Any players balk at Way of the Wicked?


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Seranov wrote:
I ask again: have you ever tried playing such a character?

In a superhero game I tried playing a character that was a penitent street thief, who chain smoked (I do not). That was enough for me not to enjoy the character.

I went back to my goody two shoes Captain America types after that. So yeah in a game system that has supernatural forces that are good and evil in the stetting I couldn't play an evil character. Heck I haven't tried playing a neutral one in over 10 years because I just didn't enjoy the last one I played.


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Seranov wrote:
I ask again: have you ever tried playing such a character?

I can't actually remember if I've played an evil character for more than a session or two.

However, that's another difference in taste, I think. I don't enjoy "mixing it up" really - I play NG or CG human fighters or variant fighters 90% of the time.when I try something else, I don't generally like it as much. Similarly with science-fantasy, oriental campaigns, Pirates, etcetera... Anything non vanilla "western fantasy" is not my taste as a player (as DM, I'm more experimental, since one of my players, in particular enjoys pretty much continual innovation).

Like you, I'm only speaking of preference, not making any statement about what's "right", however I thought I'd mention that, for me at least, "being something different" is actually a negative as far as playing this campaign.

Grand Lodge

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Skylancer4 wrote:

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The general understanding is we are all healthy well adjusted people playing a game. A game should be fun, a social outing you enjoy regardless of the AP.

Or maybe I'm just lucky.

We may be all adjusted, at least on a functional level, but that doesn't mean we're all juggling the same personality components. Many of our temperaments will differ for biological reasons. Many people will harbor sociopathic thoughts but never in their lives express them. What it does mean is that they arrive at their "well-adjustedness" through different paths than others. So running therough an evil campaign may well bring up issues that another "well-adjusted" person won't have. It doesn't mean that they have a sickness that should require intervention. It simply means that as a person, their minds are built up from different blocks than others.

It's an interesting thing to think about. How cruel are we as a people? For instance of all the reports of police who definitely cross the line in how they treat civillians, there are juries which almost invariably excuse them from any penalties that would be derived from the law.


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Whilst I think you make a good point, it feels to me that there's a lot of over analysis going on in this thread. I'm sure I wouldn't enjoy an evil campaign, but it's in the same way I wouldn't enjoy running a marathon - it's just not my thing.

I'm comfortable in knowing what i like and I'm protective of my scarce gaming time. I think Way of the Wicked was filling a needed niche and I'm glad it was produced for those who want it. I'm quite sure I wouldn't enjoy playing it though, even though many obviously have.


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I'm glad we have a way to play bad characters, for those who would like to try it.

My fantasy time is precious, however. Like most people, I like to be heroic, rather than a cruel, selfish dick. There are enough evil people in real life.

Playing evil just doesn't appeal to me. If it sounds fun to you, do it.


Doomed Hero wrote:
Because a character's reasons for doing things in game are the only things that make the story meaningful?

Think of it as acting. Would you consider it evil to play an evil role if you were an actor?


If you are an actor, you are playing a pre written role, you aren't making the decisions yourself.

It's not exactly analogous.

Grand Lodge

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A highly regarded expert wrote:

I'm glad we have a way to play bad characters, for those who would like to try it.

Believe it or not, there have been folks running evil campaigns decades before Way of the Wicked came out. This is just pre-packaged, that's all.

Dark Archive

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...It's perfectly analogous. Nobody's actually thinking "I should go butcher some small children and feed them to the demon lord Axtholupis, unhallowed be his name!" when they decide to sacrifice some townsfolk in an evil game. It's just the actions of your character, just like it's just the actions of the actor's character. They might even have a damn good in-character reason for it, too!

And that's ignoring the fact that Sir Charles the White, the level 6 Human Paladin, and his band of merry Good-aligned companions has probably put a half dozen goblin villages to the flame already. And don't tell me they haven't, because nearly every Good-centered campaign has a scapegoat race of demi- or sub-humans that get painted as the bad guys and then slaughtered outright, for the good of humanity. Orcs, trolls, goblins, kobolds, etc. Sometimes it's fun to have the tables turned, to BE the orcs or goblins or trolls, and wreaking havoc upon the human society that would see you purged from existence.


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Westerner wrote:
Think of it as acting. Would you consider it evil to play an evil role if you were an actor?
RDM42 wrote:

If you are an actor, you are playing a pre written role, you aren't making the decisions yourself.

It's not exactly analogous.

Seranov wrote:
...It's perfectly analogous. Nobody's actually thinking "I should go butcher some small children and feed them to the demon lord Axtholupis, unhallowed be his name!" when they decide to sacrifice some townsfolk in an evil game. It's just the actions of your character, just like it's just the actions of the actor's character. They might even have a damn good in-character reason for it, too!

I agree it is analogous, but Westerner's query is something of a non sequitur. I don't think anyone is saying that playing in an evil campaign means you're evil. It's just not fun (for some of us).

Dark Archive

I get that. I may have read a little more barb in RDM42's reply than may actually been there (though honestly I doubt it) and felt the need to reply to that.

If it's not your thing, that's totally cool, and anyone who says otherwise is being a jerk. But for those of us who do enjoy the occasional foray into evil characters, we're doing it to have fun, just as much as we do when playing any other kind of character. Nothing more and nothing less.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

Yeah, I'm only contributing to the thread in the spirit of the OP. When considering an evil campaign it is something worth explicitly checking with your players as there are a significant number who would balk at it. I definitely have no interest in trying to argue for any "correct" way to play.

f your players are into evil campaigns (or if they'd like a change) I think way of the wicked is a great choice - it certainly garnered excellent reviews when it was released.


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Westerner wrote:
Doomed Hero wrote:
Because a character's reasons for doing things in game are the only things that make the story meaningful?

Think of it as acting. Would you consider it evil to play an evil role if you were an actor?

I play for immersion. The single most important part of roleplaying games, for me, is completely becoming my character, feeling what they feel, and putting myself in their position - that is what makes RPGs unique to me - everything else I can find in other pastimes.

So no, it isn't the same to me. I don't want to identify and try to become a person that I would dislike in real life.

And if I were an actor, playing an evil role would probably make me uncomfortable. I don't consider it evil to play an evil character either - just not something I am personally interested in.


Seranov wrote:
...because nearly every Good-centered campaign has a scapegoat race of demi- or sub-humans that get painted as the bad guys and then slaughtered outright, for the good of humanity. Orcs, trolls, goblins, kobolds, etc.

I can't help but wonder if there's a real-life element of alignment here. Most people are neutral, rather than good aligned. People like to see themselves as good, but most of us are not. So when we play good characters, do we drift away from it?

I don't enjoy campaigns where race X is inherently evil. If I'm attacking goblins/orcs/kobolds/trolls/whatever in a campaign, it is because of something they actually did in game, not because of what they are.

I wonder if there is a correlation between people who are okay with evil campaigns, and people who are okay with games where a given race is always okay to slaughter. Or a correlation between people who don't enjoy playing evil characters, and people who need justifiable reasons beyond fantasy racism.

And ultimately, I wonder if the latter group would, under D&D rules, be described as Good while the former group would be Neutral. That's not an accusation or judgment, just a curious hypothesis.


Derek Vande Brake wrote:
I wonder if there is a correlation between people who are okay with evil campaigns, and people who are okay with games where a given race is always okay to slaughter. Or a correlation between people who don't enjoy playing evil characters, and people who need justifiable reasons beyond fantasy racism.

There's no correlation here, you're trying to compare two different things: Comfort with playing evil, and need for nuance in morality. It almost sounds like you're hypothesizing that in order to enjoy playing evil, someone needs to lack a certain degree of maturity, morality, or discernment. Obviously that's not the case, because evil doesn't lack depth. Evil characters can just be as complicated and nuanced as neutral or good ones. People in this thread like DM Blake in post #92 have given stellar examples of evil characters with three dimensional personalities.


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Castilonium wrote:
Derek Vande Brake wrote:
I wonder if there is a correlation between people who are okay with evil campaigns, and people who are okay with games where a given race is always okay to slaughter. Or a correlation between people who don't enjoy playing evil characters, and people who need justifiable reasons beyond fantasy racism.
There's no correlation here, you're trying to compare two different things: Comfort with playing evil, and need for nuance in morality. It almost sounds like you're hypothesizing that in order to enjoy playing evil, someone needs to lack a certain degree of maturity, morality, or discernment. Obviously that's not the case, because evil doesn't lack depth. Evil characters can just be as complicated and nuanced as neutral or good ones. People in this thread like DM Blake in post #92 have given stellar examples of evil characters with three dimensional personalities.

That is not at all what I said. I don't equate "evil" with "two-dimensional". At worst my hypothesis might suggest that different motivations and styles of roleplaying lend themselves to different moral outlooks.


LazarX wrote:
A highly regarded expert wrote:

I'm glad we have a way to play bad characters, for those who would like to try it.

Believe it or not, there have been folks running evil campaigns decades before Way of the Wicked came out. This is just pre-packaged, that's all.

Of course.

Evil is a viable alignment for a PC, in the right circumstances. This is a game where it's OK.

I'm not interested, but some people might really have fun with it.

Actors often say they love playing bad guys. I get that.


My issue with Way of the Wicked is that it doesn’t actually feel like an evil campaign to me (now about halfway through chapter 2).

Sure, you are encouraged to torture some, and kill, and steal, but the campaign doesn’t (as Kain observed earlier) really embrace villainy. There isn’t really room for monologue evil. There isn’t room for temptation of good into evil. It seems to encourage ruthless tactical choices, but doesn’t embrace exploration of why characters do what they do. Worse, it provides an extremely limited supporting cast of NPCs (particularly long term ones) that can provide foils for the party. The assumption built into the first couple chapters seems to be that you’ll murder everyone you encounter – or nearly everyone. We really threw our GM for the loop when we started capturing people and trying to tempt them into darkness, or simply to use them to demonstrate character traits.

Some of this is stuff a good GM has to flesh out, but the AP makes it hard on the GM, at least through the first two chapters that I’ve seen.

Laying all of that aside, the goodly kingdom and goodly god do not feel so goodly. The Church feels more like the inquisition, and the entire feel is more oppressive Catholics than goodly people. Where’s the evidence that you are tearing down a goodly society? Is it the religious intolerance that didn’t exist when Asmodeus worshipers were running the show? Is it the extremely stiff punishments for virtually any crime? Is it the corrupt guards at the prison? Is it the very flawed Captains at Balentyne? The thieving innkeepers?

Honestly, if you flip a couple ritual and enemies cosmetically and change Thorn to a cleric of a goodly god, you could easily cast the entire AP as a good party fighting the oppressive evil state.


I am running it now just finished chapter 2 and taking a break, because I use VTTs and there are important maps missing from chapter 3. So i need to create my own.

But I see what peter is talking about it, if it where not for my players it would not really seem all that evil. If anything my players actual kill less in this game then in my good ones.

I had to make up some on the fly rules because my players did just what they did in Peter's, they wanted to torture survivors and lore them to the dark side. Through various ways. They where able to get different cohorts this way instead of suggested ones.

I think it is still a fun game and would have loved to play in it but I got stuck as DM.

Grand Lodge

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I have played in, and enjoyed, villian games, Including one where my character would gleefully kill people for pay, and even sometimes not for pay just to compete with her sister.

I would not recommend playing in any campaign where the GM characterizes not wanting to play as "chickening out." That sort of emotional pear pressure is indicative of a level of immaturity that would make an evil campaign extremely unenjoyable.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
A highly regarded expert wrote:
LazarX wrote:
A highly regarded expert wrote:

I'm glad we have a way to play bad characters, for those who would like to try it.

Believe it or not, there have been folks running evil campaigns decades before Way of the Wicked came out. This is just pre-packaged, that's all.

Of course.

Evil is a viable alignment for a PC, in the right circumstances. This is a game where it's OK.

I'm not interested, but some people might really have fun with it.

Actors often say they love playing bad guys. I get that.

Heck, I wnce played in a group of evil PC's sent to destroy Hommelet.


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A highly regarded expert wrote:
LazarX wrote:
A highly regarded expert wrote:

I'm glad we have a way to play bad characters, for those who would like to try it.

Believe it or not, there have been folks running evil campaigns decades before Way of the Wicked came out. This is just pre-packaged, that's all.

Of course.

Evil is a viable alignment for a PC, in the right circumstances. This is a game where it's OK.

I'm not interested, but some people might really have fun with it.

Actors often say they love playing bad guys. I get that.

As an actor who pretty regularly gets cast as bad guys, this is a half-truth.

I've played Tybalt and Iago and loved every second of it.

When I played Macbeth I had nightmares through the whole run of the show and got the sickest I've ever been in my life as soon as the show closed.

It really depends on how the villainy is portrayed. It's amazingly fun to play a Magnificent Bastard. It is no fun at all to play someone truly despicable.

Dark Archive

Peter Stewart wrote:

Laying all of that aside, the goodly kingdom and goodly god do not feel so goodly. The Church feels more like the inquisition, and the entire feel is more oppressive Catholics than goodly people. Where’s the evidence that you are tearing down a goodly society? Is it the religious intolerance that didn’t exist when Asmodeus worshipers were running the show? Is it the extremely stiff punishments for virtually any crime? Is it the corrupt guards at the prison? Is it the very flawed Captains at Balentyne? The thieving innkeepers?

Honestly, if you flip a couple ritual and enemies cosmetically and change Thorn to a cleric of a goodly god, you could easily cast the entire AP as a good party fighting the oppressive evil state.

I got the same feeling. Right from the start, there's the suggestion that the PCs have been tortured, and my character's crime wasn't eating babies or anything, it was heresy. (Being a worshipper of someone other than the official state religion.) If I'd been playing a Lawful Good Cleric of Iomedae or Chaotic Good Cleric of Desna, I'd have been *exactly* as inclined to smite the faces off of these people and break their chokehold on the kingdom.

I didn't really mind, since I understand that there needed to be a strong motivation to want to bring the system crashing down (which might even be against type for a LE Asmodean, who might be more inclined to subvert the system from within and corrupt it to advance their own agendas over a long period of time, without actually tearing it down directly), and just 'me evil, you good' wasn't as *personal* a motivation as being wronged and oppressed by that system. It made for a compelling reason for why even a non-team-player like a Neutral Evil Norgorberite might say, 'Asmodeus, Shazmodeus, these guys are gonna pay!'

My biggest beef with it ended up being purely mechanical, and not at all the fault of Way of the Wicked.

I play Clerics. It's my thing. Support and heal, I do it in MMOs, I do it in tabletop games. I love it.

But evil clerics just *suck* terribly at healing. Being able to spontaneously cast inflict spells and channeling only negative energy was painful (since it's never really an option, unless your entire party is undead, or you have a tiny party that has no cohorts, familiars, companions, mounts or eidolons *and* blow a feat on Selective Channeling *and* dump Wisdom to pump Charisma, in which case you are already failing as a Cleric anyway, by reducing your ability to do *everything else* a Cleric does, to make a not-great option actually usable without killing half the party...).

Dark Archive

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Vitalists and Life Oracles are amazing in WotW, because you can still heal your buddies even if you're super evil.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Doomed Hero wrote:
A highly regarded expert wrote:
LazarX wrote:
A highly regarded expert wrote:

I'm glad we have a way to play bad characters, for those who would like to try it.

Believe it or not, there have been folks running evil campaigns decades before Way of the Wicked came out. This is just pre-packaged, that's all.

Of course.

Evil is a viable alignment for a PC, in the right circumstances. This is a game where it's OK.

I'm not interested, but some people might really have fun with it.

Actors often say they love playing bad guys. I get that.

As an actor who pretty regularly gets cast as bad guys, this is a half-truth.

I've played Tybalt and Iago and loved every second of it.

When I played Macbeth I had nightmares through the whole run of the show and got the sickest I've ever been in my life as soon as the show closed.

It really depends on how the villainy is portrayed. It's amazingly fun to play a Magnificent Bastard. It is no fun at all to play someone truly despicable.

It's not hard to understand the appeal of playing the villain. They get the best lines. They are proactive, whereas the hero is generally reacting against the villain's actions.


LazarX wrote:
Doomed Hero wrote:
A highly regarded expert wrote:
LazarX wrote:
A highly regarded expert wrote:

I'm glad we have a way to play bad characters, for those who would like to try it.

Believe it or not, there have been folks running evil campaigns decades before Way of the Wicked came out. This is just pre-packaged, that's all.

Of course.

Evil is a viable alignment for a PC, in the right circumstances. This is a game where it's OK.

I'm not interested, but some people might really have fun with it.

Actors often say they love playing bad guys. I get that.

As an actor who pretty regularly gets cast as bad guys, this is a half-truth.

I've played Tybalt and Iago and loved every second of it.

When I played Macbeth I had nightmares through the whole run of the show and got the sickest I've ever been in my life as soon as the show closed.

It really depends on how the villainy is portrayed. It's amazingly fun to play a Magnificent Bastard. It is no fun at all to play someone truly despicable.

It's not hard to understand the appeal of playing the villain. They get the best lines. They are proactive, whereas the hero is generally reacting against the villain's actions.

The thing is though, it is really hard to get into the mindset of a truly evil person and make it an enjoyable experience.

I once designed an Antipaladin for a game who was a true devotee of the art of evil. He tried not to kill people. Instead, he disguised himself and did terrible, awful things to people and let them live. He was a grand-scheme player and knew that miserable people spread misery.

To him there wasn't a lot to be gained from wanton slaughter. Spreading crippling diseases, destruction of important locations like schools or hospitals, maimings, rape and theft were his stock in trade.

He destroyed banks and factories just to cause poverty and put people out of work. He burned fields to cause starvation.

He didn't have a goal. He simply had an agenda. He believed in being evil, and he had a god who actively rewarded him for it.

It made him an interesting thought exercise, but in the end, he became a character that I had to ave the PCs kill. I couldn't let him come back like so many good villains do.

Because he wasn't a good villain. He was too real in terms of human cost, and not real enough in terms of motivation.

Way of the Wicked is about having sympathy for the devil. The characters need to have terrible conviction and zero moral compass, but they also need to have some element to them that keeps them somehow still human.

It's a bad game to play total monsters, like The Joker or Buffalo Bill.

This game needs villains like Bane or Hannibal Lecter.


Seranov wrote:
I ask again: have you ever tried playing such a character?

I'm playing a CN ninja who, according to his backstory which I had a fun time coming up with, should really be stealing from his fellow party members and pocketing the stuff he finds as loot. I very deliberately said to my party members out of character "Hey, if I play my character to the hilt I wouldn't tell anybody about the shiny jewels I just picked off this ghoul body, but you know what, screw that, loot management should be free and fair"

Not quite the same thing but I play pathfinder because I like cooperative experiences and evil and CN alignments have a lot of aspects that work against that and some fairly artificial fluff or mechanic has to be implemented to keep any group with evil members from falling apart.

I'm in a game right now that has a few evil members and it's draining trying to keep it from constantly devolving into hard feelings and PVP. Hey the evil characters are playing their characters honestly, bully for them, but it makes the game stressful for me and I have no interest in causing that kind of stress to anybody else.

Also when I play GTA I try not to run over civilians. Am I playing GTA 'wrong'?

Now anti-heroes are a different kettle of fish entirely.

Dark Archive

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It's actually not hard to play CN/Evil characters that don't ruin games. You just have to not do things that would ruin games, with the intention of blaming it on "It's what my character would do." It's also good fun, because you have the option of approaching problems in a way that you might never think of while playing a Good character.

Only the most insane of CE characters go out of their way to purposefully sabotage the people they're working with. It's completely doable to play an Evil character who doesn't lie, cheat and steal, or at least doesn't do those things to his compatriots who are likely keeping him around for a reason.

Are you playing GTA incorrectly? Hell if I know. But robbing banks, stealing cars and murdering police officers, are these really okay as long as you try not to run over pedestrians?

That's actually much closer to what a good Evil campaign should be like, anyway. The group shouldn't be full of chaotic murdering nutcases, but rather bad folk who will do bad things for a cause they think is "good", or at least in their best interests. Whether that cause is bringing down the Church of Mitra and releasing Talingarde from their stranglehold, or robbing a bank to get enough money to feed your wife and kids.


If you play stupid, selfish evil, then sure, maybe stealing from your party members is OK. Evil doesn't have to selfish or stupid. In the two evil campaigns I've played, I played LE, knowing the success of my team will help me succeed in my ultimate evil goals. I never steal from my party members, that just isn't smart. If I lose my team due to selfish reasons, then I am alone and weak, and may fail in my evil goals. It certainly isn't being artificial, nor a case of forced cooperation. Of course when our table runs an evil game, nobody chooses CE, just for the hopeful maintenance of team relations. Of course, not only are our PCs smart, but so are the players.

Because an evil adventure party is more problematic, than a normal one - everyone is within one-step in alignment to each other, and nobody is chaotic anything. Alignment is only motivation, it needn't dominate every action in game, and that's just a true for a good party with a paladin as member.


Seranov wrote:

It's actually not hard to play CN/Evil characters that don't ruin games. You just have to not do things that would ruin games, with the intention of blaming it on "It's what my character would do." It's also good fun, because you have the option of approaching problems in a way that you might never think of while playing a Good character.

Only the most insane of CE characters go out of their way to purposefully sabotage the people they're working with. It's completely doable to play an Evil character who doesn't lie, cheat and steal, or at least doesn't do those things to his compatriots who are likely keeping him around for a reason.

Are you playing GTA incorrectly? Hell if I know. But robbing banks, stealing cars and murdering police officers, are these really okay as long as you try not to run over pedestrians?

That's actually much closer to what a good Evil campaign should be like, anyway. The group shouldn't be full of chaotic murdering nutcases, but rather bad folk who will do bad things for a cause they think is "good", or at least in their best interests. Whether that cause is bringing down the Church of Mitra and releasing Talingarde from their stranglehold, or robbing a bank to get enough money to feed your wife and kids.

The Payday gang (from the FPS of the same name) is a good example of a Neutral Evil team that works well together. They are motivated by nothing but their own greed, and will accept any contract as long as the payout is good enough (or not... f*$+ing Vlad). That doesn't stop them from cooperating and working as a team, and acting as a band of brothers and sisters.


That is the point.

A wolf alone can keep alive on sheep, but a pack can take down a much larger animal.

Same thing for evil characters.

Played in an evil campaign for a while, one of my favorites.

The Necromancer wanted to rule, the (3.5) Anti-paladin of Tyranny (NE) wanted to command the army that conquered the world, but not necessarily take the throne, and the Dirge Bard just wanted to control an undead boy-band to cheer them on to victory. It was a great team, and the goal was to rule a continent, which we couldn't do alone even once we conquered it.


Well there are two things here. Obviously there are a lot more evil character tropes that aren't good team players that need to be avoided. There are comparatively much fewer good character types that would cause the same problems (Overly rigid LG Paladin being a classic example of that).

But, even if you avoid those characters and behaviour, the other thing that potentially comes with evil characters is mistreating helpless NPCs. And it's not the same thing as killing enemy warriors at all. It's the difference between kicking a fully grown doberman and kicking a newborn puppy.

I just have absolutely no interest in playing a character that would be fine with and take part in something of that nature.

In the mixed campaign I'm in the evil ranger set off a deadly gas bomb on a crowd of helpless civilians in order to distract the enemy clerics that we were fighting. Perfectly good evil strategy but I don't even want to pretend to do that kind of thing.


Azih wrote:

Well there are two things here. Obviously there are a lot more evil character tropes that aren't good team players that need to be avoided. There are comparatively much fewer good character types that would cause the same problems (Overly rigid LG Paladin being a classic example of that).

But, even if you avoid those characters and behaviour, the other thing that potentially comes with evil characters is mistreating helpless NPCs. And it's not the same thing as killing enemy warriors at all. It's the difference between kicking a fully grown doberman and kicking a newborn puppy.

I just have absolutely no interest in playing a character that would be fine with and take part in something of that nature.

So in the mixed campaign I'm in the evil ranger set off a deadly gas bomb on a crowd of helpless civilians in order to distract the enemy clerics that we were fighting. Perfectly good evil strategy but I don't even want to pretend to do that kind of thing.

Why would all evil people need to kick any animal, mistreat helpless NPCs or bomb a helpless crowd? Some evil people would, but there is no activity which all of any alignment must do. I think its perfectly reasonable to fool everyone outside your inner circle to think I'm good, so I can get into a position of power before I reveal my evil tendencies. I want to gain false trust, so I insure that I never kick puppies, publicly hurt NPCs or crowds - or any obvious evil act. Its smarter to do evil in secret, when I'm alone with a victim. I don't want to be arrested, chased by a crowd wielding pitch forks. I might want a long career of being evil, so being obvious about it will not let that happen. Intelligent evil would never be obvious about it.

Hurting animals implies that a given person is a sociopath, which is a mental condition not a condition of alignment. Who says evil people have to be crazy - being a sociopath is a type of crazy? You're assuming a lot, and you cannot assume anything, as anything is possible.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

i play evil all the time, but the cooperative lawful evil, who doesn't think he should kill the party or not save the town. I like towns they sell stuff there, there are some pretty lasses at the pub, and where else am I supposed to secretly kill whores in back alleys(i don't actually do this last one)?

killing or harming innocents or harmless puppies or people is seen as wasted energy, and ultimately more likely to cause problems than solve them.


Azih wrote:
I'm playing a CN ninja who, according to his backstory which I had a fun time coming up with, should really be stealing from his fellow party members and pocketing the stuff he finds as loot. I very deliberately said to my party members out of character "Hey, if I play my character to the hilt I wouldn't tell anybody about the shiny jewels I just picked off this ghoul body, but you know what, screw that, loot management should be free and fair"

It doesn't have to be like that.

Playing a CN character in a solo campaign means you're selfish and screw everybody whenever you want.

Playing a CN character in an adventuring party means your character must have SOME reason to be part of a group. Whatever that is, it's important to him or he wouldn't do it (CN; does whatever he pleases, so being a group means it pleases him more than the alternatives). Since he wants to be in the group, and since he knows those other adventurers are competent murder-hobos too, then he would easily realize that stealing from them is a good way to get killed or at least kicked out of the group that he wants to be in.

Therefore, he would easily decide not to steal group loot. After all, giving them their fair share makes them trust him and want him around, which is to his ultimate benefit, right?


This is the CN Dwarf Ranger I've been playing in a PbP game that is on hiatus atm. He's never once tried to lie, cheat or steal from his companions, and many times has taken attacks or general attempted to put himself in harm's way to prevent the others from getting dead.

He's out for himself, as he's a mercenary and the job the party is on promised him coin and a chance to fight, the two things he really cares about. So why would he ever hurt his chances of getting either of those things by purposefully being a dick to the others? He'd have to be a complete sociopath for that.

It's the same deal with Evil characters: just because you willingly do bad things doesn't mean that your character would need to do those bad things to the people who are ostensibly helping him. In a team game like PF, that just never makes sense.


Thangrom "Steelborn" Deepwalker wrote:
He'd have to be a complete sociopath for that.

And yet, that's how a great many players treat CN alignment, like it's some kind of permission to be a sociopath even to the other PCs, even to (occasionally) the extreme of damaging real-life friendships. And they justify it with "Hey, man, I'm just playing my dood's alignment!"

It's so common that the minute any new player tells me he wants a CN character, I immediately begin evaluating if I even want this player at my table - he's got an up-hill battle to convince me that my snap judgment about his roleplaying is wrong and that I should give him a chance to prove he can handle CN without playing a complete sociopath.

Thangrom "Steelborn" Deepwalker wrote:
It's the same deal with Evil characters: just because you willingly do bad things doesn't mean that your character would need to do those bad things to the people who are ostensibly helping him. In a team game like PF, that just never makes sense.

No, it should be the same deal with evil characters, but it seems that it almost never is.

That's why this particular AP has the oath - to put players in a strait-jacket with regards to internal party backstabbing. Apparently the authors knew that many evil groups would tear themselves apart long before they got to enjoy the full campaign (which might be bad for sales if the GM was buying each chapter separately as needed).


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

this is why i argue chaos should as chaos says "freedom, adaptability, and flexibility" and that people just being crazy are just being crazy.


gamer-printer wrote:
Why would all evil people need to kick any animal, mistreat helpless NPCs or bomb a helpless crowd?

Way of the Wicked requires sacrificing an innocent. So, yeah, that's the kind of evil I'm talking about not being interested in role playing.


Azih wrote:
gamer-printer wrote:
Why would all evil people need to kick any animal, mistreat helpless NPCs or bomb a helpless crowd?
Way of the Wicked requires sacrificing an innocent. So, yeah, that's the kind of evil I'm talking about not being interested in role playing.

Well kicking an animal is not a sacrifice, and sacrifice doesn't have to mean you physically cause harm, you could blame with fake evidence that someone else committed a crime that you actually did or witnessed someone else doing the crime, and the authorities will do the actual harm, and totally be considered a sacrifice. Besides, my point is how to perceive evil in RPGs in general, and not necessarily having anything to do with Way of the Wicked.

As I've previously stated in this thread, I don't find Way of the Wicked as being all that wicked nor evil, compared to evil campaigns I've been a part.

Nobody is suggesting that you should be interested, nor that you're wrong for not being interested.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
Azih wrote:
gamer-printer wrote:
Why would all evil people need to kick any animal, mistreat helpless NPCs or bomb a helpless crowd?
Way of the Wicked requires sacrificing an innocent. So, yeah, that's the kind of evil I'm talking about not being interested in role playing.

well if it's required then sure.


Bandw2 wrote:
Azih wrote:
gamer-printer wrote:
Why would all evil people need to kick any animal, mistreat helpless NPCs or bomb a helpless crowd?
Way of the Wicked requires sacrificing an innocent. So, yeah, that's the kind of evil I'm talking about not being interested in role playing.
well if it's required then sure.

What if I witness an accidental death, someone falls out the window of a 3 story building, for example, now I and 2 false witnesses claim that you pushed the guy out the window, and you get arrested and perhaps even get executed for the crime. I still committed an evil act, and you become a sacrifice, yet I didn't lay a finger on anyone - I simply lied. A lie can be just as evil as actually committing the crime. I don't have to kick, physically mistreat, nor bomb anyone and still be evil and still commit a sacrifice.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

was this towards me in any way? because you could have just quoted who i quoted...


Well mostly responding to Azih, but also pointing out to you that a required sacrfice, with an example, doesn't require the evil person to do physical harm. I was just elaborating my point, and not disagreeing with you.


I'm not sure what you're getting at gamer-printer. I don't think you can summon a demon by lying about seeing someone fall out a window.

In any case the reason I came into a thread was in response to Skylancer who seemed to imply that people who don't like playing evil are missing the point of role-playing.


Azih wrote:
I'm not sure what you're getting at gamer-printer. I don't think you can summon a demon by lying about seeing someone fall out a window.

Sacrificing an innocent is a requirement for creating a character in Way of the Wicked, which has nothing to do with summoning a demon, until way further in the AP. No where in this discussion did summoning demons even come up in any posts - where did that come from? Since, I've only looked at the free start-up scenario and haven't looked at any of the rest of the AP. How would I know about any demon summoning?

Azih wrote:
In any case the reason I came into a thread was in response to Skylancer who seemed to imply that people who don't like playing evil are missing the point of role-playing.

Yeah, well Skylancer was wrong in implying so.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

oh wait for character creation you need to sacrifice someone?

interesting.


Bandw2 wrote:

oh wait for character creation you need to sacrifice someone?

interesting.

It's one of the options for character creation; one of the background traits you can choose is being convicted for attempted devil summoning, which may or may not have involved the sacrifice of an innocent.

There is a later scene where, after proving your worth to Cardinal Thorn, the party celebrates by feeding one of Thorn's servants to a bearded devil.


Anybody ever heard of the Dark Tetrad? Four personality traits? It includes narcissism, machiavellianism, psychopathy, and sadism.

It is possible to play and evil character focusing on the first two and be somewhat party friendly. So no, evil characters don't have to enjoy kicking animals just for the laughs. On the other hand, within the range of "evil characters" some WILL be sadistic, and WILL kick animals for the laughs.

(Internet trolls tend to score very high on tests of sadism, btw.)

As for chaotic neutral...

PRD wrote:
People who are neutral with respect to good and evil have compunctions against killing the innocent, but may lack the commitment to make sacrifices to protect or help others.

Playing CN doesn't mean you sometimes act evil and sometimes don't. If you are acting evil, that would make you CE. And in a game I was running, I would rule a character who consistently behaved in an evil fashion to change his alignment, with any consequences that may entail.


Hey, sadism isn't completely incompatible with cooperation. Even Zon-Kuthon is able to limit himself to respect the wishes of his sister.

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