Can I have some examples of successful evil characters?


Advice

51 to 100 of 109 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | next > last >>

snejjj wrote:
haremlord wrote:


Just FYI, Belkar is a ranger. He just ACTS roguish. :)
Oops, of course you're right. That's what I get, writing a post "real quick" on my mobile xD

Ranger/Barbarian. Horribly built at that but hey.

Broadhand wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
Scythia wrote:
specter_78 wrote:

When torture is not an option... Somebody's getting a BJ.

This week on "Sentences I never expected to read".
I was about to ask him what he meant, but then I decided that I might not want to know.

But what if they want the torture AND the BJ?

... Just sayin'.

Then they'd better cooperate!


Chengar Qordath wrote:
Really, I find that there's no issues with having an evil character in the party so long as there's a firm "no PvP" rule in place.

That's not necessarily enough on its own. Suppose one PC is a paladin, and another likes to commit acts of blatant murderous evil. Banning the paladin from doing anything about it doesn't solve the problem.


kestral287 wrote:
snejjj wrote:
haremlord wrote:


Just FYI, Belkar is a ranger. He just ACTS roguish. :)
Oops, of course you're right. That's what I get, writing a post "real quick" on my mobile xD

Ranger/Barbarian. Horribly built at that but hey.

I was not aware of the barbarian aspect, although it does make sense :)

Matthew Downie wrote:
Chengar Qordath wrote:
Really, I find that there's no issues with having an evil character in the party so long as there's a firm "no PvP" rule in place.
That's not necessarily enough on its own. Suppose one PC is a paladin, and another likes to commit acts of blatant murderous evil. Banning the paladin from doing anything about it doesn't solve the problem.

What about a shaking of the finger and a stern look?

"I look at the assassin over my glasses and slowly shake my head sadly, making sure he knows of my disapproval."


haremlord wrote:
kestral287 wrote:
snejjj wrote:
haremlord wrote:


Just FYI, Belkar is a ranger. He just ACTS roguish. :)
Oops, of course you're right. That's what I get, writing a post "real quick" on my mobile xD

Ranger/Barbarian. Horribly built at that but hey.

I was not aware of the barbarian aspect, although it does make sense :)

One level dip only I believe. It had a couple pages dedicated to it.

Contributor

Froth Maw wrote:
Just give your character a clearly defined motive for completing the campaign and play him as though he understands that hurting teammates will slow him down, whether it's because he needs them or because the following retaliation from the rest of the party will be cumbersome.

Yeah, I think that's really the key right there.

Given the option, I gravitate toward playing LE (what can I say? lawyer!), and it's never been a problem for group cohesion or mission discipline. My longest-running PC (LE elf wizard) played in a shared-world campaign that went for over a decade and ended up basically winning the game: she built up a coterie of allies and apprentices (all of them also evil) who ended up dominating the setting.

It's a cooperative game, so as long as a character contributes to party cohesion (or at least doesn't undermine it too much), you should be fine. In our campaign, the evil-dominated groups tended to be the most focused and efficient, because while my PC was perfectly happy to cooperate with reliable teammates, she had no qualms about curbstomping people who made bonehead mistakes or failed to pull their weight on the team. Everybody stayed on task or else. But she never went out of her way to antagonize PCs who were useful -- to the contrary, she spent a lot of time building up strategic alliances -- and I think that was probably a major contributing factor to her career longevity.

That character eventually retired when she got hitched to one of the campaign's BBEGs (in large part because she'd gotten to such a high level that there wasn't much left for her to do, PC-wise) and set up in an evil wizarding tower off-stage.

...and they lived happily ever after in a ruthless iron-fisted dystopia.


Tried to make it work twice lately failed both scenarios. I always followed the group and did my job, but the good characters kept antagonizing me.
Knowledge check- he is a follower of an evil deity lets kick him out of here.


I'm currently playing a witch that is chaotic neutral and allows me every evil desire I could want from an evil character other than having an imp familiar.
My parties paladin hates me but if I'm any judge of character I'm pretty sure the actual player get's almost as much amusment out of the back and forth as I do which is really important to me as a playing.
I'm a buffer/debuffer who misuses his smarts lording it over everyong but the wizard that I really do know best even if I don't.
I currently have a gingerbread house and am about to make something of a coven.

The only thing I see getting in the way of other peoples evil characcters is that they don't think one can be loyal. My witch (though not technically an example of an evil character) is fiercley loyal to many things. The party, the home town, their teacher etc. Be loyal, evil doesn't have to mean you're alone.

Scarab Sages

I modeled one after a number of my wife's clients. :) Plus some research of my own. Many violent criminals are just normal people, but f'd up with impulse control problems.

So my fighter did not think he was evil, he insisted he was a good guy, and selfless, and tried too hard to prove it and would go too far. His undiagnosed Impulse Control Disorder could result in beatings or killings of townsfolk, though he did not start the fights (even if all the other person did was look at a fellow PC funny, or mutter something at them; that still counted as the NPC starting the fight).

He was your basic murderhobo but instead of only killing monsters he would kill NPCs, which really is what made him what we would call evil for game purposes.

The problems in game I see are twofold:
1. players of evil characters think they have to screw everyone over
2. players of good characters think they have to harass and bully evil characters

And maybe just general immaturity or lack of knowledge of how things work in the world leading to one of those 2 conclusions.


I have a good one here.

To expand on it the party is level nine and myth tier four now, and due to recent events the hunter in the party is edging from N to NE. In all honesty the paladin is having a hard time arguing with the points she makes as they are all based on the fact that the organization they work for has treated them shabbily. He is still desperately trying to redeem them both, but times are dark right now.

Just to be clear all of the players are loving it and having great fun.


Matthew Downie wrote:
Chengar Qordath wrote:
Really, I find that there's no issues with having an evil character in the party so long as there's a firm "no PvP" rule in place.
That's not necessarily enough on its own. Suppose one PC is a paladin, and another likes to commit acts of blatant murderous evil. Banning the paladin from doing anything about it doesn't solve the problem.

Fair point, I tend to assume that a "no PVP rule" also includes a "no abusing the no PVP rule" clause. Things like the rogue stealing all of a fighter's money, then hiding behind the no PVP rule when the fighter tries to take it back by force are just as bad.

Granted, I also assume there's a general "Don't be a jerk" rule that applies to all characters at all tables, regardless of the alignments at play.


LE is certainly one way to do it, but I also enjoy a hedonistic CE- somebody who enjoys their worldly pleasures, and may have decided that somebody else in the party should be one of them. It gives them a good excuse to play nicely with the party, especially when that special someone asks.

Dark Archive

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I most definitely believe evil can be done well, even in very good-aligned parties. I can say this with significant experience being the "token evil" member of many "heroic" parties, and in such instances it does a player well to remember that PCs are the protagonists of the story, not the antagonists, and thus, when playing a PC they should be played as a protagonist, irrespective of their aligenment. I believe a lot of the issues people have with evil PCs stem from people playing them as antagonists rather then protagonists...I.E. they are playing the villain, not the hero. When playing an evil character as an antagonist rather then a protagonist you tend to get the backstabbing, staling from the party etc.. that people find problematic because your doing just what your roll says you do...antagonize the protagonists and act as their enemy.

However, as a PC, the last thing you should be is an antagonist. Antagonists are the realm of the DM. If your out to "play the villain" perhaps try your hand at DMing...you may find it's just what you've been looking to do the whole time. However, if your playing an evil character, who is a PC, then the best way to make them work is realize that, despite being evil, they are, in fact, a hero in this collaborative story your writing...they are one of the protagonists.

Now, being a "hero" dose not mean they are required to have a shread of benevolence or a selfless/heroic/aulteristic goal that they pursue with evil means.(Though such evil characters can be very fun none the less.) You could totally be greedy, egotistical, and selfish to the core, out only for selfish gain, and still be a protagonist in a story. Your goals don't have to be good, despite what others will say. What you do need to have, however, is the capacity to work with others and a reason to be connected to the rest of the party and not to betray them when the baddie inevitably offers you power.

For some people, this means making their characters "evil with standards." LE types who, while evil, have either a degree of honor , deep loyalty to the kingdom/power the party is protecting or a personal code of rules/standards they follow(I.E. only murdering those who deserve it alla Dexter Morgan, or not harming certain groups such as children etc..).However, this is not the only route. If you want to play a totally selfish type that still works with the party it's full possible. One way is to play the "avenger" type of character. This person could care less about the common good, the plight of the pesants or "bull****"(as they would put it) like that. However, they really, really, really want the villain the party is after dead...and they want their hands to at least help do the deed. They will use any means to get what they want done, but they will have a degree of loyalty to the party. After all...they can't have their revenge being a one man show, the villain is too strong for that...and these doo-gooders are the only people with the guts to stand up to him, so why harm your only chance at defeating your hated enemy? This kind of character will be so staunchly against the enemy the party is facing that any attempt by the villain to temp them will be met with vitriol, and they are not likely to branch off on their own and backstab the party since they know their enemy well and realize that it will take allies to achieve their goal, and these "heroes" are their best shot. This kind of character is likely NE, since they would be more then willing to commit crimes if it achieved their end of vengeance, but do not hold any disdain for the laws of the land either.

What if you want to make a more classicly power-hungry, selfish SOB rather then a bitter revenge-seeker? Well, that can be done too! There are plenty of ways, I am sure, but I find what works best for me is making this an evil character who is extremely genra-savy. He may be a vile necromancer, cleric of an evil god or other "typical evil character" who's goal is very much "I want wordly power, and will achieve it by any means nessicary!" However, he/she is no fool. He/she knows how things work in worlds like his. A brutal tyrant may rule for a time, but such regimes always end in bloody rebellions that usually see the tyrant hanging by a nuse. A evil necromancer may try to assemble a kingdom conquering army, but as soon as the benevolent faiths of the world discover his plans he has gaggles of Clerics and Paladins knocking at his doorstep and chomping at the bit to turn all his undead friends to piles of dust.

So this megalomanic plays it smart. He realizes that big, bold evil deeds rarely win out..and knows the best path to power is subtly. So rather then be the villain, he decides to "play pretend" and be the "hero." He casts his die with the "winning team" in the hopes that by using the good reputation of being a "hero" he can acrew favor with nobility, wizarding academies, merchant's guilds and other social institutions that he has aided and helped protect. By gaining such favor, and a good reputation, he can secure power in society, possibly become nobility himself if he is not already of noble blood, by leveraging those things. He can twist and warp and pervert the laws of the civilized lands to his advantage and hide all his abuses and power-grabs under the reputation of the shining hero, who helped save the kingdom, and by taking prudent steps to assure nobody can trace those illicit activities to him. So he doesn't betray his comrades at the drop of a hat, in fact, he doesn't betray them period. He has a reputation and facade to uphold. He is deeply concerned with his mask, and likely wants his companions to believe he isn't actually evil at all. This kind of character would likely be LE, but could possibly be played as NE if his shadow grabs for power where of a more...criminal...nature.

These are just some of the MANY ways you can make an evil character work with a netural or even good-aligned party. There are plenty more out there if you think hard enough. The important things to remember are not to be a jerk to your party members and play your character as a protagonist, not an antagonist. If you can do those two things with an evil character, your golden. :)

And to cite my experience I have played nothing but evil PCs my entire gaming carrier. That's right, I have never played a PC who has been good-aligned or even neutral. Every...single...one...has been some form of evil, and has never once gotten a group to get mad at me. I even have played FOUR campaigns in which my evil characters successfully co-existed with the party's Paladin...never once giving them a reason to detect evil on them. So if you need more...specific...advice on how to properly RP an evil character in a non-evil, feel free to hit me up with PMs.


While I have yet to use this idea, it's something that I've been kicking around in my head for quite some time and would eventually like to try out and hinges on something I read a while back that I really wish I could find again.

Essentially, the book proposed that you didn't actually have to do evil things in order to have an evil alignment, or at the very least that someone could be evil and still be a fairly nice, upstanding person. I don't remember what else the passage talked about, but that part stuck with me and lead me to what I think might be a way for this kind of character to work:

A character that is totally okay with slavery (or "indentured servitude", depending on how defensive the person might be), or whose family work as slavers or in human trafficing. They're a nice, respectful person, keeps himself out of trouble, doesn't have any desire to steal or kill innocent people... though isn't too fond of people asking for donations, or thinks the "surplus population" might be more useful in slavery instead of dieing of diseases on the streets and smelling like everything wrong.

It's probably not enough that it might cause an issue, but enough that you still earn the Evil alignment.

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I agree there. Not every -evil- person is the grand megalomanic trying to take over the world. There is plenty of people who are seemingly normal individuals but ping as evil due to being a tad too egocentric or selfish to qualify as anything else. A pompous celebrity type(famous athlete or renown bard) who may never entertain thoughts of criminality or murder can still ping as "evil" because they are selfish and arrogant in the extreme. They may not be a socio/psychopath out to murder or a megalomanic with dreams of global domination but they think only of themselves, treat their fans like dirt and could care less about the people suffering from poverty, war etc...These, while not major moral crimes, are big enough to make them ping as evil.

Likewise take the example of a typical noble. They may be nice to people on the same social level as them, have plenty of friends, and never once consider doing a heinous act of evil such as murder, rape, etc... Yet, they are still going to ping as "evil" if they have no concern about the fact that the peasantry live in abject poverty while they feast behind the walls of the palace, have disdain for the commoners and/or treat them as lesser...I.E. most nobility out there. In fact, I'd argue that the majority of nobility, even in non-evil or good-aligned kingdoms, would ping as evil because of the kind of mindsets and outlooks most "typical" nobles tend to have.

You can totally be evil without being a socio/psychopath or megalomanic. While all socio/psychopaths and megalomanics are evil, not all evil people are socio/psychopaths or megalomaniacs. This is an important thing to keep in mind when crafting an evil PC or even evil NPCs, for that matter. Evil is all about a depraved indifference to the suffering of others, and while that can constitute things like murder, rape etc.. it can also constitute things like having little-no concern for the plight of the poor or being apathetic and/or self-absorbed in the extreme.


There's a lot of interesting examples here! Good advice too. Thanks for sharing, folks.


One of my most successful evil characters was an aasimar cleric of Asmodeus I played all the way through Shattered Star. What helped was:

1) She was fiercely loyal to the Pathfinders, who had helped her get out of a very bad situation, giving her motivation not to betray them and perform tasks as assigned. (She actually thought of one of the Pathfinder-associated NPCs as more her mother than her real mother ... although that got interesting at the end, as you'll see.)

2) She got along well with her fellow PCs, who were pretty much neutralish types. She eventually started dating the tiefling alchemist. (And why would she betray them? Not only did she like them, they were the front line soaking up the damage she would have taken otherwise!)

3) The faith of Asmodeus in particular is VERY strict about the Lawful part of Lawful Evil. You are supposed to obey the laws of the land you are in. So, no random murder or selling people into slavery unless she was in a place where that was legal - and she wasn't.

The evilness caused some interesting events towards the end of the Adventure Path. She'd spent a decent chunk of the game trying to figure out a legal way to kill her (hated, horrible) real parents. When she finally did, along with a crowd of other people (and was perfectly within her legal rights to do so), the woman she considered her "adoptive mother" was HORRIFIED and they basically never spoke again. My character was very hurt, especially as she'd been protecting that same NPC by immolating that crowd!

My character choice also had the interesting result that Magnimar was at one point saved directly by the intervention of Asmodeus (can't reveal more without possible spoilers).

Fun times.


6 people marked this as a favorite.

If all else fails, just mimic a popular evil character who isn't a prick and play them.

Like Xanatos, you can never go wrong trying to emulate David Xanatos.

Sovereign Court

Evil PCs work just fine when there's mature players. I mean emotionally mature, not just chronologically...

Another deceptively simple thing that makes Evil PCs far more usable in campaigns is a simple rule being enforced by the GM: You must be a team player.

No, being evil still doesn't give you the right to hinder the party's goals.

No, being evil still doesn't give you the right to betray your fellow teammates.

No, being evil still doesn't give you the right to sabotage the party or other players.

If you can't reconcile being evil with being a team player and even liking your teammates, then I say you're not ready to handle playing evil.


My only actual evil character I played was a LE bard. We was part of a adventuring guild and would do anything to get the job done or get jobs. One of the contracts the guild got was the module "hangman's noose" and went on ahead to scout and get things ready for the group because the party was fresh recruits and this job was to test them. The bard had bribed guards if they saw a certain group to direct them to a certain inn.
If I knew how to do spoilers I would say but if u are familiar with bang and noose, then yeah....u know where he was at.
When they were done, the new recruits were angry but the bard congratulated them for finishing the job and that when they got back to the guild hall and signed the necessary paperwork, they would be full fledged members. When asked about if they had died or whatnot, he simply stated that their lives were really unimportant and that finishing the job was everything.

Basically was using the guild to build his power and influence but was also actively helping and not betraying because of the contract he signed. Was part of the founding commitee and so had a place of power but no more or less than the other council members. So helping the guild while furthering his bid for power without betraying the guild he helped found.


CommandoDude wrote:

If all else fails, just mimic a popular evil character who isn't a prick and play them.

Like Xanatos, you can never go wrong trying to emulate David Xanatos.

Correction, you can never go wrong trying to emulate David Xanatos so long as you have the wits (or writers) of David Xanatos. Otherwise you can go very wrong.


im noticing a pattern in that many of the players/posters here went with Asmodeous as their example.


I will say this. Yes I have seen a few successful evil characters. Some being chaotic evil even. Usually this is the case of the character is so well built and has trends of terrorizing even the party. Case and point, CE barbarian actually waltz through the paladin guards of a minor city because they decided to try and take his vampiric long sword. The only thing keeping him from killing the party was the threat of what in essence was a magical autoinjector of the strongest paralytic poison the party could get their hands on.


Renegadeshepherd wrote:
im noticing a pattern in that many of the players/posters here went with Asmodeous as their example.

LE is the easiest way to fit evil into a non-evil party, and Asmodeous is the most prominent LE god.

Pair that with the fact that he's worked with the good gods before and you get the feeling he's not likely to strike down his Cleric for hanging out with a Paladin. But mostly it's the first one: LE is the easiest kind of E to run successfully. And, I think, for many people the most interesting one.

Being evil and anti-authority is easy. Being evil and really nothing else is just kind of bland. But being evil, while still following a code of some kind? Well that can get fun. Your Mileage May Vary of course but it seems that's how many people read it.


Knowledge is power.
Power corrupts.
Study hard; be evil.


Infernal Contract Broker wrote:

Knowledge is power.

Power corrupts.
Study hard; be evil.

The power of a god over their domain is absolute.

Absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Therefore all gods are evil.


Scythia wrote:
CommandoDude wrote:

If all else fails, just mimic a popular evil character who isn't a prick and play them.

Like Xanatos, you can never go wrong trying to emulate David Xanatos.

Correction, you can never go wrong trying to emulate David Xanatos so long as you have the wits (or writers) of David Xanatos. Otherwise you can go very wrong.

David Xanatos already knew he'd be a role model for young kids everywhere, so he wrote 'How to Emulate David Xanatos for Dummies' ahead of time just for these circumstances.

Quote:

The power of a god over their domain is absolute.

Absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Therefore all gods are evil.

Asmodeus approves.


I played an evil rogue. He was raised as a carnie, and eventually kidnapped and sold into slavery. In his backstory, he helped orchestrate an escape, along with one of his fellow gladiators. The gladiator in question was one of the other PCs. So, despite being evil, he was intensely loyal to one of the other party members, at least as far as such a sentiment went with him. He was bold, clever, and liked to avoid trouble with authority.

But he was evil. If a possible solution to a problem was, "Kill all witnesses," he had no problems with putting that motion on the table for debate. He robbed people, which sometimes involved killing them first, or immediately after. He considered genocide to be in poor taste, but if the pay was right, hey, a rogue's gotta eat.

For me, it was a lark. Since most of his really evil ideas would get shot down by other party members, I mostly played it for dark humor. There is a stereotype that evil characters are disruptive, but what actually ended up happening was one of the other PCs, a rogue spy type in her own right, tried to vamp him in order to gain access to a key he had acquired. Later on, that character got paralyzed by a magical trap, so it became a bit of joke later on that my character was frequently used as a lookout, but he couldn't be left alone with his rival rogue or he would try to lead her catatonic body into "accidents." At one point, he got caught, and the party cleric pulled a weapon on him. The cleric called to have him executed on the spot...

... but the party wizard countered with a threat, pointing out that with the other rogue out of commission, my PC was too valuable to kill. So the cleric gave my PC the "I'll deal with you later," routine.

Good times.


You need a pretty strong premise to tie an evil party together. As Dragonlance points out, evil feeds on itself. Way of the Wicked addresses this rather well, albeit in a somewhat railroad-y fashion (but with good cause). Players need to accept the railroading a bit for it to work.

However the fact is that because railroading is required is suggestive that an evil party cannot work without it..


I once played an lawful evil guy in a good party.
My pc has seen the party as his true friends he did not want to cheat or seen hurt. When dealing with them he did not act evil, but if the party met problems he sometimes took care of the problem in his own way.

Or if the party met a moral dilemma he used his bluff skills to convince them that there really is no dilemma because of "subterfuge".

Example:
Party took a prisoner to get info but we did not know what to do with him after getting the answers. At night during my PC's watch the prisoner "tried to flee and died in the attempt" so we did not have to bother with him.

A second evil pc I played was in a more neutral group of would be pirates. I played an evil cleric with a god who liked human sacrifices.
Upon joining the group my PC made a vow to never sacrifice party members but was very clear about whom he considered a party member and whom not. There was a pair of NPCs, for example, a woman and her brother. My pc clearly stated that he accepts her as a party member but not her brother whom he disliked.


Grokk_Bloodfist wrote:


However the fact is that because railroading is required is suggestive that an evil party cannot work without it..

I understand the point of view but I humbly submit that it can work without a railroad. As a module it's very hard and almost certainly needed; but a good group of players with a knack for story telling can do it. The effort involved is great and may not appeal to those who would set it up though.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Well, much like Paladins are maligned for being Lawful Stupid for playing "if you do anything not 100% in line with the law and my code, I will smite you for it!", many people who play Evil characters have no freaking clue how to play evil characters.

Evil, even Chaotic Evil, does not mean you murder random people for no reason, it doesn't mean you steal from your party, or anything else like that. That isn't being Evil, thats just being a dick.

At it's base level, being Good means you help others at your own expense, being Neutral means you help your own, and being Evil means you help yourself at the expense of others.

The fish monger in the market that uses weighted scales to cheat people out of a few coppers can actually be Evil in alignment, because he is knowingly cheating everyone he can out of their money without regard as to what a few copper could mean to a poor person just trying to eat.

Being Evil also does not mean you turn on your own, it just means you put your own good above theirs, but you still understand that the people that are helping to support you are important to your well being, and you would work to make sure they stay in good standing so that they can keep you in good standing.

And Evil people can do Good things, you can have Evil people that are seen as pillars of Good in their communities for all the good they do, only they are doing it for selfish reasons. The corrupt church leader that feeds the hungry, shelters the poor, and gives stirring sermons can be Evil, simply because he's gotten that position for his own desire for power, the need to be lauded with praise and attention, and skimming a bit from the offering plate to line his own pockets.

There is a line between being Evil, and being Stupid. Just because most people who play an Evil character can't see the line doesn't mean it isn't there.

---

Oh, and if you want a good example of an Evil character in a Good aligned group, go read the Coldfire Trilogy by C.S. Friedman.

Sovereign Court

It depends on what you mean as "successful" - successful as in the character itself is fun? Successful as in the whole table has fun?

You can have an evil character in a party, but you generally have to set some ground rules first.

examples:

Years ago I played in a campaign where one player was evil, but all the players had "secret" agendas. There was a fair amount of note passing back and forth between the GMs and occasionally between the players. We did have to make clear rules that what happens in-game doesn't reflect at all the dynamics of friendships out-of-game, and we all trusted each other to not bring out-of-character information to our characters. It turned out one of the characters was evil, and it actually turned out well for us: at one point the party had to cross a lake of fire and the only way to do that was in a boat soaked in evil blood. We ended up subduing the evil PC, and slicing him open and healing him until we had enough blood to coat the boat.

I played in a Star Wars RPG back in college set in the "dark days" of the Empire shortly before the events of Star Wars where the party were all deep space scouts for the Empire. Morals were questionable and there were some evil acts, but working for the same organization kept the PCs in line. I would think this could work well for Pathfinder, where you could have any alignment, but the players answer to a higher power that WILL hold them accountable if they get too far out of line.


Ive seen more evil character broken by obstinate teammates than I've seen evil characters broken by their own extreme behavior.

Example:
In a campaign i'm part off one of the players had just started raising dead minions.
The neutral evil shaman starts his reign as future necromantic overlord by raising the extra-boss blarghest we killed in RoTRL 2-1 as a skeleton. Then confronts a local alchemist npc for a disguise.
The alchemist rejects and demands a bribe to stay silent, a fight breaks out that ends with the player running away.
After the alchemist gets the authorities involved. The town guard start looking for the necromancer and ask the players to hunt down their wayward ally.

My team was all but determined to find and split in two our necromancer ally, if perhaps not for my gullible chaotic good fighter's opinion that the necromancer never harmed anyone and that the necromancer's word was worth more then some shady alchemist's word. So far the only remotely evil act of this "necromancer" was to raise one (just one) skeleton, a skeleton that will then be used to aid the team in battle. The skeleton isn't even humanoid.

Thankfully the team decided not to lynch their teammate and we made the town guard concede his fate to us, under the agreement that he would be "our problem".

.
In other words, the evil character does one evil act and gets caught, and the rest of the players call out "OOOH U B IN TROUBLE NOW!" and use the in game blunder as a ruse to lynch the evil player, no matter how important or useful he has been in past adventures.
Of course, had I been a playing a less happy-go-lucky-live-and-let-live character I might have not defended the necromancer, but I think players are in general a bit too ready to get their co-players in trouble for their character choices, especially evil ones.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

I've got three really good experiences with evil PCs. These are spread across several decades of gaming, so they are not all Pathfinder but these sorts of issues transcend systems anyway.

Once I played an assassin, the actual PrC that requires you to be evil. In this group we were all playing magistrates responsible for upholding law and order in a city. It was fun investigating murders that I had committed. My main way to get along with the rest of the group was to be useful - I was very good at identifying people who were bad for the city, removing them, and framing another bad influence to take the fall. The city had a fairly corrupt justice system that I used to advantage as well. The other PCs I also spied on various factions and submitted forged reports on behalf of my fellow party members - we had one player that never did figure out why her character kept getting commendations for things she didn't remember doing.

One time a group I was in decided to play an all evil party. We made the decision that we were all childhood friends so we were loyal to each other. We just went in with a very "us vs. them" mentality and it seemed to work pretty well.

The last example is a LARP character I've played for over 15 years now in a fantasy LARP. My friends and I decided to play an evil group, mostly because the "good" characters at the site we frequented at the start were very lawful stupid and we didn't want to be that. This character has ended up being played with ruthless pragmatism. I don't take risks just for moral reasons - if the monster will destroy the town unless we feed it babies, well, we can replace babies. Sure we can try to kill the monster but let's also have the baby plan ready to go if we need it. Noble kidnapped by slavers? Let's just buy him back. I don't betray people, steal things, or murder, so I tend to be well liked and get along with people. It's just that no plan is beyond consideration - not evil for evil's sake, just the ends justify the means. Sacrificing 50 lives to save 51 is an okay outcome.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I think its important to differentiate characters that are "evil" from character who "Want to destroy the universe". What exactly makes a character Evil?

In my opinion a person who constantly lies to get ahead in life might be evil. Even evil people have standards though, an evil character might lie about unimportant things to his teammates, but he wouldn't always try to get an uneven split of the loot or maliciously get their teammates in trouble. Evil people need friends and people who they can trust just as much as good people do.

I know an evil player character who rarely lies to other players and rarely to important NPC's but he constantly deceives other characters. One time he faced a BBEG alone, when he realized he could not fight it alone he pledged allegiance to it rather then run away, led it to the other players and stabbed it in the back during the battle (and no this was not another example of BBEG stupidity but a very specific in-game circumstance that ensured the BBEG trusted the evil player that time).

I've played an evil character myself who yearned to become a hero, bu saw no fault in using whatever evil means necessary, the character would wind up saving villages from danger via horrific means that the villagers never found out about.


I'm playing a LE character right now. It's not difficult to get along with the other characters. The "lawful" part gives you plenty of opportunities to avoid playing a backstabber.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Played a Lawful Evil Warlock in a 3.5 game set in Forgotten Realms. I joined a good aligned group of adventurers after they went looking for an arcane type to replace a lost wizard.

The character was a Warlock from Rashemen (basically a country of pseudo russian barbarians) but hated the rulership of the witches who really ran the country and did not want to be relegated to magic item creations like any other man with Arcane ability in the country was.

He was built like a barbarian warrior, being 6' 2" and even carried around a greatsword but wore light armor and primarily relied on his 'spells' in combat. Since Warlocks were so rare in the world he was mostly able to pass of himself as a 'sorcerer using a different style of magic'.

He was out to make as much wealth and power for himself as he could and joining the group seemed to be a good start. Thei reputation as powerful adventurers was pretty well established and their gear SCREAMED wealthy during the interview they put him through.

So he used his huge charisma and charm skills to secure a place in the group and vowed to never betray them as long as they never betrayed him. No one new he was evil until one of the players overheard me and the GM talking in another room and then had her cleric use a know alignment spell on me from a second story window as I was walking away and found out (GM would not let me have a ring of non detection at that point in the game).

The group was composed of a female Dwarf fighter (NG), Male Dwarf cleric of Moradin (LG), female Half Elf cleric of Fenmaril (CG),and a male halfling rogue (CN).

I got along with all of them except the half elf cleric who used the 'know alignment' on me but she was pressured into accepting me by the rest since I never, EVER did anything blatantly evil in their presence, regularly risked my life to help the group and always backed them on anything they did. Made them a lot of magic items at cost too and time and again proved my trustworthiness to them.

Eventually the cleric stopped actively distrusting me but she never, ever forgot that her spell read Lawful Evil on me.

Now mind you I did blatantly evil things, just never anything they ever witnessed, that they learned of or that could lead back to me. And I was honest in my loyalty to the group since they mowed down every enemy we ever faced and made me rich. No reason to ever betray that kind of firepower. Especially if they liked you. Loyal dangerous friends of righteous demeanor helps buy you a ton of credibility in good society as well.

There was ONE time the female dwarf fighter, though, realized something was up when I was interrogating a drow assassin we had captured and she lost her lunch after I went to work with my 'Interrogation Kit'. She decided to simply be elsewhere and no one asked questions when I brought them back the information we needed and told them that the Assassin had been killed 'trying to escape'.

That character was something of a lothario and ended up with almost a dozen bastards scattered across the world, but one ended up being the heir to a kingdom. After having seperated from the party (they had all gotten to very high level and 'settled down') the child, his mother the Queen and her retinue went missing while touring neighboring counties so the ruling council (which the dwarf cleric he used to adventure with was now on) hired him with others to go find out what happened. (Got to love witless nepotism).

He managed to get leadership of the investigative team, find the queen, their son and the queen's missing retinue, slay the captors and kill EVERYONE but his infant son while the team was occupied with other missions he sent them on.

He then returned to the ruling council and announced that the heir was safe but that the queen and her entourage had died at the hands of their captors. The queen particulary had been destroyed by hellfire and was not recovereable (which he did himself).

Then he revealed his paternity, proved it with Blood Biography, sued for his right to raise his son and to be his guardian until he was of legal age to assume the throne. And of course as his father he would be steward of the country until that happened.

That is where we are now, roughly.

Side notes are, unknown to anyone, he is also a high ticket assassin on the side but uses illusions, polymorph, mundane disguise/clothing and non detection/mind blank so no one ever knows it is him.

Publically, due to his unique talents in the creation of magical items as a 'Sorcerer' he sells his services as a spell researcher (scribe scroll and Imbue item lets him make any spell possible IF it is possible) and provides mystical 'insurance policies' for the wealthy via Imbue Item and Conditional Spell that allow them emergency greater teleports to pre determined locations or Heal spells that automagically are used on themselves if their physical conditions are rendered unconscious or near death through violence and such.

The insurance policies all have a clause that they do not work if HE is the threat they are facing. Not that any of them know of that back door clause.

As a Lawful Evil he views normal societies as great ways to live and prosper. He just knows that he can use certain tactics and shortcuts to advance himself and his allies that most would find reprehensible, distasteful or even sickening so he does not let them know he does that WHEN he does that.

Society at large knows of him as the handsome, brave, charming, successful former adventurer, philanthropist, arcanist of some kind, hero who saved the heir to the throne and man who is possibly their future regent.

Maximised Diplomacy and UMD combined with a massive Charisma and Profession: Lawyer has doen wonders for his legal claims to the position he is gunning for.

Does not hurt that a lot of his rivals keep having scandals in their past made public by inquisitors and bards uncovering 'evil and corruption'...

A smart and succesful LE character in a good society can go very far. Just be fair and generous to your allies, inspire them to genuinely be loyal to you and be loyal to them until it is blatantly clear that they are of no more use or are totally outclassed by others. Then manuever their downfalls and/or deaths and use the new power group to your advantage.

But if you make your adventuring buddies succeful enough, you can keep them for long, long time.


Renegadeshepherd wrote:
Grokk_Bloodfist wrote:


However the fact is that because railroading is required is suggestive that an evil party cannot work without it..

I understand the point of view but I humbly submit that it can work without a railroad. As a module it's very hard and almost certainly needed; but a good group of players with a knack for story telling can do it. The effort involved is great and may not appeal to those who would set it up though.

I would counter that your players aren't playing true to their alignment then if treachery never a factor. They might be more quasi evil rather than real evil. :)

I've played in a number of evil campaigns in a number of RPGs now. In my experience (coming up to three decades of gaming now with a number of different groups) I'm going to say that in my experience, evil players will always screw each other over. It may not result in PC murder but it will happen over a long enough timeline. Oh and just because the players aren't aware they are being screwed doesn't mean it isn't happening either. ;)

YMMV however.


Batman. Highly successful and clearly lawful evil.

*G*


I've been DM in a few games where some people have played Evil characters, and only once did someone play it as a Stupid Evil. He died quite quickly for doing so. Usually the key to playing an Evil character well is co-operation with the rest of the party, even if it is reluctant or sometimes a bit strained. We also generally try to avoid mixing Good and Evil in the same party, so no Paladin and Anti-Paladin in the same group. While I was a player in the same group, we had a True Neutral Wizard, a Lawful Neutral Cleric of Zon-Kuthon, a Chaotic Evil Cleric / Fighter of Talos and a Chaotic Neutral Barbarian in the same group, and our interests didn't conflict enough to cause anyone trouble.


I played an Neutral Good Kobold Master Chymist who had repressed his Kobold side which manifested itself when he used the Mutagen and became Lawful Evil. Basically as Lawful Evil I had the character doing things that he believed would help his alter ego become the true Kobold champion he knew he could be. So when he opened a chest and found a +1 mithril chain shirt someone else also needed and an extreme amount of gold he put on the chain shirt and then gave the money to the group. To him the shirt was valuable sharing the gold just meant he could make sure the others could afford the resources to protect his frail alter ego. It was an interesting character and one of the reasons I enjoy the master Chymist prestige class so much.

Grand Lodge

Our last 3.5 campaign had three successful evil characters. They were a CE tiefling fighter/tactical soldier, a CE incubus warlock, and NE drow wizard. It was incredible. The wizard was the tactician that told everyone what to do, and always had the best spells memorized, the warlock was a teleporation specialist and would position the PCs in the perfect position for where they'd do the most damage, and the fighter would beat the snot out of anything that it was told to take out. It was incredible. The rest of us just sat back and let them do their thing unless they actually needed us to chime in.

As for the campaign we were in, it was just a bunch of random adventures from the Dungeon magazines until we got to a high enough level that we did a 3.5 conversion of City of the Spider Queen. Then it got interesting for the rest of the campaign.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

The problem with "evil" characters is that people misunderstand the term. When people think "evil" they think, typically, of "things I would never want to happen." Thus you get the guy who kicks puppies and burns churches because, "I'm just CE guys!"

In reality, the kicking puppies and murdering NPCs in the street thing is NOT EVIL, it's JUST PSYCHOTIC.

A great example of evil-done-right is in the Dragonlance novels, with Raistlin Majere. He is clearly evil, and even openly admits to it. However, he knows that he needs others. He doesn't murder the town guard, because he knows there will be consequences. He doesn't steal from his party, because he needs them when the next orc raid happens. This is something that ALL characters will know, even the chaotic ones.

Tell me, does the chaotic good player just randomly burn a forest because he sees a single evil creature in it? No? Then why should a chaotic evil player just randomly burn a town? Evil does not mean "Jerk", and "Chaotic" does not mean "Selfish" or "No Impulse Control".

Although these things could certainly be included in those characters, a LG character can be just as much of a jerk as a CE one, and a CG character can be just as selfish and impatient as a LE one.

TL;DR
It's not Evil that DMs ban at the table - it's Psychotic.


Takhisis wrote:
I agree there. Not every -evil- person is the grand megalomanic trying to take over the world. There is plenty of people who are seemingly normal individuals but ping as evil due to being a tad too egocentric or selfish to qualify as anything else.

Preach it! I absolutely agree.

As a GM, I routinely have evil-aligned characters in my groups (whether the system played is one that uses actual alignments or not is less important ... characters are evil-aligned through their actions first and foremost) and it has only been a problem -once-, and that was primarily because one player couldn't cope with it. The situation that caused problems was that one player cheated the others out of a -lot- of money every time payment was received for anything. As the game progressed, it became increasingly obvious that he had gear that was far more expensive than what others could afford, and one player took umbrage and demanded that I, as the GM, stopped it. I told him it wasn't my job, and that if his character felt there was reason to deal with it in character, he should.

Since that player was an ardent opponent of PvP for any reason whatsoever, it just festered and became worse and worse.

In that situation, I blame the player who wouldn't act in accordance with what his character could see was staring him in the face. Not the evil character.

However, I've had selfish, murderous bastards be part of good-aligned groups without problems on many occasions.

The three main reasons are pretty simple, but often completely overlooked and totally misunderstood:

1) Evil characters are perfectly capable of forming lasting, serious relationships with others, including romance and friendship. These relationships may very well have a slightly different angle for -them- than they do for a good-aligned character (their motives behind forming these relationships may be more selfish although they need not be every time), but they are there nonetheless.

2) Evil characters don't have their brains surgically removed when becoming evil, and are thusly (usually, if their stats permit it) easily able to understand that taking a big, fat, 50 pound dump in the nest they sleep in is a very, very bad idea. Don't bite the hand that feeds you, and all that.

3) Evil characters are not obliged to walk around constantly plotting and scheming to commit their next evil deed, while twirling their Dick Dastardly mustache and practicing their evil laugh. An evil character is quite capable of the occasional good deed, without suddenly changing alignment. One of my own characters, a Neutral Evil Gunslinger in a Way of the Wicked campaign, for example, saved a thief from being dismembered for stealing half a loaf of bread, simply because she saw the look of hunger on the kids face and was reminded of how that felt when she was a child. Thusly, the motivation was ego-driven, but the end result was still a decent, humane act.

It's easily possible to create an evil character that works perfectly well within any group, and the notion that evil aligned characters will, by default, be disruptive or destructive to group cohesion is absurd. For example, an evil aligned character helping good aligned team-mates stop a great, horrible evil from taking over the world and imposing doom, gloom & utter misery on everyone, may do so simply because he does not want the world to burn, because hey ... it's -his- playground and he doesn't accept someone else preventing him from having fun on -his- own terms.

Ego-driven motivation, but the net result is still an act of decency.

Another may be that an evil aligned character belongs to a specific religion, whereas the great, nasty BigBad belongs to a rival group. Not every evil deity and every follower of every evil deity marches in lockstep. So the player may want to stop the BigBad from taking over the world, because he doesn't want the opposing religion to hold prominence over his own.

Again, ego-driven motivation, but the net result is to help stop something horrible from happening.

I never tell players in my groups that evil-aligned characters are banned. What I tell them is that -disruptive- characters are banned. I want people to create characters that can AND WILL work with others, so that everyone may have fun. The interparty friction and tension that an evil character produces is simply going to add to good roleplaying, and possibly even lead to unconventional methods of solving problematic situations, or even great sideplots.

Evil aligned characters are -not- destructive by definition, and good aligned characters can -easily- be as disruptive as evil aligned ones have an undeserved reputation for being. A good-aligned cleric or a paladin can be some of the most disruptive influences in a party -ever-, with their "my creed tells me we -have- to take this particular course of action" when everyone else in the group knows that it is both foolhardy and guaranteed to result in disaster. That sort of thing forces the will of one character onto the entire group just as badly as an evil aligned character using mind control on all his good-aligned team-mates to force them to commit evil acts, and is just as disruptive.

Dark Archive

Otherwhere wrote:

They can be a blast to play, but they seldom work out well for a long term campaign as treachery takes a toll on your fellow players.

I played an Anti-paladin who was great fun! We were doing a dungeon delve, and discovered some brigand's hideout and had figured out some of their traps. One trap was a poison gas triggered by a button on a throne chair. We had been captured and tied up. My anti-p was tied up on the throne, so I figured: "I'm chaotic evil. I have good saves. So...!" I pressed the button. I made my save, and one of my fellow players, but not the other two nor any of the npc's. We escaped, but as we were climbing out, I went first, he handed up the treasure - and then I cut the rope. As I rolled the cover back over the escape, I shouted down: "Now there's no need to divvy up the treasure!"

Ahhhhh - fun times.

Of course, the next iteration of their characters all had it out for me - totally from a meta perspective. And we saw why evil groups tend to be a problem. "There's no loyalty among thieves." Especially if they are evil.

I so agree. Also allot of Gm's don't allow inner party conflicts, So it playing evil tends to be rougher.

Lets not mention how players value their characters these days.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

Just remember that being "evil" desn't mean not having feeling or affections. An evil character is perfectly capable of express love or friendship, if only for the simple egoistical fact that it makes them feel better or they find something funny ecc. ecc.

In short, just remeber that
Evil characters can still have friends.


I played a Neutral Evil Arcane Trickster (Wizard/Rogue) who survived three otherwise total party kills. He wasn't stupid about how his evil nature surfaced and he saw the benefits of being in a group with other powerful people, however he did tend to make sure he was always able to escape a situation (he had had to three times) - and for that the Arcane Trickster is brilliant. His character developed as a patient, cautious 'survivor' and he took a very dim view of people who took stupid risks.

Silver Crusade

The Human Diversion wrote:

I played in a Star Wars RPG back in college set in the "dark days" of the Empire shortly before the events of Star Wars where the party were all deep space scouts for the Empire. Morals were questionable and there were some evil acts, but working for the same organization kept the PCs in line. I would think this could work well for Pathfinder, where you could have any alignment, but the players answer to a higher power that WILL hold them accountable if they get too far out of line.

This works.

I ran an evil campaign waaaay back in AD&D 1e days. The party featured a number of Drow, and their sponsor was a Drow King. With a very powerful overlord giving the party goals, and spelling out in very definite terms the consequences of failure, PvP was restricted to competing for the favour of the Drow King and trying to get the best possible rewards for themselves. I think it also helped that no one party member ever got more powerful than the others.

This early campaign ended at around level 7 or 8, when all the main party members died in a dungeon, most of them perishing to "deadly sins". One of them consumed multiple potions simultaneously, and died to gluttony (the old "potion immiscibility table" struck!). Another two died to pride - don't charge the Great Death Druid! Two party henchmen survived to become notable NPCs in my campaign world.

I've also played an evil Druid in a 3.5 campaign. There was a fair bit of PvP, and it was not the most coherent campaign as a result. I think this was largely the result of one of the players though. When we sent his gnome cleric tank through a mirror portal to a room with no exit (we set it up that way) the level of PvP greatly diminished. The campaign lacked a leviathan overlord keeping the party in line.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Dekalinder wrote:

Just remember that being "evil" desn't mean not having feeling or affections. An evil character is perfectly capable of express love or friendship, if only for the simple egoistical fact that it makes them feel better or they find something funny ecc. ecc.

In short, just remeber that
Evil characters can still have friends.

This. People always seem to see "evil" and immediately assume "sociopathic douchebag". You can be evil and still be likable. You can be even be heroic.

My favorite evil character was a NE wizard. He had no moals whatsoever, though he found it distasteful if people harmed children, except in the pursuit of SCIENCE! (He was that kind of guy). He was still friends with the party and even later fell in love with the NG druid. He greatly admired her, because she was kind and cared about everyone, which was something he could never do. He liked that. He still thought she was a fool because of it, but that didn't change anything. He eventually did great deeds and fought a great number of foes as vile as he was, some for decidedly petty reasons. (To paraphrase: "You killed quite a number of people. Some of which I liked."
He was pleasant, funny, loyal and trustworthy to a fault and if you crossed him he would brutally torture you and everything you liked to death over a number of weeks.


Mino wrote:
He had no moals whatsoever,

I don't have any moals either, at least I don't think so. :P

We are playing WotW and everyone is evil. My character is a female white haired witch named Yaos.

One of the other PCs was hitting on her, and I said she was undecided as I wanted to think about playing a female PC [I am male] being bonked by a PC with a male player.

Then we finished a boat journey where we had been ordered to off the crew. We killed the captain then the rest surrendered and we disarmed them and tied them up. Then Yaos made blood eagles of them all, pulling the lungs out and placing them on the shoulders. This left Yaos rather excited so the other PC got laid, though he did get blood all over him.

In another scene, we sacrificed a woman to a wicked god by Yaos ripping her heart out and placing it on an altar. Then she kicked the other PCs except the one who was now her husband out and had sex on the naked corpse with the hole in the chest.

Evil, perhaps. Sexually unorthodox too, but who wants to be like everyone else.

51 to 100 of 109 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / Advice / Can I have some examples of successful evil characters? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.