Can I have some examples of successful evil characters?


Advice

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So, I've seen a few threads here and there where the topic of evil PCs come up. The general consensus seems to be "they can be done well, but it is understandable that a GM can forbid them." The common pitfalls with evil characters tend to be that they're disruptive at the table, whether they steal from other characters, randomly murder NPCs in the streets, or other such behaviors.

Now, to my main point: would those of you who HAVE played evil PCs in the past mind sharing them? What kind of campaign were they in, how did they avoid the common pitfalls associated with Evil characters, and how did the other players react to having such a character in the party?

I'm genuinely curious about this, since I've never really played with Evil characters, either as my own character or one of the other players'.


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Generally speaking, lawful evil characters can work out okay. Neutral evil and chaotic evil types are the ones that tend to get a little crazy and extreme.

Lawful evil characters surrounded by neutral and good characters will tend to keep their own advancement and power in mind, but wont do anything obvious or overtly evil unless there is a big benefit to it.

The first thing with evil characters is securing a rule against PVP for everyone, and also if anyone wants to make a religious based good character that probably just can't work well within the party....so someone should probably change their mind.


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I've got a pretty straightforward one that I rolled up once:

An evil knight.

The character wasn't all that complex mechanically. Lawful Evil fighter-type. This was back in 3.5. My character was working with the party because he happened to be taking orders from someone they were working for; note the connection he has with the party. That's important when making evil characters in a non-evil group. His whole goal was to serve his Duke, and he didn't give a single damn about the moral ramifications of doing that. He was loyal to the core.

(Note: the Duke was Lawful Neutral.)

This knight, therefore, was dedicated to protecting the other party members from harm. He had a decent diplomacy and intimidate, but his focus was on doing whatever was necessary to complete a given mission. Despite being "honorable," he had no qualms with spreading disease among an enemy camp, poisoning their water, etc. However, he was a smart man, and he was very cordial when dealing with prisoners... at least so long as it made sense to be cordial. After all, an enemy is more willing to surrender to what they perceive to be a merciful opponent.

This character never betrayed the party. He simply did his best to complete his missions, advised the use of despicable tactics (and sometimes used them without asking the party for advice) and did his best to advance in rank in service to the Duke. The party wound up killing him for being an evil bastard in the end, having suspected him of betraying them, when really he hadn't done a single thing to harm them. It was an interesting result, and when they realized he hadn't done anything to harm them they were pretty surprised and even unsure of themselves.

I feel that Lawful Evil is potentially the most fun sort of evil to play because you aren't necessarily a drooling moron looking for the next person to kill. Your character can be sadistic and cruel, but the character works within the rules (except when it's necessary to break them) and often can get along fine with the party... to a point.


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.


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I played a CE barbarian , that viewed his fellows as his tribe/family..and had pretty violent mood swings..and a terrifying temper..but so long as I had wine, women and loot, I was a fairly easy fellow to get along with.

But I did burn down a small town that drugged and took my friends prisoner..(I was at a brothel when they came for the rest...saved by lust :) )
He was more Chaotic than evil..but I did some pretty creative executions for stuff we delt with along the way.


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What I learned in school today from these posts so far is have a good relationship and reason for being with your party, and the alignment can work just fine.


I played an evil character in 2E (can't remember what flavor of evil, but I _think_ CE) who was a multi-classed wizard/cleric of the god of demons. Only one person in the group knew he was evil and what classes he was. Everyone else was convinced that I had decided to play a really ineffectual fighter as a role-playing challenge.

By the time everyone found out who my character really was I had seduced (and caused the fall) of the party NPC paladin, I had borrowed a sword from a PC that I was going to use as the murder weapon on said paladin to frame the PC, sacrificed 11 children in a small town to my god (I got a spiffy sword out of that too), and caused all of the players to stop automatically trusting people just because they were PCs :D (at least for a little while).

I'll never forget the look of shock on one of their faces when they found out. And they only found out because the DM, the other player who knew the truth, and myself were tired one night and decided to do some evil-bad stuff at the table instead of in another room or through notes, and they played out of character.

I would have gotten away with it too if it weren't for laziness!


oh, and as a side note, I've also played in games where everyone was evil. We actually played better as a team because we KNEW that trying to mess with each other could lead to in-character battle and death.

Compare that with the "good" groups I've been in where someone would provoke the party (2E) barbarian until he failed his wisdom check and raged and killed two people in the group.


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I played a Neutral Evil Ninja Gunslinger in an Evil campaign where ALL the players were evil with the unified goal of helping bring about the apocalypse. Unfortunately we had no unified goal directing us besides destroy everything so the game derailed after a short while.
The "God" Imposed a fatal penalty for PVP, paralysis for harming another character, and instant death effect death for killing. When the party was all evil and this was clearly laid out that PVP would not be allowed we had a decent time killing and setting up evil plots.

The trouble is when Evil is not unified in the group, and many players choose to play paladins because another player is evil, or play evil simply because another player is a paladin. These players give evil a bad name and tend to run their characters antagonistically (or defensively) towards their fellows, rather than in a coercive, cooperative manor.

Lawful and neutral tend to be manageable, but it is highly dependent on the group.

IMO;
Lawful evil means you follow a code of conduct, this code merely has no morals on actions taken to fulfill this goal. Wanton chaos and murder interferes with goals and codes and so is avoided, loyalty before ethics, goals before personal beliefs.

Neutral Evil is inwardly focused on personal goals, or the goals of their immediate group. They do not care about large scale consequences, and so only the immediate effects on them are of concern to them.

Chaotic Evil is wild, selfish, and likely anti establishment. Any attempts to control them, or impose direction on them, are actively, and often violently opposed. Strictly speaking, not a character that can be in any sort of group whatsoever, and thus not an alignment that can be played by players.

I have found this site to be a useful resource in explaining alignment dynamics => Alignments Explained


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Sure. This guy.

He's a Lawful Evil monk, so was all about going along to get along, using the letter of the law to advance his own goals, and keeping his promises...especially the loopholes!

Its really never the character that's disruptive, its the player. I'd be more apt to raise an eyebrow at Chaotic Neutral aligned characters, as that's been the "I'll do whatever I please and justify it with my alignment" card that I've seen played a lot recently. Whatever alignment that kind of player has on his sheet probably should be crossed off with "Chaotic Stupid" written in its place.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

My personal experience has been that it is the good characters that end up betraying the evil ones in my campaigns.

This series of pictures depicts one of our campaigns.

Evil characters done right can add a lot to a game, and I highly recommend playing one if you think you can pull it off. It's quite a balancing act, but think of the benefits! When that Demon casts Blasphemy you're immune!


Nezzmith wrote:
My personal experience has been that it is the good characters that end up betraying the evil ones in my campaigns.

Same here. As soon as they see "Evil" on the character sheet they get weird. Metagamers gonna metagame, I guess.


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Experiment 626 wrote:
Nezzmith wrote:
My personal experience has been that it is the good characters that end up betraying the evil ones in my campaigns.
Same here. As soon as they see "Evil" on the character sheet they get weird. Metagamers gonna metagame, I guess.

I once used that fact to great success in a campaign once. Never has a man had so much egg on his face than that poor PC did that day.

There is ALWAYS a way around metagaming.


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Dick Cheney.

<.<

>.>

What?


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Evil characters "IF" played by a mature player can bring a lot to a game.
A large part of it hinges on what the characters actual goals are...and if cooperating with others to achieve those goals is part of the mindset of the character.

I have played LE characters that the other players didn't even realize where "EVIL" until the game was well advanced...or almost coming to a close. They may have found them to be selfish, single minded, power hungry, etc..etc...but it never really set in just how "out for themselves" they where until the end.


Nezzmith wrote:


This series of pictures depicts one of our campaigns.

Thank you so much for this! I'm loving it! :)


Evil themed party of Graz'zt for a 3.0 campaign.

Party:

.
.
Female Human 1 rogue, 9 sorceress, Thrall of Graz'zt 10
Female Human 10 bard, 10 Demonologist
Female Human 20 Cleric of Graz'zt
Male Human 20 Rogue with several Demonic grafts.

the outcome, epic level and completion of the campaign.

the 8 adventure series of Ashardalon had very different ending after we were done.


A couple of years back I successfully played the sole LE character in a homebrew campaign of my friend's devising.

His alignment didn't really come up for the first several sessions, until the evil vizier we had unmasked and barely subdued refused to hand over any useful information relevant to why he was doing what he was doing (blackmailing the duke into enslaving kobolds for the purpose of excavating old caves).

Here's where my character steps up and proposes torturing him for information. My DM had forgotten about my alignment, he even asked to see my sheet to confirm it. It turned out that most of the team was some sort of neutral, so only one person objected. We did eventually get information out of him pertaining to his motives, though not much. (It seems that my DM actually hadn't been prepared with reasons, the vizier was just intended to segue us to the grander plot via a few vague clues we had previously missed)

The character was always loyal to his comrades and was from then on respected for his willingness to do whatever it took to get things done. He blended well with a party of driven, pragmatic individuals.


I share this one quite a bit... maybe more than I should, but I'll share mine that I thought did well enough.

Guise the face stealer. He was a serial killer that would secretly kill random people he felt like killing and through some work, would then cut off their faces and use them as masks for disguise. Gross and gruesome, I know. Anyways, he contributed to the party and wouldn't kill any of them, because they were his "toys", and he didn't like to break his toys. Not until he simply had to. He didn't like anyone else breaking his toys either. Thus, he would help defend them. The big bad appeared at one point, made all the party feel weak comparatively and his only reaction was, "Now that's a face I'd like to have." He had voices in his head, that were actually those of his victims, and would talk to himselves often.

So. How was this doing evil successfully? Because I imposed upon Guise some ground rules. 1) - No killing the party. 2) no stealing from the party. 3) make a reason to defend the party. 4) make a reason to work with the party (i.e. wanting the face of the BBEG).

Basically, I made sure to have solid story reasons not to disrupt the party, yet maintaining the ability to do the evil things he wanted to do. But it just worked for me. Have to say though, it's one of the characters I had an amazing amount of fun roleplaying. Even wrote and published a short story involving him.

Second Seekers (Luwazi Elsbo)

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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Something interesting happened in my last campaign. Party started normally, except two people were neutral evil and everyone else was neutral. The moral compass of the party left the game, so the party just slowly fell more and more into evil. Thing is, they worked well together. They genuinely liked each other. One was just a power-hungry mage (who later became a lich), another was completely motivated by money, then there was a demon-hunting anti-paladin, and a neutral barbarian who just went along with everything. They would save a village and rob it blind at the same time. They'd torture, murder, and made deals with devils. And they had a blast the whole time. Evil characters in good parties can work, but if everyone's on the same page then I think that's when it works best. Like people have been saying, you can still do the right things as an evil person, just for the wrong reasons, so evil parties can totally work and still have a traditional adventure.


We're playing star wars with a big bad darth as our boss. As a mix of space pirates and lower-class sith, we're doing what he says in hope of a reward and not getting killed.

It works out wonderfully, really, with the added bonus/running gag of coming up with plans that might let us off the guy. He's set up to be ridiculously tough, so just starting to wail on him isn't an option. Yet.

It works out beautifully, there's a complete lack of moral codex, and blossoming friendships and rivalries between the characters. The darth makes sure we have to stay at least roughly on course. It's probably going to come crashing down at some point, but it'll be glorious, and potentially years into the future.

Anyway, you can make it work just fine. Everyone has to agree that that's what they're doing, though, or you'll find yourself having to kill people's characters until they make something that fits in.


Experiment 626 wrote:
Nezzmith wrote:
My personal experience has been that it is the good characters that end up betraying the evil ones in my campaigns.
Same here. As soon as they see "Evil" on the character sheet they get weird. Metagamers gonna metagame, I guess.

That is somewhat true, in my experience. Lots of people tend to assume that any character with "Evil" on the sheet is going to betray and murder the party at the first opportunity, and thus decide to do some preemptive backstabbing.

Really, I find that there's no issues with having an evil character int he party so long as there's a firm "no PvP" rule in place.


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Nezzmith wrote:

My personal experience has been that it is the good characters that end up betraying the evil ones in my campaigns.

This series of pictures depicts one of our campaigns.

Evil characters done right can add a lot to a game, and I highly recommend playing one if you think you can pull it off. It's quite a balancing act, but think of the benefits! When that Demon casts Blasphemy you're immune!

Wow that is neat. How did you make that? Is it just a powerpoint kind of thing?

I like what you did, but am even more curious as to how you generated that.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

I played a lawful evil character who was somewhat of an aristocrat type character. He wanted wealth and power, and was the guy leading the generally neutrally aligned group. He made sure everything was in order and that we were getting paid and anyone opposing us was squashed.

Generally he was evil because he didn't care if people died, and was more inclined to kill prisoners after they had spill any information they had.

basically, he lusted for gold and power, but stayed within the law, being what defined him. he also upheld any deals he makes, but usually he made sure the deals favored him anyway.

Silver Crusade

For me? Was a home brew. (Anti paladin of asmodeous)

He sought peace, through tyranny. His intentions were, mostly good. He wanted a safe land for his son, but deemed people unable to govern themselves.

The PCs came across a NPC town beset by bandits. He struck a deal with the 'mayor' that in exchange for saving the town, the mayor would work for him.

He eventually had an entire town under his thumb and when the party finally figured it out, decided it had done more good than harm. (Unfortunately the game ended due to people moving away)


Ventnor wrote:

So, I've seen a few threads here and there where the topic of evil PCs come up. The general consensus seems to be "they can be done well, but it is understandable that a GM can forbid them." The common pitfalls with evil characters tend to be that they're disruptive at the table, whether they steal from other characters, randomly murder NPCs in the streets, or other such behaviors.

Now, to my main point: would those of you who HAVE played evil PCs in the past mind sharing them? What kind of campaign were they in, how did they avoid the common pitfalls associated with Evil characters, and how did the other players react to having such a character in the party?

I'm genuinely curious about this, since I've never really played with Evil characters, either as my own character or one of the other players'.

Ive played a fair share of evil characters and I find there are a few things that make them evil, fun, and acceptable to the vast majority of gamers at once. First I shall set up an old character...

Judge Lawson, Humble human ecclisitheurge cleric of Asmodeous.

Mechanic: A blaster cleric based on fire domain and conversion inquisition with skills maxing out mouth and perception skills.

Roleplay: Judge Lawson is a man who believes in law above all else and is a humble enforcer of the law when it has been grossly violated. Laws are agreements between sentient beings in a region that represent how people should live for the continued strengthening and power of those that live under those laws. All laws, even those not your own, should be honored while you stay in their domain. If such an impass between two sets of laws should occur the laws of the stronger entity shall take precedence or else you invite weakness.

For this cause Judge Lawson became a respected overseer of many nations laws so as to make every effort to settle the disputes with words when it can be done. If his silver tongue should fail then he brings forth the power of Hell and fire to pass their even harsher judgement. Lawson respects Abadar for his ideals of respecting law and civilization but is also too soft according to the laws of Asmodeous and Hell. One day all will obey the Lord of Hell and its Lawsons duty to prove this.

We have a character who is evil aligned, serves an evil deity, and has very dark ethics in a very grey occupation; so why does it work? 1) he is actively trying to avoid conflicts that would annoy others, 2) he makes effort to use words rather force and thus can allow all other gamers an opportunity to handle a situation as they see fit. 3) agreements/contracts are not to be violated by him as it opposes everything he stands for. Because of this belief he can give his word to another extremist (paladin maybe) and both can at least not kill each other as then one or both would "fall" and lose their powers. 4) Player respect: you can go to any player and show them that with Lawson you wanted to go dark but not take over the table. Lawson is built on the premise handling disputes not causing them.

5) MOST IMPORTANT: TALK!! More often than not when players say they don't want evil characters at the table its because of a lack of trust or too much fear. Yes you read that! They are afraid that someone will feel obligated to be an extreme maniacal evil villain seeking commit every sin for fun and profit or that you are instigator in some fashion. Let everyone know what your intentions are from the beginning and talk it out reasonably as adults. More often than not ive been able to talk to my table about my boundaries/intentions and say "give me one chance" and it turn out alright.


In a kingmaker campaign I'm playing a ne wizard and my friend is playing a palladin. The only way he found out I was evil is 5 lvls later (I started at 5th lvl) he saw on my sheet I was ne. He kept saying he'd know by detect evil but when I came into the group I had an eye patch with non detection...plus I made absolutely sure when detect evil cone went off I was always behind him. I never screwed the group over but I'm the one that got the bad stuff done when making a kingdom....the funniest part is the look on other players faces when they say "you're evil?!?!" Fun fun we are lvl 17 now and no one but the queen in the group knows I'm evil....because I seduced her into marriage lolol


Plus there is a difference between chaotic evil and chaotic stupid...


I have played 2 characters that I would describe as evil, although admittedly they've both been fortunate enough for that to not be much an issue with the party. This is probably because in most cases they're more apathetic than outright evil.

1) A tiefling magus who's elven mother carried him as part of a deal with a an Archdemon for power. She later betrayed the demon's forces and began killing them off, for some reasons relating to the Qlippoth. The character knows a vague bit of this and plans on confronting his mother, the archdemon, or even the qlippoth in order to gain more power (he's vaguely based on Vergil from DMC). Before the campaign he spent a good stretch of time finding other tieflings associated with the demon and torturing them for information. For ease of travel he joined the party which is basically just a mercenary group of murder hobos (the GM is new to this so we're kinda just ambling about without direction; me and the other talkative member of our group both decided to play antisocial grumps so it's been difficult to get our characters motivated). I'd consider this character evil because he's got no problem killing those who get in his way, although he's also smart enough to know that killing random civilians in broad daylight gets you hounded by authorities, and he doesn't want to deal with that.

2) A human blade adept/swashbuckler (semigestalt) who comes from a line of showy and kind of sociopathic swordsmen. His black blade was a gift from a grandmother (a super powerful magician of some sort) that he never knew, and now he's seeking her out to find out exactly what the sword's nature is. He's also doesn't have much an issue killing people and is just smart enough to know when to respect authority. He also has a habit of using color spray to abduct people and drawing some of their blood to drink with absinthe (he has a fascination with vampires).

So basically, these characters just don't let their evil show when they know that people who would mind are watching.

Silver Crusade

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On those rare occasions I've played evil, my approach has been:

1. Have standards. I never set out to win the "who is the evilest of them all" competition. It not only feeds into an escalation war of vileness that can take a campaign where no one wants to go, but also proves utterly destructive to group cohesion. Having lines you will not cross goes part of the way towards keeping your character sympathetic and believable, and can also help align you with the rest of the group and build at least the minimum level of trust required to keep it together.

2. Have something real to care about outside yourself. Family. Love. An ideal that isn't inherently horrible. Have something you might actually sacrifice yourself for. If it ties into the party, all the better.

3. Don't crap where you eat. A group has no reason to hold onto a dangerous loose canon with no impulse control. And no evil characters don't survive long by ruining a good thing while they have it, like group acceptance. Give the other characters, some of whom may be good or neutral, reasons to keep you around rather than piling on reasons for them to throw you off a cliff. That goes for in-character and out-, because the vast majority of people playing good characters aren't signing on to play characters that have to be ineffectual at being good just to keep your little Caligula happy.

4. Hey, maybe don't stab the party in the back in the end. this ties all three of the above together. Yeah, you might pull off your masterfully roleplayed bad guy in the end with a victory for yourself and tragedy for everyone else. Now good luck regaining the trust of those players in the future.

One thing I've tried to keep in mind is to have goals that would either ultimately be acceptable to the rest(with much of the evil coming from the methods) or goals that were ultimately doomed anyway. My favorite conclusion for an evil PC was everyone accomplishing their goals, but his being an utterly phyrric victory. He got his reward, and it turned out that he gave up the things he truly wanted for it. One character raged at his fate, becoming basically an Egyptian analogue for Castlevania!Dracula. Another gave up his winnings in a final stab at redemption; he knew it wasn't enough to save him, but he could go to his fate knowing he did something right in the end.

and this was all typed while listening to the second Ziltoid album which is full of irony taken with this post


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I think it depends on what kind of evil character you're playing. The backstabbing, money-stealing types tend to be disliked at the table because they're inherently disruptive and tend to stop others from having fun - which literally voids the reason others are playing the game in the first place.

It is, however, entirely possible to play an evil character and still have a blast with it. Take "Priests" of Razmir, for instance, where you might hide Wands of CLW up your sleeves and constantly give healing to party members - or even NPCS, for a "nominal fee". You're motivated by greed, you constantly lie through your teeth (tip: max the heck out of Bluff), and you often scheme for ways to support your own ends... but that's the kind of character you can actually play at the table because it still works well in a group setting.

Alternatively, you could play someone who just wants to hurt other things, but grudgingly accepts that annoying little things called "laws" and "police" might get in the way. As such, you've hired yourself out to someone who wants some muscle, letting them call the shots while you just hit things with as much force as you want. There is literally nothing good about what you're personally doing (even if the final result is good for society as a whole), but your grudging acceptance of being told when to stop means you can still get by in society.

It's all about creativity, really. Just look for methods of being evil that work in a group setting and that your fellow players are comfortable accepting.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

To quote myself:

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 work with the party, and with the story, instead of against either of them, you can make it work.


We actually had a lot of fun with a "Dungeon Siege" themed game, where the party was evil and we had spent the first three levels capturing a stronghold and gathering/stealing resources. Then fortifying this new dungeon we called home became its own session.

Rival adventurers would try to come and get rid of us, and it was a good challenge from time to time (Such as an undead-hating cleric vs our necromancer). Other times it opened up for roleplay, boiling down to "I'll pay you double of what the local law enforcement will."

Territory was one aspect. Then it became a power grab, as powerful artifacts and magic items were revealed, and we needed to be the first ones to it, or else it will come knocking on our doorstep.

Sometimes, it's just fun to be on the other side every now and then.


My second character ever was a Lawful Evil Monk named Sun Xiao

Campaign Journal here.

I reprised him a while later after that game tanked in this PbP.

In both instances Sun was made sure to have two factors that make him fit into any party:

1.) Honor.

2.) Loyalty.

He has a code, which he holds to. He keeps his word to most (though feels no need to do so with the enemy), and is loyal to his friends and colleagues.

Evil is about METHODS, not actions. You can save the world and still be Evil as sin.


In a Forgotten Realms 3.0 game, I had a Lawful Evil Red Wizard (in training, I was building towards the prestige class).

You'd never mistake her for a Paladin, but she ended up taking on a team mom/leadership role, mostly because she was the one willing to keep everyone on task. From her point of view, everybody else was useful. She didn't help them because she cared, or because it was the right thing to do. She helped them because it furthered her goals, provided useful workers, and made her money.

Admittedly, she was more okay with collateral damage than others in the party, but she wasn't intentionally destructive. She simply didn't see the value in negotiating with enemies when a fireball spoke so much more clearly.


I had Neutral Evil character in a game set in the Forgotten Realms. My character was a Inquisitor of Mask. In the game I ran an extortion set up. I manipulated factions against each other for my own benefit and profit. Always came off as the hero saving the day getting the big reward only if they knew I was the causing the problems in the first place, the mastermind behind everything. The party comprised of fighter, rogue and alchemist. The schemes we pulled were done as party. None of use played stupid evil.


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You can be evil and not mess things up.

1. Don't betray the party. Some groups(people not PC's) can separate what happens in game from being mad at you in real life, but most of the time it won't go over well.

2. Don't be stupid evil. A stupid evil character does things that get the party in trouble by attacking NPC's when it is not warranted and/or at the wrong time. Even if the party survives the conflict things may now be much more difficult than they had to be.

Attacking NPC's was just one example.

3. Remember that evil people are still people and still have feelings, and they can loyalties. Being evil does not have to mean "I will kill/betray anyone and I have no concept of valued allies". Some of the best villains(evil people) are evil because of some pain they went through earlier in life.


Thought I'd chime in on this one. I've been running a campaign for the past few years where the PC party consists of a bugbear barbarian (bugbarian), a goblin sorcerer, a tiefling alchemist, a half-elf bard/prostitute and an elven cleric with Aspergers syndrome. Thus far its been one of the most colorful menageries I've ever DM'ed.

Some things are a little different though...

Investigate = sneak in and kill everybody and/or torture people.
When torture is not an option... Somebody's getting a BJ.
There will be no witnesses... Ever.

All in all it's been really fun and there have been no major issues. As long as the players are mature, evil characters shouldn't be a problem. Just because a character is evil doesn't mean they're necessarily psychotic. There are many interpretations of "Evil" beyond abject villainy. Excessive greed or egotism can be considered "evil." Just depends on how you play it.

Hope that helps.

Sczarni

You know, this is one of better evil-character based topics I have seen. There is some really good advice here.


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specter_78 wrote:

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

This week on "Sentences I never expected to read".


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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.


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.

I love to play chaotic evil barbarians and my party always loves them. I'd throw flammable oil on random roadside bandits so our sorcerer could light them on fire, kill innocents and give their arrows and other things I didn't need to my party members, and keep dialogue heavy bits moving quickly by beheading people who wouldn't cooperate. I was by all means a sadistic maniac, but I was also the most helpful member of our party.

I've killed party members before, but only when they were directly interfering with the rest of the party. If somebody hassles me, they're the one who's causing the problem, and they're going to learn a lesson about picking a fight with a guy packing a 10 intelligence score and a great axe. Only a stupid person would betray someone who's actively helping them though, which is why I've always found it easy to work with my party even when I'm playing an evil character.


As far as specific examples go, I had an orc barbarian named War Feast who was an unstoppable force of nature. Lvl 5, 26 strength when raging, furious great axe, complete bloodthirsty nihilist. Single handedly killed all the guards protecting a dwarven mining crew so we could use them to tunnel under a city we needed to sack. The only reason we failed was because one of the morons in our party was playing both sides and killed me after I had already raged twice in the same day.


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.

Sorry. I meant to say that when they can't torture people they coerce them with sexual favors... Or at least the hooker bard does.

With disturbing frequency.

Grand Lodge

Not Pathfinder, but I have a serial killer named Gaston. He murdered an entire baking family, stole their baguettes, and fled the town. Out in the wilderness he met up with the rest of the party and essentially bribed his way into the party with the bread.

The setting is low magic so he's not going to have to worry about Random Detect Evil spells any time soon.

When the group reached the next town he signed up with the local baker's guild to establish his alibi of being a baker.

He's basically a french-accented version of Belkar Bitterleaf.


he's not a character that was actually played, but take a look at Belkar from the order of the stick. He's a CE halfling rogue whose favorite pastime is to stab people with his daggers. He's with the group mainly because they provide him ample opportunity to do so without landing in prison.
OOTS also does a good job in showing that all characters can be disruptive regardless of alignment.


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I've played one successful evil character, a NE Gnome Souldrinker devoted to Apollyon in a campaign that went mythic. She had three real passions, harvesting souls, inflicting diseases, and collecting pretty dresses. She may have also had a mild to severe case of ADHD (as well as a tanked wisdom score). I'd like to say that I was responsible and never gave the group any reason to want her dead or removed, but that would be a lie. Don't get me wrong, she was beloved (well as beloved as a little walking plague can be), but it was no secret that the group was simply waiting to see if she'd do something stupid enough to get herself killed so that they wouldn't have to take care of her “for the good of all” down the line (they actually told her, on multiple occasions, “we're probably going to have to kill you when this is all over,” to which she'd always reply with a sweet, “ok”). She even managed to cause a great plague which ravaged much of the central Riverlands (as well as another plague which ravaged a portion of Nidal) which, for a party of neutral characters, left a somewhat poor taste in their mouths.

Now, you may be wondering, why would anyone possibly put up with her? Simple, she was adorable. Seriously, outside of doing some of the most heinous things imaginable, her demeanor was always simple and sweet. Her tendency of getting distracted by shiny things and being completely blunt (she maybe told three lies the entire time she was around), endeared her to the group and elevated her into a sort of mascot. Now, while sweet, it isn't as if she didn't actively pursue her interests. She would just have the courtesy to ask if it was OK to wipe out a particular village with a series of virulent diseases. It got to the point that the group would just say no and play it off as, “D'aww... that's our lil' plague.” Really, it ended up working out well for everyone. The party got someone who was willing to get their hands dirty, and she, in turn, was able to harvest the souls of the things the group would defeat (which gave her the cash to afford her ridiculous dress obsession). They even had occasion to allow her to inflict diseases with impunity (though their hesitance down the line ended up causing some friction).


snejjj wrote:

he's not a character that was actually played, but take a look at Belkar from the order of the stick. He's a CE halfling rogue whose favorite pastime is to stab people with his daggers. He's with the group mainly because they provide him ample opportunity to do so without landing in prison.

OOTS also does a good job in showing that all characters can be disruptive regardless of alignment.

Just FYI, Belkar is a ranger. He just ACTS roguish. :)

back on topic, in one of the evil campaigns we played, our job was to run the Red Wizards out of town where they had an established base. We worked behind the scenes, making it look like they were slowly attempting to take over the town, and were really close to accomplishing our objective until one of the players got bored of the lack of combat and decided to attack the conclave directly.

He didn't last long attacking it by himself since we all fled. :)

We tried an "evil" d20 modern game once, but that just hit too close to home, so our "evil" was more like "mildly criminal/mercenary".


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


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'.

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