle it.

On the other hand, in those rare groups where everyone can handle it, it can be wondrous.

Way back in 2nd Ed, I ran an evil fighter. He liked humiliating and killing people as brutally as possible. And he giggled the whole time he was doing it. However, he was intelligent enough to know that would get him in trouble. So he worked on a freelance basis for the local authorities. Would only take a contract to get someone after he was given a written pardon in advance for whatever he needed to do to the target and those assisting said target.
We got into this big long thing with the GM and my PC. The locals hated giving him jobs and would only do so if the absolutely had no other choice. Some of the locals tried to catch him doing things he didn’t have a pardon for. Eventually the authorities tried to betray him due to the public image of such a bad guy working for them. The group was begging people to surrender so I wouldn’t get too kill them. Trying to take people alive before I could kill them to try and improve our image a little bit. Etc… It was a complete fun house.

So yes, it can be done well. But if I don’t have excessive confidence in EVERYONE in the group, I don’t allow it. It seems to ruin things much more often than it helps or has no effect.

Dark Archive

Kydeem de'Morcaine wrote:
Hmm... Not sure I would classify Jayne as Evil.

I'm not going to argue with you because I don't want to turn this into a "What alignment is X person" thread but for me, as a player and as a GM, Jayne is one of the best examples of what an evil PC should look like. He's so good because he is not a "villain" per se but he did or intended to do some really dark stuff; basically he was an anti-hero. If a player came up to me with an evil character like Jayne, I would give it the OK; If a player came up to me with an evil character like the Joker I would tell him to pound sand.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

There are people who are skilled at making Avon type characters. Those people are welcome to do so in almost any game I run. Note however that Avons do not get any special plot protection in the games I run.


Any bad guy that would betray a bunch of people that are easily as powerful as himself is really stupid and clearly not looking out for himself. Even a non-stupid CE character could work with others, but people keep insisting on playing their characters as Stupid Evil.

I allow any alignment, but if they cause trouble, bad things befall the character. Maybe even stuff I don't have to control.


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Zhayne wrote:
Rynjin wrote:

I allow them for players I trust to do it properly, or in a campaign with mostly Evil or evil leaning Neutral characters (like my Skull and Shackles game).

My favorite alignment is Lawful Evil. I find it very fun to play, and it doesn't cause any problems with a normal party if you play it right.

You get to be the guy who does the dirty work, the necessary but unsavory things. But, of course, you don't see yourself as evil.

Anybody can do that. Well, not Paladins, but who cares about them.

Not really. If you're Neutral character is regularly "getting rid of problems" and applying "advanced interrogation techniques" on a regular basis, he's not going to stay Neutral for long.


Albatoonoe wrote:

Any bad guy that would betray a bunch of people that are easily as powerful as himself is really stupid and clearly not looking out for himself. Even a non-stupid CE character could work with others, but people keep insisting on playing their characters as Stupid Evil.

I allow any alignment, but if they cause trouble, bad things befall the character. Maybe even stuff I don't have to control.

it isn't mixed alignments that is a problem, it is antagonistic players that is the problem. i played the token evil teamate, in a party with a paladin, and no PVP happened at all. the paladin did become very familiar with mushrooms after a while. but the party succeeded at their goal.


Auren "Rin" Cloudstrider wrote:
Albatoonoe wrote:

Any bad guy that would betray a bunch of people that are easily as powerful as himself is really stupid and clearly not looking out for himself. Even a non-stupid CE character could work with others, but people keep insisting on playing their characters as Stupid Evil.

I allow any alignment, but if they cause trouble, bad things befall the character. Maybe even stuff I don't have to control.

it isn't mixed alignments that is a problem, it is antagonistic players that is the problem. i played the token evil teamate, in a party with a paladin, and no PVP happened at all. the paladin did become very familiar with mushrooms after a while. but the party succeeded at their goal.

Exactly. Unwanted PvP is always a player problem.


Albatoonoe wrote:
Auren "Rin" Cloudstrider wrote:
Albatoonoe wrote:

Any bad guy that would betray a bunch of people that are easily as powerful as himself is really stupid and clearly not looking out for himself. Even a non-stupid CE character could work with others, but people keep insisting on playing their characters as Stupid Evil.

I allow any alignment, but if they cause trouble, bad things befall the character. Maybe even stuff I don't have to control.

it isn't mixed alignments that is a problem, it is antagonistic players that is the problem. i played the token evil teamate, in a party with a paladin, and no PVP happened at all. the paladin did become very familiar with mushrooms after a while. but the party succeeded at their goal.
Exactly. Unwanted PvP is always a player problem.

it helps that even though the paladin wasn't allowed to perform evil acts. that the paladin wasn't required to stop a certain wood elf (Homebrew modification) ranger from interrogating certain captured demons through the use of excruciating pain.


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

A touchy subject. I allow it so long as two conditions are met by the players -
1. Anyone that wants to play an evil PC has to have the limitation that the adventuring group is considered friend and allies, some sort of "thieves honor" code or something that states the PC will not arbitrarily backstab the group, and may even go to extreme lengths to protect fellow PCs. (Best for LE, yet can be done with NE).

2. The rest of the group is OK with it, and can somehow get along with such a rogue element. If a LG PC is in the group, perhaps a background that says both were childhood friends, and the LG PC seeks to redeem the evil PC - will not give up on the character. (The Mr. Fantastic to the Dr. Doom, the Professor X to the Magneto).

Why is it important to get along? In my groups PvP can actually cause hurt feelings and lead to ugly things, so best to stop it before it starts. I realize that for some groups, PvP IS the fun of the game, and everyone loves paying PC king of the hill. Our groups aren't that. Nothing wrong with it, just not a thing for my groups.


the Chaotic Evil Wood Elf Huntress was overly pragmatic, a bit greedy and the type to promote gory examples in a manner akin to Vladimir Tepes, but the party benefitted from her, for eventually, people stopped wanting to fight the "Mad Monster" known as "Bleeding Rain" said to be "So Mad it Rained a trail of Bloody mist where she walked"

the characters didn't enjoy having her presence around, but they were glad of her "Shock Factor" when weaker foes were too frightened to face the badly scarred young Wood Elf predator with the Strength of a Giant, the Agility of a Jaguar, and the Toughness of a Rhino. the "Demon of the Rainforests"

she was a fun character, whose magic bonuses are scarred into who flesh representing ritual scarification, and well, a lot of "Mojo" imbued onto her flesh.

Dark Archive

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I tend to play a means to an end kind of evil, where I covered an enemy in meat and stole his weapons and armour in a wolf infested forest. Or when the same character coup de graced an enemy who had surrendered because he didn't 100% trust him. When asked why he says: "I don't like my friends getting hurt."

Dark Archive

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I've played GURPS, Vampire, V&V, Gamma World, etc., etc. and pretty much all of them have nothing like alignment, or any other form of artificial training wheels to prevent PvP, like exist in many online games (where you often explicitly *can't* hurt people on your faction). The notion that an 'E' on the sheet is going to have anything at all to do with whether or not a player is going to be a jerk (when, in my experience, it's the ones playing LG Paladins that are more disruptive and prone to PvP) seems odd.

As long as the evil player is willing to play their character as intelligent, there should be no issues. If the player is going to use CE or CE or NE as an excuse to be a jerk, that's not a problem with the alignment, that's a problem with the player, and one that will crop up *even faster* when they play a Paladin, and can use their 'code' to dictate what everyone else in the party can do.


Set wrote:

I've played GURPS, Vampire, V&V, Gamma World, etc., etc. and pretty much all of them have nothing like alignment, or any other form of artificial training wheels to prevent PvP, like exist in many online games (where you often explicitly *can't* hurt people on your faction). The notion that an 'E' on the sheet is going to have anything at all to do with whether or not a player is going to be a jerk (when, in my experience, it's the ones playing LG Paladins that are more disruptive and prone to PvP) seems odd.

As long as the evil player is willing to play their character as intelligent, there should be no issues. If the player is going to use CE or CE or NE as an excuse to be a jerk, that's not a problem with the alignment, that's a problem with the player, and one that will crop up *even faster* when they play a Paladin, and can use their 'code' to dictate what everyone else in the party can do.

truesies, it is paladins that tend to be the jerks, go ahead and ask little Ilina here, who will tell you she has more problems with paladins than she does with chaotic evil rangers.

Sovereign Court

Never had problems with players playing paladins as jerks. Maybe preachy, but not jerks.
Players who put E on the sheet though? Oh yeah.


Set wrote:

...

As long as the evil player is willing to play their character as intelligent, there should be no issues. If the player is going to use CE or CE or NE as an excuse to be a jerk, that's not a problem with the alignment, that's a problem with the player, and one that will crop up *even faster* when they play a Paladin, and can use their 'code' to dictate what everyone else in the party can do.

To a certain extent, I agree with you. However, a significant number of people seem to think that if they put that 'E' on their character sheet they are supposed to play like jerks. They don't normally play like that. Their only concept of 'evil' seems to be the bad guys from 1980's Saturday morning batman reruns (or whatever cartoon you watched as a kid).

Also, like I said above, there are other people that can't seem to separate the player from the PC. The group implosion started when the evil PC (no not mine) completely in-character said he didn't see any point to stopping the drug/slave smugglers. One or two of the other players decided that since he didn't seem to be acting that must be how he really feels (I'm pretty sure it's not). Things went rapidly downhill from their.

My problems with paladins have usually not been with the player of the paladin. It is normally that all the other players bring the game to a screeching halt while they argue about what a paladin can / should / must / mustn't / will / won't / might / mightn't do because of his oath.

Dark Archive

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Kydeem de'Morcaine wrote:
Also, like I said above, there are other people that can't seem to separate the player from the PC. The group implosion started when the evil PC (no not mine) completely in-character said he didn't see any point to stopping the drug/slave smugglers. One or two of the other players decided that since he didn't seem to be acting that must be how he really feels (I'm pretty sure it's not). Things went rapidly downhill from their.

I have seen people playing evil asking the old 'what's my motivation?' line before (quick answer, the exact same it was if there was a G on your sheet, to kill peeps for XPs and take all their GPs, it's not exactly rocket science if you've ever played a single session of D&D in your life). The basic premise of the game, that murdering folk and robbing them grants you ever increasing levels of super-powers, is *far* friendly to an evil character than to a good one, and it's not like you have to scratch the surface of any genre to find examples of 'bad-guys' turning on and attacking other 'bad-guys,' so there's not even a *tiny* thematic mis-match in evil PCs 'saving a town' by killing a bunch of *other* evil bad-guys, since being evil doesn't make you part of some happy loyal family with all the other evil folk.

I've also seen people assuming that if you are capable of role-playing something, that you must be that something. (Like, if you are a guy, and playing a female character, you must be gay, to the point where some people flat-out forbid cross-gender RP, which, for a game in which you can play an elf or a person with demon blood, is actually kind of creepy, since it suggests that those people think that it's harder for a man to understand a woman, or vice-versa, than it is for someone to pretend to be a made-up fantasy creature that we don't have to spend our entire lives living with / working with / etc.) People who jump to those conclusions don't seem to get what the word 'role-playing' means, and are perhaps in need of a quick refresher as to the dividing line between reality and fantasy. Or perhaps they should go back to updating the list of Chuck Norris facts, since they can't tell the difference between an actual badass and someone who played one in a movie once.

Just like other things (playing cross-gender), playing an evil character should be limited to playing with people with some maturity (which comes early for some, and the 12th of Never for others, and doesn't always map well to physical age...).

Certainly, it's not for everyone, and not something I'd recommend for people who grew up on online games, and are not aware that the vast majority of non-MMOs (or other cooperative team games, like football, or any other life-situation in which you have to cooperate with people you don't necessarily agree with, like, having a job, or being part of a family) don't have any sort of built-in protection against PvP, or 'alignment' concepts baked in, and that, to win, people on the same team are supposed to work together, and not fight each other, even if their politics or religion or whatever are not 100% sympatico.

Liberty's Edge

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BlackOuroboros wrote:
Kydeem de'Morcaine wrote:
Hmm... Not sure I would classify Jayne as Evil.
I'm not going to argue with you because I don't want to turn this into a "What alignment is X person" thread but for me, as a player and as a GM, Jayne is one of the best examples of what an evil PC should look like. He's so good because he is not a "villain" per se but he did or intended to do some really dark stuff; basically he was an anti-hero. If a player came up to me with an evil character like Jayne, I would give it the OK; If a player came up to me with an evil character like the Joker I would tell him to pound sand.

Mal: How come you didn't turn on me, Jayne?

Jayne: Money wasn't good enough.
Mal: What happens when it is?
Jayne: (smiling) Well... that'll be an interesting day.


StrangePackage wrote:
BlackOuroboros wrote:
Kydeem de'Morcaine wrote:
Hmm... Not sure I would classify Jayne as Evil.
I'm not going to argue with you because I don't want to turn this into a "What alignment is X person" thread but for me, as a player and as a GM, Jayne is one of the best examples of what an evil PC should look like. He's so good because he is not a "villain" per se but he did or intended to do some really dark stuff; basically he was an anti-hero. If a player came up to me with an evil character like Jayne, I would give it the OK; If a player came up to me with an evil character like the Joker I would tell him to pound sand.

Mal: How come you didn't turn on me, Jayne?

Jayne: Money wasn't good enough.
Mal: What happens when it is?
Jayne: (smiling) Well... that'll be an interesting day.

See when I watched that, what I saw was:

A guy that was at heart at least fairly decent and loyal, but doesn't want people to think that about him because it sounds wussy. So he says the money wasn't good enough. But in reality he just wasn't going to betray his friend and is making a different excuse.

I agree it can be interpreted either way. But that's the way I saw it.

Sovereign Court

Kydeem de'Morcaine wrote:
StrangePackage wrote:
BlackOuroboros wrote:
Kydeem de'Morcaine wrote:
Hmm... Not sure I would classify Jayne as Evil.
I'm not going to argue with you because I don't want to turn this into a "What alignment is X person" thread but for me, as a player and as a GM, Jayne is one of the best examples of what an evil PC should look like. He's so good because he is not a "villain" per se but he did or intended to do some really dark stuff; basically he was an anti-hero. If a player came up to me with an evil character like Jayne, I would give it the OK; If a player came up to me with an evil character like the Joker I would tell him to pound sand.

Mal: How come you didn't turn on me, Jayne?

Jayne: Money wasn't good enough.
Mal: What happens when it is?
Jayne: (smiling) Well... that'll be an interesting day.

See when I watched that, what I saw was:

A guy that was at heart at least fairly decent and loyal, but doesn't want people to think that about him because it sounds wussy. So he says the money wasn't good enough. But in reality he just wasn't going to betray his friend and is making a different excuse.

I agree it can be interpreted either way. But that's the way I saw it.

Especially when he sold Simon and River out in "Ariel". And Mal has specifically stated that they are part of the crew.

Liberty's Edge

Hama wrote:
Kydeem de'Morcaine wrote:
StrangePackage wrote:
BlackOuroboros wrote:
Kydeem de'Morcaine wrote:
Hmm... Not sure I would classify Jayne as Evil.
I'm not going to argue with you because I don't want to turn this into a "What alignment is X person" thread but for me, as a player and as a GM, Jayne is one of the best examples of what an evil PC should look like. He's so good because he is not a "villain" per se but he did or intended to do some really dark stuff; basically he was an anti-hero. If a player came up to me with an evil character like Jayne, I would give it the OK; If a player came up to me with an evil character like the Joker I would tell him to pound sand.

Mal: How come you didn't turn on me, Jayne?

Jayne: Money wasn't good enough.
Mal: What happens when it is?
Jayne: (smiling) Well... that'll be an interesting day.

See when I watched that, what I saw was:

A guy that was at heart at least fairly decent and loyal, but doesn't want people to think that about him because it sounds wussy. So he says the money wasn't good enough. But in reality he just wasn't going to betray his friend and is making a different excuse.

I agree it can be interpreted either way. But that's the way I saw it.

Especially when he sold Simon and River out in "Ariel". And Mal has specifically stated that they are part of the crew.

Further undercut, apart from his behavior in Ariel, in his recruitment "Out of Gas" where he turns his gun on the guy he's working with currently to hear out Mal's offer.

Or in Jaynestown when he admits to tossing his partner of 6 months out of a flying spacecraft to effect his escape first, and only dumping the money as a last resort.

Loyalty? Decency? Jayne?

I'm very comfortable with his designation as a Token Evil Teammate- but I'd also point to him as an example of how it can be done well.


StrangePackage wrote:
Hama wrote:
Kydeem de'Morcaine wrote:
StrangePackage wrote:
BlackOuroboros wrote:
Kydeem de'Morcaine wrote:
Hmm... Not sure I would classify Jayne as Evil.
I'm not going to argue with you because I don't want to turn this into a "What alignment is X person" thread but for me, as a player and as a GM, Jayne is one of the best examples of what an evil PC should look like. He's so good because he is not a "villain" per se but he did or intended to do some really dark stuff; basically he was an anti-hero. If a player came up to me with an evil character like Jayne, I would give it the OK; If a player came up to me with an evil character like the Joker I would tell him to pound sand.

Mal: How come you didn't turn on me, Jayne?

Jayne: Money wasn't good enough.
Mal: What happens when it is?
Jayne: (smiling) Well... that'll be an interesting day.

See when I watched that, what I saw was:

A guy that was at heart at least fairly decent and loyal, but doesn't want people to think that about him because it sounds wussy. So he says the money wasn't good enough. But in reality he just wasn't going to betray his friend and is making a different excuse.

I agree it can be interpreted either way. But that's the way I saw it.

Especially when he sold Simon and River out in "Ariel". And Mal has specifically stated that they are part of the crew.

Further undercut, apart from his behavior in Ariel, in his recruitment "Out of Gas" where he turns his gun on the guy he's working with currently to hear out Mal's offer.

Or in Jaynestown when he admits to tossing his partner of 6 months out of a flying spacecraft to effect his escape first, and only dumping the money as a last resort.

Loyalty? Decency? Jayne?

I'm very comfortable with his designation as a Token Evil Teammate- but I'd also point to him as an example of how it can be done well.

I will happily admit, I was not a fanboy of the series. The episodes I saw did not portray Jayne as necessarily overtly evil. Self absorbed? Yes. And he seemed pretty loyal to some people/friends, even if not all of them.

From what you are saying, it sounds like there were episodes I missed that portray him as more evil.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

Back to the OP...

Generally, I don't allow evil characters.

Why?

Because I generally run a heroic game, and I want the PCs to be the good guys.

I will make an exception for players that I know can handle it, with the caveat that the evil PC works well in a group. So far, none of my players have taken me up on it-- they pretty much all want to play the heroes.

Sovereign Court

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I so want your players. My former group couldn't make a single good character for years. Lawful neutral was the most good for a loong time. Most were neutral.

I want players who want to play heroes. Anti heroes are boring.


My NE rogues try to fit into the group because they are good protection. What's best for me is to help them so they can take the damage and I can get my coin.

Liberty's Edge

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I guess Stupid is an alignment that gets abused, and gives the other alignments (Good, Lawful, Chaotic, and Evil) a bad name.


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I like the occasional evil character and NPC. I sometimes tell players that just because you are evil doesn't mean you don't:

1. want to save the world (you are in it after all)

2. have friends you would support and fight for

3. have family that you would revenge if harmed

4. have ambitions other than bloodshed and betrayal

5. want to do good, if only for purely selfish reasons

6. channel your desire to do evil into socially acceptable activities like bounty hunting, the military, law enforcement, politics, mercenary work, etc.


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Mike Franke wrote:

I like the occasional evil character and NPC. I sometimes tell players that just because you are evil doesn't mean you don't:

1. want to save the world (you are in it after all)

2. have friends you would support and fight for

3. have family that you would revenge if harmed

4. have ambitions other than bloodshed and betrayal

5. want to do good, if only for purely selfish reasons

6. channel your desire to do evil into socially acceptable activities like bounty hunting, the military, law enforcement, politics, mercenary work, etc.

This pretty much sums up my feelings on the matter. Character motivations trump alignment, as was evidenced in my glorious clusterf!&* of an Age of Worms campaign (which had the two core members of the party, a CN rogue and a CG bard, teaming up with a LE sorcerer, a werewolf, a lich, and an evil black dragon to save the world).

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