So my GM hates evil characters.


Advice

51 to 100 of 102 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | next > last >>

Ciaran Barnes wrote:

Killing the NPC wasn't neccessary, at least as far as I can gather from your original post, but I wasn't there. Maybe a better course of action would have been to beat the tar out him, or give him a few knocks and scare the hell out of him. But you conspired with another PC to murder and then took steps to cover it up.

If you're Neutral, it doesn't have to be necessary: There just has to be reasonable justification for it. Neutral characters won't kill innocents, but to his character the NPC was not an innocent. A Good character would have to think harder of "Is there any way I can stop his animal abuse without killing him?" Neutral, however, can take the most expedient measures to prevent it, as long as they don't take innocent lives as part of it.

I personally dislike animal rights extremists, but it seems reasonable that a follower of a nature deity could view things as animal rights extremists do, that abusing the gorilla was as bad as abusing a humanoid. The NPC, then, was far from innocent, and thus it is not Evil to kill him.


If I'm running a heroic fantasy game I do not allow evil characters in the game. Short explanation is I find such drastic alignment shifts to be disruptive. Furthermore I find players who are disruptive to be drawn to them like a bee to honey.

Now I have run games were all players are various shades of evil. We have a thieves/assassins guild game we run on occasion.

Flip the script Arcanine, if you were running an all evil game would you allow a player to play a LG Paladin?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

I agree with those who said that what this character did does not sound like an evil act. Even if it were, if I were GM, I don't think that I would let one event change a character's alignment (unless it were something really heinous, like eating a kitten).

One thing a lot of people don't seem to understand is just because a character is evil, it doesn't mean he has no self control. The greatest evil is one that can bide its time and wait for just the right moment to strike.

Being evil doesn't mean you are compelled to kill someone just because you *can.* A well played--but rational--evil character could function for a long time, possibly even a whole campaign, alongside the heroes if he had a personal motivation to do it.

Too many people who want to *play* evil characters actually do a pretty poor job of roleplaying. They actually are just disruptive players who want to use their characters' alignment to justify their disruptive, spotlight-seeking behavior. They are the type of people who will have their characters sneak out and murder people for no reason. True, there are people in real life who do such things, but they tend to be the exception rather than the norm.

Imagine an evil character who is intelligent and rational. Would he or she go and kill someone just because? Where there is no reward, financial or otherwise? When there is a risk of being caught and punished? Again, there are some who will. But I think the great majority of evil people would only kill if--in their calculations--the risk was worth the reward. They wouldn't hesitate out of any respect for life, but they *would* hesitate if they thought killing the person could be risky or if there might be some retribution or simply because they decide the payout isn't worth it. But sneaking out and killing people randomly because "my alignment made me do it" is generally poor roleplaying and poor teamwork. (I acknowledge this is a tangent, because that isn't what happened here).

Silver Crusade

Han, Chewie, Luke and Leia are all GOOD aligned characters. They spent A LOT of time together adventuring. They are all fighting for the same, common goal.

Lando is a NEUTRAL character. He joins the party when its convenient...he leaves whenever he wants.

Darth Vader is an EVIL aligned character. How often does he go adventuring with the aforementioned party?


By killing the Emperor in a heroic act of noble sacrifice (for the sake of his son that he loves).

Before that: by fighting the same evils as everyone else.

(Also, Vader is a weak example, because Dark Side users all go somewhat crazy when they fall. It's weird.)

Silver Crusade

That's another topic, TL. I'm talking about time spent together. Sure, multiple alignments can co-exist...but for how long?

IMHO: Star Wars is never a bad example. Just by you saying its a bad example proves to me that you've seen the movies and we have a common knowledge. I could have used Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday as examples. Have you seen Tombstone?


3 people marked this as a favorite.

My apologies beforehand for a long and possibly ill structured post...

I'm not a big fan of the "play your alignment" way of speaking, unless your class is bound to a certain alignment. The alignment on your character sheet should describe the way you play your character, not the other way around. In our RotRL campaign our party's overall alignment just took another step towards Good last time we played, when our CN rogue's player described how her character's motivations had changed towards wishing to protect the people of Varisia, to which our GM responded with "change your alignment to CG". There was no "you're acting out of alignment", just "okay, I see your alignment changed. Update your character sheet to match".
In games where certain alignments are barred, I can see why you might need a certain sense that performing acts that conflict with your alignment is bad, but to me it seems counterproductive to character development and growth. You play your character according to what your character wants and values, and if that's at odds with their alignment that doesn't mean that you are playing them wrong, but just that it might be time to update the alignment field on your character sheet. And just because your NN inquisitor finally oversteps the boundaries between NN and NE, that doesn't mean he will stop to function within the party. He's still the same person with the same experiences, and whatever tied him to the party and made him want to work with them should hopefully still be there. He probably even thinks that he is doing the right thing, and is either Neutral or Good-aligned in his own mind, and if his Good-aligned friends find out they should want to talk to him and convert him, because he's their friend and they (hopefully) care for him.

...but in the end, if Evil characters aren't allowed they aren't allowed. I'm happy that all my GMs allow Evil alignments, because I don't think they should need to be banned. What should be banned is disruptive characters, because from what I've seen around these boards that's what GMs are out to get when they ban alignments.

The thing is, an Evil alignment does not a disruptive character make. A disruptive player is what makes the character disruptive.

Also, wise words from blackbloodtroll:

blackbloodtroll wrote:

Why do some players feel that all evil PCs have no friends, no awareness of repercussion, no need for love, and no common sense?

This is why most evil PCs don't fly with DMs.

I like my evil PCs to have an effect on people that makes them say "wait, why would you do that? Oh yeah, you're evil. Dang, I forgot. Man, that is evil."

Most evil doesn't like to spread that fact around, and often don't consider themselves evil.

I won't advocate putting up a fight, but a civilised discussion might lead somewhere if you're lucky. Just be ready to accept it if he sticks to his ruling that Evil alignments don't have a place in his game, and then make your decision of whether you'll stay with the game like it is, or leave and find another game that suits you better.

Shadow Lodge

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
arcanine wrote:
Why don't GM's allow evil characters? I remember he said something like " you can do what ever you want, when your evil." I will admit I have not looked up on how a evil Character is suppose to act. But I would assume they could do just about anything. Is it to powerful of a alignment? I thought chaotic natural was the best alignment you can act how you want. And NO he didn't not tell me about this alignment shifting, PC snatching trick. I really need to look more into the communities views on evil characters. I honestly don't think my characters alignment should have changed. Thanks for the quick responses.

1.) Because there are players that take having that E on their alignment sheet as an excuse to harass others at the table and generally be a nuisance to having the table go well and everyone have a good time. So in that spirit (and with likely a burn or 2 under their belt from a previous player) there are a lot of GMs who either ban the alignment for players or take over the character once they walk that path.

2.) This is further explained because to gain the E you're not usually talking about just killing someone or stealing something you are talking about willful violation of others to achieve the ends you want for yourself. Murdering a child to prove to a paladin that life is cruel and unfair, burning an orphanage to collect the insurance you have on the kids and the building, or say saving indigenous peoples from a warlord only to enslave them for yourself. Now others might not go to this length when they GM to show what it means to get the E but the idea is that you've done something that isn't just a bad act but a series of bad acts consistently enough that they could be called your character's go to choice for handling trouble.

3.) Again not the most powerful alignment (as all are pretty equal) so much as the one with the easiest excuse to do what it wants. The biggest problem for a lot of GMs is punishing the behavior when it's disruptive while rewarding it when it's okay and since murdering people for their stuff is a lot of this game that line can be hard. If in an adventure path or more fleshed out world it is a lot easier since you can just ask, "What would happen if someone would do this in real life?" and then add magic but again this is not always that easy for GMs.

4.) As for alignment shifts that is normal and usually healthy as it can help showcase the changes a character has undergone through the game. It can be really cool to watch your CN Gozreh druid start out as this wild child who doesn't give a s&## about others or creating a settlement and then slowly become the NG druid king of his nature focused settlement, his heart softened by having to see the plights of his people. That being said like anything that has power it can be misinterpreted and abused by both players and GMs.

The most important thing here is that you should talk with your GM and establish a dialogue over what he/she finds to be the road to damnation so you can better work with it and or change it. Along with that your GM should trust you to want to be their and interact with everyone else at the table in a manner that enriches the experience of yourself, the GM, and the other players. If everyone is having fun and no one feels s$%&ty for being there then all should be good in the hood.

P.S. Ask your GM what houserules he plays by in general when you start a group and if you are GM'ing post them for your players. This is issue of "unknown houserules" comes up here more times than anyone would like and the easiest way to avoid it is if GMs would just post their stuff where the players can see it. Barring that always ask to be on the safe side.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Now you've got me wanting to play a dual-alignment character.
Multiple personality LG/NE
Roll percentile every day or every session to see which one you play xD

Grand Lodge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
James Risner wrote:
arcanine wrote:
Why don't GM's allow evil characters?
In my experience, games that allow evil players don't survive past one night/game. It may be that he doesn't want the game to end.

Banning Evil characters is a very common houserule because An Evil character in an otherwise Heroic game (a game where PCs are expected to be Good) can be, and often are, disruptive in one way or another. This thread is an example. Having a disruptive character can be damaging to a social game.

(A Good character in an Evil game has the same issue.)

-Skeld


Brad McDowell wrote:
I could have used Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday as examples. Have you seen Tombstone?

Yes. But it's been a while.

Brad McDowell wrote:
That's another topic, TL. I'm talking about time spent together. Sure, multiple alignments can co-exist...but for how long?

For as long as they can - which varies as much by personality as alignment. A LG servitor of Erastil is likely going to butte heads with a LG servitor of Abadar over deep-seated cultural divisions, for example... unless the PCs choose not to play it that way. Or, as independent agents, the the characters choose to dwell on their similarities instead of differences.

I'll give you a Golarion canon example of good and evil working together: the Hellknights; most notably, the Order of the Godclaw. Divine spellcasters of all three lawful alignments worshiping deities as varied as Iomedae and Asmodeus side-by-side for a greater cause (and not just for a short time or a specific "let's do this and we're done" thing).

Good and evil working together is actually fairly normal. The problem is when people clash due to evil and good disagreeing on which way to go (i.e. what to do).

This is, in my opinion, ultimately how you can play any alignment side-by-side.

Aside about Star Wars:
Brad McDowell wrote:
IMHO: Star Wars is never a bad example.

Star Wars is always awesome, but it can be a bad example, depending on what is being discussed or what is intended to be displayed.

(It doesn't make a good example as a Chick-flick, horror-film, or exploitaion, and shouldn't be used as examples of those; it can't be used as an example of good prequels; the in-character arcs are terrific in the original trilogy, but have very specific constraints that cannot cover all archetypes or permutations, especially as-presented in a game; and so on.)

Brad McDowell wrote:
Just by you saying its a bad example proves to me that you've seen the movies and we have a common knowledge.

I Do love me some Star Wars. :D


BigP4nda wrote:

Now you've got me wanting to play a dual-alignment character.

Multiple personality LG/NE
Roll percentile every day or every session to see which one you play xD

Like the sentient magic item drawback!

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I have played two evil characters, in non-evil campaigns.

How you work towards party goals, create cohesion, and how your evil nature comes out in your actions makes a big difference.

Being evil, doesn't always mean you are stupid, and a loner.

Evil can seek companionship, desire praise, and value the rewards, and power, of being loved, and trusted.

Evil can do good, and benefit, but may have different motives, and seek different long term goals, than one who is good.

In a Skull and Shackles game, my LE Lizardolk was one of the most loved characters in the group, and I actually ended up cold-blooded(lol) murdering a fellow PC, and they still loved him.

Evil is hard to work as a PC, but if you remind yourself to works with the party, and with the story, instead of against them, you can make it work.

Remember, the evil you love, can be much more dangerous, than the evil you hate.


I've played several Evil characters (including one Pathfinder character who was CE). They have all been happy to fulfil party goals and were generally party-friendly. They had different attitudes to most of the party but that's where some of the fun of role-playing kicks in.

The point is that Evil characters do not have to be disruptive. Nor are they one-dimensional skulking murderers, they can be fully-rounded interesting characters who work well within an adventuring party of different alignments.

As for the OPs situation, I think his GM showed a poor grasp of what Neutral means. It is not 'Good-lite', it is Neutral. It embraces both good and evil acts to further the character's major goals. Do the GMs with issues over Evil also pronounce on Chaotic characters adventuring with Lawful, or make Chaotic characters move towards Lawful if they choose to temporarily obey the rules? I think it shows poor interpretation.

My Chaotic Neutral Druid released all the animals in a city zoo, causing several deaths (of both humans and animals). She follows the Green Faith and her main alignment focus is the 'Rule of Nature' or 'Law of the Jungle'. Killing a handler torturing an animal would be well within her moral outlook, although tinged with a certain disdain that the gorilla had allowed himself to be captured in the first place.


I have actually never seen an evil PC not work out in a normal campaign. I have never seen an evil campaign that didn't fall apart quickly. I haven't looked into way of the wicked though, so obviously at least one author figured out how to make it work. I find that there are two primary alignment conflicts. Lawful vs Chaotic is the one that generates 90% of the PVP and almost never generates player vs GM conflict. Good vs Evil rarely causes PVP since evil characters tend to be NPCs, well thought out or non-existant. It generates 90% of the player vs GM conflict since many GMs rely on the Good is dumb trope and many players rely one the Good is not nice trope.


If a party contains both adventurers who kill on a whim (whether they call themselves Evil or not), and heroes who consider such people murderous scum deserving of prison or death, then you no longer have a team who would want to go on adventures together.

It's possible to find a way to make it work, but it won't just happen automatically. Banning evil PCs is one of the simpler solutions.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Sadurian wrote:

I've played several Evil characters (including one Pathfinder character who was CE). They have all been happy to fulfil party goals and were generally party-friendly. They had different attitudes to most of the party but that's where some of the fun of role-playing kicks in.

The point is that Evil characters do not have to be disruptive. Nor are they one-dimensional skulking murderers, they can be fully-rounded interesting characters who work well within an adventuring party of different alignments.

Agreed. I think a lot of people tend to have the cause and effect line on disruptive evil characters reversed. It's not that evil characters are inherently disruptive so much as it is that a lot of disruptive players are drawn towards evil characters.

Grand Lodge

Gregory Connolly wrote:
I have actually never seen an evil PC not work out in a normal campaign. I have never seen an evil campaign that didn't fall apart quickly.

Yup. For every player that says they put in the extra work to roleplay their evil character in a party-friendly manner, there are at least a dozen others who are just using the Big E to troll the game and cause a bunch of PvP friction.

I've seen far too many good games go to crap because of the 'token evil teammate'. Having a decent gaming group is something I value at this point in my life, and we usually post online for extra players whenever we have an opening. The odds of getting someone who doesn't know how to play evil characters is too great. Therefore, banning evil characters has simple become de rigueur.


Gregory Connolly wrote:
I have actually never seen an evil PC not work out in a normal campaign. I have never seen an evil campaign that didn't fall apart quickly. I haven't looked into way of the wicked though, so obviously at least one author figured out how to make it work. I find that there are two primary alignment conflicts. Lawful vs Chaotic is the one that generates 90% of the PVP and almost never generates player vs GM conflict. Good vs Evil rarely causes PVP since evil characters tend to be NPCs, well thought out or non-existant. It generates 90% of the player vs GM conflict since many GMs rely on the Good is dumb trope and many players rely one the Good is not nice trope.

Without spoiling too much, Way of the Wicked is based on the premise that no Good or Chaotic characters are allowed, so there will only be LN, N, LE and NE PCs at the table. It then starts out with all the characters breaking out from a jail together, incentivising them to work together from the start to escape the death sentence that is probably waiting for them, and after that it throws in an Asmodean contract to keep them working together afterwards. So there's a common goal, a contract, and no explicitly conflicting alignments in place to ensure cooperation.


To answer OP's questions relative to the topic: I would consider "no evil PC's" a common rule. I would also consider NPC tagging a PC that goes evil to be an acceptable solution if in fact a PC becomes an evil character and evil PC's are not allowed. I have no comment on your actual character situation but GM fiat stands apart as the overriding rule here.


7 people marked this as a favorite.

Let me start by saying that I am the GM in question. (AWKWARD) I do not like evil characters in my games because, as a GM, I always have to make a contingency plan for evil characters. For example, I had a game where the PCs met the king of a town and one character decided that rather than accept the quest of the king, he was going to try and assassinate the king. At that point I was left completely unprepared. A good GM is ALWAYS prepared. As a GM, I don't want to have to worry that the PCs are just going to kill the shop owner so that they don't have to purchase the +4 weapon. In my experience, evil characters do not work well together unless their is some sort of third party cohesion. With that being said, I loath PVP combat. I play this game to relieve stress and take a load off after a long week's work. When that peace is disturbed by players attempting to kill each other or work against each other, I don't enjoy the game. This game is built around the party dynamic. You have to work together to beat the encounter. PVP creates real-life tension, which degrades the enjoyment of the game. That is not to say that I don't EVER allow evil characters, but I have to set ground rules for those who do. Most of the time I do not allow it unless it is a specifically evil campaign (which i do run from time to time). This is not to say that ALL evil characters are game breakers, but, as was stated earlier in the thread, game-breakers are drawn to the evil alignment.

Secondly, I try to remain as close to the rules as I can. That is not to say that I don't have house rules or deviate from time to time. I will listen to arguments about rules and will even take the forums into consideration. However, unless a developer clarifies a rule, I have a hard time accepting the ruling of the forums. No offense guys, but you are just a drop of sugar in a sea of vinegar. By that, I mean that anyone can have an opinion, but I prefer an official ruling before I change the rules. I really have a difficult time with players who do not accept GM rulings on a matter and excessively argue their point.

Finally, the reason why I determined that it was an evil act to kill the ringmaster was the method in which they did it. In the dark of night they broke into his wagon and secretly killed him while he was helpless (sleeping). Then they framed an innocent man who in turn was jailed for their actions. This is in no way a neutral action. Also, to clarify, I did not shift their alignment. I told them that their action was evil and that it would play a part in a future alignment shift if their actions did not change.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

As many others have mentioned, the "No Evil Characters" rule is common. I use it in my campaigns usually.

I can understand the rulings on the actions being evil, when considering everything that happened. I agree with the earlier post (I'm going to be too lazy to find the exact quote) about killing the ringmaster being Neutral, framing the strong man as being mildly evil, etc. It was mentioned in the OP that you "shifted" the alignment, and didn't change it (something I think some have overlooked). That counts as sufficient warning in my book. I think that if they had just killed the ringmaster...that's not exactly evil, just neutral (her certainly didn't appear to be innocent) but there is a lot more to the picture.

I'm actually much more interested in something else in the thread...and that's the request to change deity. If I understand this correctly, the GM (TrustNo1) asked the player (arcanine) to change their deity for no other reason than the GM didn't like it? And when the player agreed, treated the character as if it became an ex-inquisitor? That seems off...I certainly hope there is more to it than that.

Finally, there is this:

TrustNo1 wrote:
However, unless a developer clarifies a rule, I have a hard time accepting the ruling of the forums. No offense guys, but you are just a drop of sugar in a sea of vinegar. By that, I mean that anyone can have an opinion, but I prefer an official ruling before I change the rules.

I can agree that you shouldn't blindly change your way of thinking because of the forums. Hopefully though, you do consider the information that the the pool of experience provides in your decisions when controversy is at hand. It has been my experience that no matter how much I think I am right on something, someone who views it from a different perspective can add some much needed light to an otherwise questionable ruling. Ultimately, you are the voice of rules in your campaign, but that voice need not lack ears.


Just chiming in here when everyone else is interested in the situation, but, I don't really think the original action was all that evil. If you're a nature loving cleric of a god that loves nature, and you see someone who happens to be a dick, beating said nature, and then you kill said dick when he decides he doesn't give a damn what you think, then... well... I wouldn't really call it good, but I wouldn't really call it evil either. That seems like it was a neutral act if anything.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Duboris wrote:
Just chiming in here when everyone else is interested in the situation, but, I don't really think the original action was all that evil. If you're a nature loving cleric of a god that loves nature, and you see someone who happens to be a dick, beating said nature, and then you kill said dick when he decides he doesn't give a damn what you think, then... well... I wouldn't really call it good, but I wouldn't really call it evil either. That seems like it was a neutral act if anything.

That, I'd agree with.

Framing the strong man, not so much. That reads as an evil act to me.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

i've played an evil char in an otherwise good or neutral group. It went well, no probs in sight. :3


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Your GM can always rule that he doesn't want evil-aligned characters in his campaign. This is, after all, his campaign.

He can, specifically, say that he doesn't want evil aligned characters, fighters, male characters or anyone who doesn't play a barbarian with their primary stat in charisma. He can make any restriction he wants.

YOU, however, can always make the decision to not want to play with him anymore if you feel he is restricting you in a way that makes the game less fun to play and if you feel it's becoming too big a nuissance.

Once all that is said, however, I don't think you did anything out of line. You didn't explicitly tell anyone to kill him, and you -had- just witnessed something your character would find amoral and cruel.

Alignment is NOT a cast-iron, written-with-a-flaming-finger-on-volcanic-glass-tablets system where you MUST behave in one way or another ALL THE TIME. Even good aligned characters have off-days. Even evil-aligned characters may have one or two redeeming qualities. Doing something bad, even if you're good aligned, does not magically result in you suddenly becoming Chaotic Evil, as if someone waved a magic wand around going "bibbledi-bobbledi-boo, I'm an evil bastard and now you are too".

A Lawful Good paladin may shout at his squire because he's got a bad day, even if the poor squire did nothing to deserve it. A neutral good fighter may kick a stray mutt in the street because he just came home from a long day of butchering Goblin Babies (tm), only to find his wife in bed with the town's undertaker. Neither act will instantly and magically turn them evil.

Unless you do something truly massively out of character for the person you are playing and the alignment you claim to be of (to use the example that this thread was started with, let's say you had seen the gorilla getting mistreated, and had decided to kill, or have someone else kill, not only the trainer but his family, the circus director and HIS family, plus whatever random people you came across in your killing spree), then -yes- you can change alignment through one act.

But normally, doing something that doesn't mesh with your alignment -consistently-, over a certain but reasonable amount of time, is what would change your alignment, and your GM -should- warn you several times along the way, up-to-and-including telling you, "You're about to change alignment if you continue along this path ... just an FYI".

Now, the GM for this campaign has already made it very clear that whatever is said in this thread isn't terribly important, since those of us posting constitute nothing more than a pinch of sugar in a sea of vinegar.

However, just remember you are not contractually obligated to play with someone.

That said ... evil characters in a non-evil campaign are -an amazing- way of introducing flavour into the story. There can be a redemption arc that the whole group can support in there. Even if the player of such a character does not want to change the character's alignment to something less evil over the course of the campaign, I see absolutely -no- reason to avoid them.

A GM who isn't capable of planning for -any- group, regardless of class/race/species/gender composition, is either inexperienced (which is fair enough ... everyone needs to learn), or simply not trying hard enough.

"I don't want evil-aligned characters in my campaign" has become a soft, cushy pillow for a lot of GMs to hide their face in. But being a GM is about preparation, it's -meant- to be a challenge and it's meant ... at times ... to include the surprising and unexpected.

If it's because you have been a GM for a year or two and still feel a bit wobbly on your feet, -fine- ... but if you're a more experienced GM, you're not only cheating yourself out of a new and potentially exciting addition to your group by excluding evil characters from your group (that's your choice ... no skin off my nose), but you're also stiffling your players creativity.

If your players want to play a pixie barbarian, a dragon bard, a kobold fighter, a dwarven rogue and a bugbear sorcerer, then -let- them.

It's not your fault if things go to pot between the characters within half an hour, nor is it even your -responsibility-. Your responsibility is to create a story for the players to partake in. It is THEIR responsibility to create characters that work with the rest of the group. Their race/class/alignment/gender composition shouldn't even enter into that.

Their characters -personalities- should enter into that.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Cynge wrote:
TrustNo1 wrote:
However, unless a developer clarifies a rule, I have a hard time accepting the ruling of the forums. No offense guys, but you are just a drop of sugar in a sea of vinegar. By that, I mean that anyone can have an opinion, but I prefer an official ruling before I change the rules.
I can agree that you shouldn't blindly change your way of thinking because of the forums. Hopefully though, you do consider the information that the the pool of experience provides in your decisions when controversy is at hand. It has been my experience that no matter how much I think I am right on something, someone who views it from a different perspective can add some much needed light to an otherwise questionable ruling. Ultimately, you are the voice of rules in your campaign, but that voice need not lack ears.

Not to mention that the devs are generally not in the habit of answering rules questions outside of official FAQ/errata.


So to answer the question about changing deities, I feel once again that you are not abreast of the entire situation. He chose a deity that was outside of the pantheon that my universe supported. I asked him to change to one within the story. Not only did he change, but he changed domains as well. I told him that the change in domains would result in a momentary loss of inquisitor abilities and that he would have to role-play the change (which he did and regained his abilities later). This was not a permanent change, I was just trying to adjust the game to deal with inconsistency. This loss of power actually created a climactic fight in which the player had to prove himself to the new deity.
And I would also like to mention that I do not entirely disregard the forums... however, when he shows me a thread that justifies a mount getting Improved Unarmed Strike I am a bit more skeptical. As I said before, if you have a compelling argument I will consider it. Otherwise a forum post does not count as definitive proof that something is possible or even within the rules.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
TrustNo1 wrote:
So to answer the question about changing deities, I feel once again that you are not abreast of the entire situation. He chose a deity that was outside of the pantheon that my universe supported. I asked him to change to one within the story. Not only did he change, but he changed domains as well. I told him that the change in domains would result in a momentary loss of inquisitor abilities and that he would have to role-play the change (which he did and regained his abilities later). This was not a permanent change, I was just trying to adjust the game to deal with inconsistency. This loss of power actually created a climactic fight in which the player had to prove himself to the new deity.

As opposed to the deity he had worshipped before, but which didn't exist within the campaign meaning he couldn't actually have been a member of any kind of religious order or organization (such as that of an inquisitor), because there would have -been- no such organization or order to begin with, on account of the deity not existing in the first place?

You're punishing a player for choosing a deity who was not a part of the campaign, -after- the game starts rather than telling him -before- the character is introduced that he should change it to something that lies within the parameters of the campaign.

Which frankly makes it look like you hadn't even bothered to look over his character before introducing him, and even IF that was the case, simply telling him "you need to change that" and doing it via a minor retcon, would have been a less problematic, less confusing solution to a player who, based on the nature of his original question, seems to be reasonably new to the whole roleplaying-thing.


Fair enough. I was punishing the change of domains rather than the change of deities.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
The Alkenstarian wrote:

A GM who isn't capable of planning for -any- group, regardless of class/race/species/gender composition, is either inexperienced (which is fair enough ... everyone needs to learn), or simply not trying hard enough.

"I don't want evil-aligned characters in my campaign" has become a soft, cushy pillow for a lot of GMs to hide their face in. But being a GM is about preparation, it's -meant- to be a challenge and it's meant ... at times ... to include the surprising and unexpected.

Gee, thanks for clearing that up for us. I guess 47% of DMs out there aren't worth their salt.

I don't think TrustNo1, or anyone else, has to justify not wanting to deal with certain alignments (or anything else) in their games. The DM is there to relax and have fun too, not just to work overtime. If they have a vision they want to share, it's fine to say "no thanks" and pass. If you don't like the games available, run the game you want to see. Trying to browbeat the DM into changing the rules because you don't like them? Not so fine.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
TrustNo1 wrote:
So to answer the question about changing deities, I feel once again that you are not abreast of the entire situation.

I figured as much.

TrustNo1 wrote:
He chose a deity that was outside of the pantheon that my universe supported. I asked him to change to one within the story. Not only did he change, but he changed domains as well. I told him that the change in domains would result in a momentary loss of inquisitor abilities and that he would have to role-play the change (which he did and regained his abilities later). This was not a permanent change, I was just trying to adjust the game to deal with inconsistency.
TrustNo1 wrote:
Fair enough. I was punishing the change of domains rather than the change of deities.

I'm with The Alkenstarian on this one. If the deity existed outside of the pantheon of your universe, it should have changed before a session ever happened. In the event that wasn't possible due to time constraints, a retcon (with appropriate domain power changes) is the best solution.

How exactly did it happen that a character came to exist in your game with an inappropriate deity? Were characters created outside of a game session? Were you unable to review characters before the start of play? Were the players made aware of what deities existed? Answering these may provide answers for avoiding such an issue later.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
TrustNo1 wrote:
Fair enough. I was punishing the change of domains rather than the change of deities.

deitys provide domains, if he had to change to a deity that didn't support his domains, then it would have gone along with his change to follow the campaigns logic.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
Rotolutundro wrote:


I don't think TrustNo1, or anyone else, has to justify not wanting to deal with certain alignments (or anything else) in their games. The DM is there to relax and have fun too, not just to work overtime. If they have a vision they want to share, it's fine to say "no thanks" and pass. If you don't like the games available, run the game you want to see. Trying to browbeat the DM into changing the rules because you don't like them? Not so fine.

honestly, I think more GMs should be less "no Evil characters" and more "no character's who are evil because reasons/chaotic stupid"

I understand not wanting to allow the guy that stabs random people in the city.

I don't understand trying to stop someone from playing someone who is on the wrong side of the law and has dreams of power and wealth, but doesn't obtain it in any good way.

likewise if you worship an evil diety, you better be upholding that dietys religion.

etc, etc, etc.

seriously, when people do weird things like "i want to assassinate the king", just let him try and for the most part this should be an unobtainable task where he'll be caught and/or executed.

usually I'll chime in with "your logical portion of your brain says that this is a horrible idea and has no benefit".


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Bandw2 wrote:
honestly, I think more GMs should be less "no Evil characters" and more "no character's who are evil because reasons/chaotic stupid"

Yeah, I think the main reason GMs ban evil characters is because they associate that sort of behavior (and backstabbing the party) with playing an evil character.

Which is somewhat fair; I've gamed with people who rolled up chaotic evil characters, and proceeded to try and murder or rape anything that moved. Though I'm pretty sure in a "no evil allowed" campaign those sorts of players would just roll up a chaotic neutral character who did the same sort of things.


Rotolutundro wrote:

Gee, thanks for clearing that up for us. I guess 47% of DMs out there aren't worth their salt.

I don't think TrustNo1, or anyone else, has to justify not wanting to deal with certain alignments (or anything else) in their games. The DM is there to relax and have fun too, not just to work overtime. If they have a vision they want to share, it's fine to say "no thanks" and pass. If you don't like the games available, run the game you want to see. Trying to browbeat the DM into changing the rules because you don't like them? Not so fine.

He has that right. My first post explicitly started out by stating that.

However, I also have a right to my opinion on this, and my opinion is, that someone who excludes specific races/classes/genders/alignments for ANY reason except if they are not available in a given setting, is trying to take the easy way out, and in doing so, he or she is not only limiting the players needlessly, but also insulting them to their faces.

Why? Because the whole "I don't want evil-aligned characters in my group" is basically telling the players "I have no trust in your abilities to create characters that can interact with one another and society around them without going off the deep end". Evil aligned DOES NOT automatically mean you're playing Charles Manson or Jeffrey Dahmer. There are hundreds of ways of creating an evil aligned character that can cooperate with the rest of the group -just- fine.

Saying that the issue is PVP and the problem it creates both for players and characters, is another insult. Firstly, if the players aren't mature enough to handle PVP situations, I'd seriously question whether they were mature enough to handle roleplaying -at all-. These are fictional characters, nothing more. If the players get -so- invested in their characters that they can't handle their deaths ... for whatever reason ... in a mature manner, then they shouldn't be playing, because that's frankly a deeply unhealthy escape-mechanism. Secondly, it stiffles interaction between characters, because basically there is no outlet for the worst excesses. The group's unprincipled, unscrupulous (but not evil) rogue, who just got a "better offer" from the master of the local thieve's guild, could steal everything the rest of the group owns and sell it while they sleep, and they'd have NO way of getting back at him, just to take one extreme example.

Yes, I agree ... GMs have the right and the option to say "I don't want evil characters in the group", but I maintain that doing so shows that unless the GM is new to the task and not feeling secure in his ability to run the game smoothly, he is either lazy or just not willing to put in the work required to run a smooth game. Bothare unfortunate, because they takes out part of the -players'- possibilities for fun.

I have done this myself in the past. I'm not trying to point a finger at everyone else without acknowledging that I've made this mistake as well because I didn't drop this habit ... which became second nature after a while ... until I had GM'd for more than fifteen years. I too believed that the MOMENT an evil-aligned character stepped into the group, everything would disintegrate in PVP, mutual Out-Of-Character recrimination and a destroyed story. But all it took for me to change it, was one player who sat down and said "Listen, I have an idea for a character, but I need to talk it over with you privately first, because there are aspects of him that I am not sure how you'll react to".

When that character was then explained to me, it was brilliant and would constitute a real source of great and enjoyable in-party dynamics. I realized then and there that my "Comfy Pillow of Character Limitations: Evil", had been a serious mistake, and I threw it out with the rest of the trash.

You want to limit your players ... go ahead. I just call it as I see it.

Silver Crusade

8 people marked this as a favorite.

Then count me among the many "lazy easy-way-out GMs" that don't want to put up with that headache in some campaigns.

Because GM-ing is a lot of work as is. And many of us simply don't have the time or see the profit in allowing evil PCs in all cases.

And also count me among the many players that are grateful that such "lazy easy-way-out" GMs are out there. Because sometimes it simply isn't fun to deal with the dynamics evil PCs bring into a campaign.

Some evil PCs as played by some players, yes. But many evil PCs as played by some players are absolutely toxic to many campaigns.

Because having campaigns fall apart or constantly feeling like you have to look over your shoulder is less fun than it sounds for a great many of us.

And this is coming from someone who has played evil PCs. In the appropriate campaigns.

So to any GM's that might be worried about satisfying some stranger on the internet's purity test, don't. Do what works best for you and your group. That is all that matters.


Count me too. When I GM, all I want is to have fun with my friends. I've seen awesome evil PCs, but I've seen more problematic evil PCs. In session, time is a limited resource, and I can spend it developing the story, campaign, characters, and having fun, or I can spend it policing the evil PC. Evil PCs don't always need "policing", but why take the risk when the player can have just as much fun playing a neutral or good PC?

From my personal experience, problematic behavior at the table is usually caused by misunderstanding and not malice, immaturity, or stupidity. Evil PCs risk spawning these misunderstandings more often. And for me, that's a risk that isn't worth taking especially when these players have the same amount of fun playing neutral/good PCs. Thus, when I lay the houserule, "no evil PCs", I'm not insulting my players as malicious, childish, and stupid. I'm making a proposal that the game will likely result in more fun and less misunderstandings if the players cooperate by choosing non-evil alignments.

On a similar note, if a player expresses his feelings that he has significantly more fun playing Evil characters over non-Evil ones, I would pay the time and risk cost, and I would work with him to make it right.


I disagree vehemently with the attitude of "No <alignment> characters allowed".

Unless the reason for said exclusion is specifically and inexorably tied into the narrative of the campaign.

Outside of that, I have never known a reason to disallow any alignment. What it seems to me that GMs dislike, is not the evil alignment, but characters that are disruptive to the flow of the campaign, and the interactions of the party.

If that is the case, why are we pretending that disallowing evil characters is in any way condusive to an improved gaming experience, when in fact, we could simply disallow disruptive characters?

"Hi, so just to quickly get some things down before we start our campaign. Play whatever alignment you want, as long as your character does not detract from the campaign. Also, do note that I expect you to cooperate in the party, if that means making compromises that might seem out of character every now and again, that is a sacrifice you're expected to make so we all have fun."

Now it doesn't matter if Peter, who is notorious for making disruptive characters, rolls Ser Stickintush Buzzkillington - LG paladin, Wacko Stabbo - CN rogue, or Raistlin Majere - what it sounds like, for a character. As long as he plays by the same rules as everyone else (help drive the plot along and make compromises for the sake of everyone having fun), then the table should be set for good times.

If not, I'd argue we're dealing with human error.

-Nearyn


Nearyn wrote:
If that is the case, why are we pretending that disallowing evil characters is in any way condusive to an improved gaming experience, when in fact, we could simply disallow disruptive characters?

Because that's a lot easier to write on paper than it is to enact.

So you say "no disruptive characters". Okay. How do you decide that a character is disruptive? More to the point, how do you do that before they disrupt your game?

It's a catch-22 that can go south easily.

Now, if I'm playing with a longstanding group of friends, yeah, I'd let my buddies go evil without batting an eyelash. They've almost to a man been playing longer than me, and I've seen 'em play wonderful evil and CN characters before.

But if I was to go try to grab a group off Roll20... I could very easily see telling them "No NE, CE, or CN characters without running them by me first".

And after I'd met those people, gotten to know them, knew what they were like, then if Timmy has a Really Cool idea for an Antipaladin that he wants to run, we can talk to make sure it won't be disruptive and I'll let him have his fun.

It's not a perfect system, of course. One can be disruptive in any part of the alignment. But "No evil" or some variant will weed out many of the worst disruptors before they become an issue, which is much harder to do if you simply say "please don't disrupt my game, okay?"


As both a player and GM i have both played and allowed evil characters. If a player did an evil act, depending on the severity I would warn of a possible alignment shift. If they continued I would allow it and the only penaltys metted out would be in game changes. For example, if a character has an alignment restriction, they would not benefit from class skills until they decided to go back to alignment, or switch classes all together.

Of course a gm has the right to make house rule judgement calls provided the house rules are made clear from the beginning. Perhaps the OP could work out a deal to get back on track with the alignment so the gm doesn't feel the need to play the pc as an npc. There could be a side quest to appease the all mighty 'whatnot' and still have a good playing experience.


kestral287 wrote:
It's not a perfect system, of course. One can be disruptive in any part of the alignment. But "No evil" or some variant will weed out many of the worst disruptors before they become an issue, which is much harder to do if you simply say "please don't disrupt my game, okay?"

I can definitely understand where you are coming from, but I remain skeptical of how well it actually works at preempting disruption. Evil characters aren't bad for a game so much as bad players are bad for a game: That won't change just because you limited what two letters can be written on the alignment section of their character sheet.


chaoseffect wrote:
Evil characters aren't bad for a game so much as bad players are bad for a game: That won't change just because you limited what two letters can be written on the alignment section of their character sheet.

Amen! Preach it! Evil characters are not disruptive by virtue of being alignment. Bad -players- are disruptive.

Thank you very much for boiling it down to such a simple premise. I could not possibly agree more!

Good aligned characters can be -just- as disruptive as evil ones, and are -just as likely to be-. Because it is the player behind the character that ultimately drives the PC's decisionmaking and actions in character, and consequently, results in disruption.

The single most disruptive character I have -ever- encountered in nearly thirty years in this hobby, was a paladin. Lawful Good. Played by just about the worst roleplayer in the history of roleplaying ... his name is still a byword for "Persona Non Grata" in roleplaying circles in a city of 120.000 people.

Lawful Good. In the "Awful Good"-variety.


chaoseffect wrote:
kestral287 wrote:
It's not a perfect system, of course. One can be disruptive in any part of the alignment. But "No evil" or some variant will weed out many of the worst disruptors before they become an issue, which is much harder to do if you simply say "please don't disrupt my game, okay?"
I can definitely understand where you are coming from, but I remain skeptical of how well it actually works at preempting disruption. Evil characters aren't bad for a game so much as bad players are bad for a game: That won't change just because you limited what two letters can be written on the alignment section of their character sheet.

Of course.

But in what seems to be a lot of GM's experiences, disruptive players are drawn toward writing certain groupings of those letters on their sheets. It's never going to catch everything, and in an ideal world you would never need it... but it's better than the alternatives presented.

Saying "please don't disrupt my game"... how does that stop anyone? How do you use that as a filter, to remove as many disruptive players as possible before they become disruptive?


kestral287 wrote:
Saying "please don't disrupt my game"... how does that stop anyone? How do you use that as a filter, to remove as many disruptive players as possible before they become disruptive?

My point is that I'm not convinced saying "no evil" is actually more effective then saying "please don't disrupt my game." It's an ineffective filter as people who are going to be disruptive can and probably will be so as any alignment.

Hell, in my own experiences the most disruptive people have been the "good natured" (in game at least) lovers of "comedy" (out of game). If in an inverse universe we had been playing in a "no good" game, they would have been just as annoying and soul crushing to play with, though perhaps with more dead baby references.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
kestral287 wrote:

Because that's a lot easier to write on paper than it is to enact.

So you say "no disruptive characters". Okay. How do you decide that a character is disruptive? More to the point, how do you do that before they disrupt your game?

I don't agree that it's easier to write than enact, having enacted it... pretty much for as long as I remember GMing.

See, the point is not that you are supposed to somehow weed out disruptive characters, so there is no issue of 'how do I decide if a character is disruptive'. Because you cannot decide that simply by looking at a character sheet. You lay down the law, as GM, and say you will not allow disruptive characters. Meaning the players are responsible for not being disruptive influences, meaning they are the ones who need to make sure their characters do not detract from the flow of the campaign. They are the ones who need to make compromises that seem OOC, so the party can continue to function. It has worked exceptionally well in practice, in every.single.game I've remember having run.

Kestral287 wrote:
But if I was to go try to grab a group off Roll20... I could very easily see telling them "No NE, CE, or CN characters without running them by me first".

It does sound easier, in fact, I'm quite sure it's easier. But I don't like it, and in fact I'm opposed to it. Not because 'you're doing it wrong', but because I see this mentality that somehow avoiding disruptions means banning certain alignments. I'm sad for the newcomers, who join the game and has one of us old-timers, who was unfortunate enough to get this 'no evils'-attitude, and that person then artificially limits the scope of characters-concept his players can enjoy, for no real reason.

If I was to grab a random group out of roll20, I'd lay down the same rules I posted above, taking 30 minutes out to gauge expectations, and make sure everyone is on the same page. Then start the campaign. And if someone decides that he can overwrite the general consensus, be a jerk to the others, and detract from the campaign, despite me laying down the law to begin with, then he's out. Plain and simple. I'll talk with him in private, tell him that he's detracting from everyone's experience, and tell him to change it. If he can make his new way work with the same character: joy. If not: new character. If he refuses: out you go, you will not be missed.

I'm not saying that the way I run it is the one right way, nor that it will work for everyone, but I do think we need to get rid of the "<alignent> is disallowed because I once got left with a sour taste in my mouth"-attitude, because it puts blinders on people when they try to get character-ideas. At least, that is my opinion.

-Nearyn

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber

You say to the GM:
-I'm neutral so my character is bound to do both evil and good acts; i will try to strike a better balance and equally do good deeds in the future.
-I'll try to remember that most Greenpeace nature warriors don't use murder to achieve their goal
-I'll try to remember that evil people don't usually murder people for fear of being caught as it is against the law
- sorry if i derailed your game and screwed up long hours of prep; I'll try to be less disruptive in the future

See what he says.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
chaoseffect wrote:
My point is that I'm not convinced saying "no evil" is actually more effective then saying "please don't disrupt my game." It's an ineffective filter as people who are going to be disruptive can and probably will be so as any alignment.

There are good players who will be constructive in session even when they play an Evil alignment. As a GM, I'd like to play with these good players.

There are bad players who will be disruptive in session even when they play non-Evil alignments. As a GM, I'd want to avoid inviting these bad players.

But the world isn't a black and white Good player / Bad player split. I think there's a big middle-zone of players who are sometimes constructive, sometimes disruptive. I think there's a fine line between "Roleplaying Evil" and "Disruptive behavior". I think it's easy to make mistakes.

Laying down a "No Evil Alignment" houserule is not an attempt to filter bad players. It's an attempt to filter the middle-zone players from making the occasional mistake. It's my opinion that all players consciously acknowledge the "Do not be disruptive" rule. It's an obvious rule of not only Pathfinder, but human society in general. However, not all players subconsciously realize that some decisions they make may cross the line of RP into "disruptive".


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Bob Bob Bob wrote:
Then you framed an innocent man (who you never said did anything wrong at all). That's mildly evil.

This jumped out at me as extremely interesting take.

Framing an innocent man for a murder is "mildly evil"? Hmm. Seems to me more one of those acts that can become progressively more problematic if the consequences continue to mount. If you attempt it, it's moderately evil, at least. If said innocent is arrested, arraigned, tried and eventually convicted? That's quite evil. If he or she is ruined as a result ... even eventually imprisoned for years or even executed? That's sufficiently evil, in my opinion, to cause an alignment shift. It might even take you from good all the way to evil. Even an attack of conscience and admission to someone in authority as to what you've done doesn't entirely ameliorate the act. In that case, it'd still be mildly evil.

Of course, I'm one of those DMs that doesn't allow evil characters. My house rules make it clear:

"Lawful good, neutral good, chaotic good, lawful neutral and true neutral are permitted. On rare occasions, a compelling background and vision, or the character’s natural evolution/devolution during play will allow for the portrayal of a lawful evil or, even more infrequently, chaotic neutral character. Neutral evil and chaotic evil, however, are expressly forbidden as initial alignment choices. This is not negotiable under any circumstances, so don’t even bother asking.

"In addition, if your character during the course of the campaign voluntarily strays into either of the verboten alignments (and it’s not prearranged with the DM—part of, say, a redemption–themed story arc), he or she is subject to confiscation and subsequent use as an NPC.

"And no, I’m not joking."

I think it's best to have this laid out beforehand.


I first read the original poster's statement, and only after saw that his GM had posted.

I originally was all up in arms to support the OP, because he made it seem like he had done nothing wrong, and was defeating a terrible person, and it coincidentally turned out to kill him.

But, now that I've also seen the GM's add in, I would say this: The eventual conclusion of sneaking into a man's house, murdering him, and framing someone, is Evil. The motivation was Good, but the method was evil. It even dragged in someone who, as far as I had read, had no reason to be involved. THAT makes it all the worst, because the OP placed suffering onto an innocent person, to avoid the suffering themselves.

I'm not insulting the player, but I am describing the action: It was selfish, cold, and fueled by wrath to have murdered someone, and pegged in on an innocent. Therefore: Evil.

HOWEVER; it should be noted that Gozreh can have Neutral Evil followers. So, the character was acting within one of the possible shades of a follower of Gozreh. It just didn't fit the Gm's game (especially given the deity was not in his homeworld apparently)

51 to 100 of 102 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / Advice / So my GM hates evil characters. All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.