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Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
07-02-2009, 11:12 AM
Yep, and that is exactly why the argument has been going on for over 30 years. But many have seen the light once i explained it to him or her. Besides, whenever a DM pushes his or her belief systems, i make them admit bias. They usually do, and quickly. Then i say: they why do you allow magic in your game. Their response usually is: well, it's a game. My response: think about what you just said.

Usually all it takes. Most biased DM's can laugh at it once they see how obvious their bias is and that it really doesn't belong in the game. For there really doesn't need to be a blurring of beliefs and the game, they can be two separate things altogether.

Farcaster
07-02-2009, 03:13 PM
It's not what others believe is right or wrong, but what you (the character) believe is right or wrong, even if you're unstable...To give one example, a LG Paladin can go on murder sprees, wipe out towns of innocents, kill 'recruits' that aren't feeling his agenda, if he believes that it is for the greater good. If a LG Paladin can rationalize these actions, and sincerely believes in them, then did he really break his alignment code? I say, no.


And not about the DM's personal beliefs. It's a game. It's just a game. It's only a game.

I would have to disagree. I think just like the DM is the arbiter of the rules, he is also the arbiter of the less tangible rules of his universe. However, he does have the responsibility of making his rulings consistent with the setting. In your example of the paladin, what really matters is what his god thinks about it. The DM is left with the responsibility of determining whether what he does displeases his god or not. And even if his god is alright with it, other goodly people might not be. In a D&D game, it is also typically important to know whether a character is considered "good" or "evil" for the purposes of interaction with magic. Again, I think the DM is perfectly within his rights to say that a character, who has done things that are considered evil in his universe, is indeed evil regardless of what the character thinks about what he did.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
07-02-2009, 03:42 PM
Yeah, keep the endless debate alive and well, hilarious.

My way ends the alignment debate, and puts gamers on the same page.

Whether you do it or not, i care not.

Panthro82
07-02-2009, 04:47 PM
I only dislike when a DM uses religion as a prod to get players to go in certain directions. It becomes a form of control which takes away from characters freedoms. If a game is meant to grant free will, than religion should be a very loose guideline.

TheRageOfGaia
07-03-2009, 03:07 AM
Thoth - You're right. Your idea would get rid of the alignment debate, but it also makes alignment pointless, so why not do away with it altogether? The majority of people believe they are good guys, in reality and in fiction. Look at Captain America, Wolverine, the Punisher, and Dr. Doom. All of them believe that they are good people, who do the right thing, possess strong conviction, and are looking out for people's best interests. According to the alignment system, they would all have different alignments. According to yours, Captain America could carry around the Book of Vile Darkness, and Dr. Doom could be a paladin (in the book version of the term. More on this later.) However, saying the DM is the arbiter of alignment also ends the debate, much in the same way that the DM being the final say in rule disputes solves the debate. The difference is, with the DM in charge, alignment still matters. Dr. Doom would never be able to lay on hands (as a LG Paladin) nor would Captain Americ be found chilling with liches (the Red Skull >.<).

But! I love the idea of paladins of every alignment, which I think is brought up in one of the books. Complete Champion? Maybe? Either way, every alignment should have it's paragon. From the Superman style Lawful Good, to the Robin Hood style Chaotic Good right on down to your Darth Vader Lawful Evils and Joker Chaotic Evils. Of course, an evil paladin should have different powers.

Panthro82
07-03-2009, 07:04 AM
I think you can still have those things without alignments. Even Tesral pointed out on another thread sometime ago about how utterly worthless alignments are. He explained how he handled spells and abilities without alignments and it worked well from what I read.

I can see doing away with alignments and creating a certain honor code system for most characters. Considering there is honor in all classes. (I.E. honor amongst theives e.t.c)

DragonDM
07-04-2009, 10:51 AM
Sorry guys, I'm not always able to respond quickly.

First, remember that just because you are the DM,
that does not mean that you have Absolute Power over everything in the Game.

Stop. Think about this, for a second:

An Experienced G/DM running a game for Unexperienced Players does have Power, but it is their responsibility to teach these Players how to understand the Rules, and make intelligent decisions on their own. The G/DM Railroading the Players down a predetermined path gets old for the Players after the third time, and they are going to want to experiment with other options. Even if it means finding another Game to join.

An Unexperienced G/DM running a game for Experienced Players can quickly become nothing more then the token storyteller. This can cause this one to simply quite being the G/DM, and handing it over to someone in the group that is more experienced and willing to do so. Remember, the Game needs to be Fun for everyone – including the G/DM.

An Experienced G/DM running a game for Experienced Players has less say.
After all, the Players know the Rules at least as well as the G/DM.
It is for this reason that it is best that the G/DM sits down and hashes out a complete understanding of the Rules, and any Changes that they have made, and why they were changed.

A G/DM that is too harsh will lose the willingness of players to join their games.
A G/DM that is too lenient will lose the interest of the players, and also have no one in their games.

To me, being the G/DM means that you have to do a lot more work then any of the Players. Y.M.M.V.

- You have to make sure that all the Players remain involved and interested in the Game, no matter how few or how many there are in the Game. There will always be Tweekers, Min/Max-ers and Rule Lawyers, and each G/DM must decide how they are going to deal with these people.

(As I stated somewhere: Only extreme Rudeness on the Player's part will cause them to get kicked out of my Games.)

- You have to create the Challenges – be it a Complicated Maze, Exploring Uncharted Areas, solving a Strange Mystery, or nasty Monster Fights. Or some combination of these.

- You have to actually set up the above: Maps: Wilderness, City/Town/Village, Dungeon, Maze, etc.

- You have to have an idea what the personality type of each Important NPC is, and do your very best to portray each one as being different. Otherwise it's like listening to your High School/College Professor talking about people in history, but each 'person' is always talked about in the same droning monotone voice.

- You have to already know the answer to the Strange Mystery, and then figure out how to give Clues that don't immediately give the Answer away. (A Huge problem for me. I have to start from the End and work back to the Beginning.)

- You have to have the stats, natural abilities, magical/psionic powers, and Feats for each 'Monster'
that the Party encounters. Including any VPCs that might be hiding in the town.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
To me: Alignment is more then just something to write down on your PC Sheet, like another Stat.
Like Panthro, and RageofGaia say. If I'm forgetting someone, sorry.

And the “other Paladins” are found in the Unearthed Arcana, page 53-54.
I do not call the other Paladin variants “Paladins” - since that can cause confusion in some Players.
I call them “Champions”, since they Champion a specific Deity, or cause.

I see no difference between the “Champion of Tyranny” and the “Champion of Slaughter” as far Class as powers go. I am not sure what all I would change, as of yet. I will have to try and find the time to think of something.

Here are some of the things that I know that I have changed for my Games:
Smite – I have changed this from “Smite Good/Evil” to “Smite Infidel”.
This means that the “Champion of Tyranny” can Smite the “Champion of Slaughter”, and the
“Paladin” can Smite the “Champion of Freedom” - as well as being able to Smite their opposite.

Why? Ok. Think about the Crusades for a moment, as if they were placed in D&D.
(Note, there are actually several Crusades but I will focus on the specific crusades to regain control of the Holy Land (file:///wiki/Holy_Land) were fought over a period of nearly 200 years, between 1095 and 1291)

You have every Alignment type you want to name, somewhere in there – on both sides.
LG English “Holy” Knights (Templars are the prime example of what a Paladin is)

CG German “Divine Warriors” (The equal to the Champion of Freedom)

LE French “Church Knights” (The Equal of Champions of Tyranny)

CE English “Church Knights” (The equal to the Champion of Slaughter
– “Kill them all, Let God sort them out”)

LG Muslim Knights – their version of a Paladin.


CG Muslim Warriors – their version of a Champion of Freedom.

CE Muslim extremists – their version of a Champion of Slaughter.

LE Muslim cultists – their version of a Champion of Tyranny.

Now, here's the kicker. Each type was referring to their own “Holy Book” for guidance.
It's just how they chose to interpret their book, that makes the difference in their Alignment.
Note – Individual LE French and LG English Knights can trade places, as well as German Warriors and English Church Knight.

Belief is where their Alignment starts and is better defined by their Actions.
There are few stories that remain pure (in other words they were not edited to make one side look better, or the other side look worse. Nor were they rewritten to be more 'romantic'.)

If one searches hard enough, you can still find stories of:
LG Templars vs LG Muslim Knights. These are some of the most interesting battles.
Muslim and “English” Champions of Freedom fighting each other:

But there are also stories about:
- LG Templars kicking the shit out of the LE French “Church Knights”, German “Divine Warriors”, and French “Church Knights” - for 'war crimes' that exceeded the “honorable limit of Combat”.

It is very difficult for a non-Muslim to obtain any information from these people – but not impossible.
Muslim knights were known to seek out and destroy extremists and cultists.

Another thing that I got very tired of as a DM, is the Paladin's “Detect Evil” ability.
Temple of Elemental Evil is the perfect d&d module for this ability killing the game.
In the very beginning there are Evil NPCs that are hiding in the Village of Homlett.
At least one is in the tavern, and is actually meant to be a possible hireling for the Hero Party.
But if the Paladin walks into the Bar and says: “I Detect Evil on everyone in the Bar.” this kills that possibility.

Now, I believe that the Paladin should have some ability to detect some threats.
Which means that I changed the “Detect Evil” to “Detect Supernatural”.
Any supernatural being, Good, Neutral, or Evil, in disguise can be detected in this way.
Supernatural Evil in a Mortal is called “Taint” by the D&D System.
Magical Possession and Charm spells can also be detected.

Here's the problem: This ability does not distinguish between these things, it only tells them that something Supernatural is there, although with concentration (as per the detect spells) the Paladin can detect if there is any opposing Alignment element in the target creature. Of course, lots of people know that Paladins and Champions (as well as Clerics and some Mages) have this ability, and so may attack someone that is 'staring at them too intently'. To another Neutral Party, they can explain that they were offending them by doing this.

Needless to say, this level of Alignment Ruling can make things even more complicated then normal.
Tread with care.

Peace.

TheRageOfGaia
07-05-2009, 03:51 PM
I don't like the detect evil ability either. I think it should have a times per day limit, at the very least.

I enjoy playing Paladins, because I naturally lead towards the Neutral or Chaotic end of the Law-Chaos spectrum and it's a challenge to follow the rules. I also enjoy the conflicts that arise when law clashes with good, because it does, a lot. However, I often get chastized for the other players by not using my detect evil ability enough. My paladins typically use the ability only when it is necessary to make a difficult decision regarding the paladin code, i.e. is the monster we've been told is evil really evil? Or is something else going on?

Even so, I have found with every DM that I have played with that there are only THREE possible results for this ability:

1.) No evil.
2.) Uh. Yeah. Sure. There's some evil. Or
3.) It's so EVUL that you're BLIND

So, I just don't use it unless another player asks, or I feel that not using it could result in a violation of the code, or some kind of disaster for the party. For example, the party once entered a room that was empty except for a pillar with a giant black gemstone atop it with red veins running through it. The rogue wanted to run up and grab it, but I detected evil, and got result 3. So we decided to not put it in our packs.

On a related note, mousquito bites = CE

Panthro82
07-05-2009, 04:12 PM
They should probably look to change the detect evil in the next edition of D&D. A lot of people have issues with it. More people than those who feel it is good.

Doom Crow
07-06-2009, 03:22 AM
Oh boy, yes I ran a truly evil campaign about 5 years ago. It was D&D 3.5, set in Forgotten Realms, specifically in the Vilhon Reach. I was searching for a common thread to bring all of the villains together and found it in religion. Faith in a deity can bring the cooperation of the most evil people, if only for a little while.

So every PC in the gamer wound up being a follower of Talos, with one priest in the group "leading" them around. Their mission was to hunt down a heretic who had stolen an ancient and holy relic of the Church of Talos, the deity's own eye, which he had plucked out himself millenia ago. I began this off at 7th level so suffice it to say that I don't need to tell you the level of chaos and destruction these guys were leaving in their wake as they tracked this guy down.

Unbeknownst to them, however, this heretic was being tricked into stealing the Eye of Talos by Mask, who wanted to destroy Talos. The heretic wanted to expose the corruption in his church and therefore purge the unworthy until there was only Talos' faithful, but Mask did not share this goal. He knew that the reason Talos tore his eye out in the first place was because his eye housed an aspect of himself that represented the all-consuming hunger for destruction, beyond all reason and restraint, and that as it grew within him he feared he could no longer control the hunger and it would lead to his own destruction, so he tore out his eye, sealing the aspect within it. Mask wanted to use this heretic to perform a ritual that could release this apsect and unleash it on Talos to destroy him, for the two deities had a history of bad blood between them. So mask was guiding this heretic as the party tracked him, keeping him one step ahead of his pursuers while he gathered the necessary components for this ritual.

So as the party grew in level, so did the level of destruction they brought about. One such highlight was the sacking of Hlondeth, which started with an attempted mass-assassination of the Yuan-ti royalty and ended with a summonded hurricane that demolished much of the city, causing riots, mass hysteria and several magical firestorms, adding to the destruction. Of course bounty hunters and heroes from all over went after these guys, but my players were smart and they had defenses and traps laid out around their stronghold that neutralized any intruders and made their battles a lot easier than they would have been in a straight fight. Even straight fights for them were not too much, many were challenging but they overcame everything that I threw at them. Until the end, that is.

Throughout this entire campaign the players were always devising plans to betray, get one over on, and kill each other. The priest of the group even went so far as to track down the family of one of the members who had insulted him, kill them, raise them as shades and them unlesh them on him during one of the last sessions. This same priest sifted through the dead bodies in the rubble of Hlondeth searching for an attractive woman to resurrect and make his wife. He was truly a sick character, he was very well roleplayed by his player.

The cast of characters was as follows:
A Stormlord, the prestige class for Talos clerics
A nameless Volodni Barbarian
A Candlecaster wizard
A Hexblade/warrior
A Shade Rogue/assassin who used a double to appear to be in two places at once
A Half-Black Dragon, Half-Gloaming ranger

By the time the last session of the campaign came around, the group found themselves in the Chondathan captial of Arrabar, where they came together to kill their leader, fought a Hellfire Wyrm, fought against each other again leading to the ranger to flee with his mother and sister, and found the heretic who managed to successfully complete his ritual. The kicker is, that this aspect of Talos didn't destroy him. What it did do was summon Talos to that location, prompting Mask to arrive to gloat, and absorbed Talos, his aspect, Mask, and the Shade Rogue who at the last minute dropped in to kill the heretic and claim the eye for himself, and every soul in the immediate area into one being that shot up into the sky to begin a cocooning process to develop into a new deity altogether. Only one party member escaped having his soul sucked into oblivion and that was the Volodni, who did so by swan diving off a 300 foot cliff into the Moonsea below, but leaving the question of his survival from the fall open as it was the last session of the campaign.

All in all this one one of my favorite campaigns that I've ran. It was a ton of fun being on the evil side for a change and watching characters fall into destructive patterns of psychosis and depravity.

Steve S
07-06-2009, 04:57 AM
I think to much emphasis is put on the campaign being "evil". It's important to remember that balance is needed. A world of all good is dull. A world of all evil would destroy itself and not last. The lines of good and evil are often very blurred. Take for example a character I play. Duncan Konig is a 3 rogue/3 swashbuckler. He is Neutral Evil because he is driven by self serving motives. He is out for himself and like any human will test his limits of what he can get away with until someone stops him. Does this mean he cackles or likes the sound of children crying? No. He works well within a party because he knows he isn't invincible from his childhood on the streets, which also drove him to be the way he is. He has to beware of prying eyes whenever he commits evil. At the same time he is indispensable to the party sometimes. Who else knows how to sneak around, pick locks, disable tracks, and drop a pesky monster like he does?

In the world of DnD most rogue types are at least inherantly greedy. Hell, the entire race of dwarfs is greedy for treassure. At the end of the day good versus evil could be the differance in consoling a crying child or scaring them into silence. Moments of madness that people typically associate with the "evil" campaign should be reserved for a fitting moment. Someone just butchered your one and only love? Laugh like a maniac and fly off the handle at the first person to touch you. Just don't think that's the norm, unless you like rolling a new character every week.

Stix
07-06-2009, 08:35 AM
I routinely mix good and evil PCs in the same party. This isn't a great way to go for a typical high-fantasy game, but I usually run something gritty and visceral (Dark Sun, World of Darkness) or with a different take on morality (Planescape).

On several occasions I've played an evil character involved pretty seamlessly with a group. The one was a Mercykiller, devoted to bringing swift and torturous justice down on the heads of the deserving. He was a pleasant guest (if he did have a twisted sense of humor), and wouldn't dream of betraying someone who'd earned his trust (lest he be on the receiving end of justice himself). But he tracked down someone who'd intentionally put him at deadly risk, murdered him, mummified him in a blasphemous fashion, and now wears his preserved heart as an amulet.

Another character (a tiefling necromancer) spent time among a group of cultists of the Aztec gods who believed him to be a scion of their death deity. Their rituals included acts of cannibalism, and though he found it revolting to actually kill someone in order to eat their flesh, he readily gnoshed on the people who'd died for unrelated reasons. He's a carefree sort, giving gifts as he pleases, joking around with people, and otherwise being friendly, but that's the extent of his personal attachment: he'd never risk his life for anyone else... "criminal negligence" evil. Safety is found in a group, though, and so he'll chip in and help in order to survive.

DragonDM
07-06-2009, 03:22 PM
They should probably look to change the detect evil in the next edition of D&D. A lot of people have issues with it. More people than those who feel it is good.

In point of fact, 4e D&D did exactly that.
Paladins no longer have any "Detection" abilities.
Including any powers that can be activated to do so.
(that I have found yet, I'm still learing 4e - if you know of one, speak up)

LG - combine the Goodie 2-shoes with the normal "For the Greater Good" of NG codes and you get this in 4e.

G - Uncaring NG and CG are lumped into this.

N - anthing that does not fall into another catagory

E - There is no distinction between exploitive NE and 'honorable' LE

CE - This is only "destructive" Evil, no sense of control at all.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

But, IMHO, they also limited the Alignment possibilities too much.
Then again, I dislike 4e because it caters to Min/Max\Rulelawyer Munkins - and no longer cares about the details of what makes one Hunter different from another. Restricted Feats (some 3.5 Feats are now Powers) and Races means limited combinations.

Feh.

Sure, I'll run 4e. But, only when there is absolutely no one left that is interested in doing anything 3.5 (or my 3.x Homebrew) or D20.

Panthro82
07-07-2009, 06:26 AM
I played 4E once but never ran into Paladin/detect situations. I also am not a big fan. I just really got into 3.5 and hate feeling like a dog(consumer) who is told to fetch by someone(W.O.T.C) whenever they throw a stick(4E)

TheRageOfGaia
07-08-2009, 03:01 PM
Steve S - I agree with you mostly, but I think that too many people blur the line between evil and stupid. Hannibal Lecter is evil. He kills people and he eats them, but what makes him truly evil, is that he has no remorse. He's also a sophisticated genius, who works with law enforcement to catch another psycho. The average "evil" D&D character is just stupid. And that is why there is this myth that evil characters destroy a campaign, and that evil campaigns are random bloodbaths like any of the horror movies that have come out in the last five years. It's just not true.

Alignment doesn't supercede a sentient humanoid's need for companionship. Maybe a black dragon doesn't need any help from his friends, but a human does. Moreover, most villains, at the very least, need henchmen.

So, I agree. Evil isn't all about wanton rape, murder, and destruction. It's about cunning, guile, deceit, trickery, manipulation, and subtlety.

For proof, I would like to point out that the personification of evil in the western world, Satan, relies much more on subtle and manipulative evil, than he does on rampant chaos and stupidity.

Stix - Going along with what I said in the last little bit, I think you're right. I hate the paladin sense evil ability, and I also hate the "A paladin will never work with an evil character." It doesn't even really fit the bill for classic fantasy. Good and evil characters work together all the time. Gandalf and Saruman, Frodo and Gollum, Rand al'Thor and one of the Forsaken, etc. etc.

There's a cool paladin idea, or maybe it's a variant, I'm not sure, that I saw a friend play once. The character's focus was justice. His wife and son had been murdered (kind of like the Punisher) and on his quest to avenge them (the campaign) he realized that everyone suffers from injustice at the hands of evil, and it became his quest to bring evil men to justice. The DM allowed him to relax the paladin code, so that he could earn the trust of these villains in order to get evidence to deal with them legally. As a paladin would, right? Most LG societies outlaw murder, so why would the paragon of the LG alignment go around murdering people? It was very cool, and he had a sort of dark edge to his lawful good. He was never evil, and he never broke the law, but his attitude wasn't about bravery, goodness, and triumphing over evil. It was dark and brooding.

Anyway... Good points you two.

Panthro82
07-09-2009, 02:55 AM
Paladins are the biggest enigma in D&D.

TheRageOfGaia
07-09-2009, 06:56 PM
As written, Paladins are great for ONE very specific type of character and campaign. To do any other type, they need a little tweaking, or a little leeway from the DM.

What if Pete the Paladin finds himself clinging to the side of a cliff. Maybe there was an explosion and he just barely made his reflex save. All his allies are dead, but his enemy, Evella the Destroyer doesn't want him to die because, I donno, she wanted to destroy him before he dies. So Evella offers Pete her hand "Take my hand," she says.

Now Pete is forced with a serious dilemma. If he doesn't accept Evella's help, he will die (this is because Pete is only 1st level and doesn't have any magic items to help him). But if he refuses, he will be working with an evil character, and will lose all of his Paladin powers!

What should Pete do?

templeorder
07-09-2009, 06:59 PM
Pete should conditionally grab the hand, promising that if saved, he will only challenge his enemy to righteous combat.
--- Merged from Double Post ---
I would just like to add that i've been running an evil campaign called Thug Life for a while now. Its not evil in the sense of powerful evil with a purpose, but a more subtle evil - indifference, self promotion, survival, and get-them-before-they-get you.

Its street life and hard living. There's a sense of camaraderie for sure, with the knowledge that you would be sacrificed if need be. This particular campaign seems self sustaining - as there is an immediacy about it that is all about solving the hurdle right in front of you. These characters can barely plan their next meal. Other evil campaigns i have run always end in disaster - one character trying to screw over another... almost always because they had the time and motive to scheme... funny, but ultimately non-productive.

Panthro82
07-09-2009, 11:45 PM
As written, Paladins are great for ONE very specific type of character and campaign. To do any other type, they need a little tweaking, or a little leeway from the DM.

What if Pete the Paladin finds himself clinging to the side of a cliff. Maybe there was an explosion and he just barely made his reflex save. All his allies are dead, but his enemy, Evella the Destroyer doesn't want him to die because, I donno, she wanted to destroy him before he dies. So Evella offers Pete her hand "Take my hand," she says.

Now Pete is forced with a serious dilemma. If he doesn't accept Evella's help, he will die (this is because Pete is only 1st level and doesn't have any magic items to help him). But if he refuses, he will be working with an evil character, and will lose all of his Paladin powers!

What should Pete do?

As a paladin I believe the only thing he could do...Take the hand and then rip them off the cliff, plunging them down to their death. He still has one hand to hold on with and he would have just killed off his greatest sworn enemy. At that point it wouldn't matter if he survived or not. He lived long enough to see his sworn foe die. In his eyes he just rid the world of a great evil, which would be more than worth his own life's sacrifice.

Stix
07-10-2009, 09:17 PM
What if Pete the Paladin finds himself clinging to the side of a cliff. Maybe there was an explosion and he just barely made his reflex save. All his allies are dead, but his enemy, Evella the Destroyer doesn't want him to die because, I donno, she wanted to destroy him before he dies. So Evella offers Pete her hand "Take my hand," she says.

Now Pete is forced with a serious dilemma. If he doesn't accept Evella's help, he will die (this is because Pete is only 1st level and doesn't have any magic items to help him). But if he refuses, he will be working with an evil character, and will lose all of his Paladin powers!

What should Pete do?


Pete needs to find a DM who isn't going to hose him like that. :P

TheRageOfGaia
07-11-2009, 02:02 AM
:biggrin: Stix

I wouldn't expect any RPer to sacrifice their character in that situation. And I wouldn't penalize the paladin for accepting the help, I think it's just a case where the rules are not able to cover everything. But it's a good show for why alignment should be fluid.

Panthro82
07-11-2009, 10:52 AM
That's the issue with Paladins though. He could do what I posed him doing and could validate it to the DM even if he was LG. He could do something that under handed and evil and chalk it up as a necessary action for the cause of good.

Also if a player is truly in character. Then the Paladin would happily take the risk on his life if it assured the villains death.

MINI
08-01-2009, 09:21 PM
I'm currently running an evil game on openRPG that starts the characters as prisoners in a large prison. They are being used by the warden to accomplish tasks and that warden hopes they atone for their past deeds. To keep them in line until they bond a bit they had to all agree to wear collars that have thorns which implant themselves into thier skin. the collars hold wroms which, if released into thier bodies can kill them instantly, so in this manner they are forced to work together as a team. The game is set in gathis (www.gathis.com) and is going very well. Thsoe ineterested can view teh summaries of the game so far : (http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/%3Ca%20href=)

http://z9.invisionfree.com/Mayhem_Gaming/index.php?showtopic=2903

*this requires you register, sorry*

Doom Crow
08-02-2009, 04:50 PM
I'm currently putting together a PBP game here on P&P Games that is an evil campaign, and I am using Obsidian Portal as a support site for a lot of the background and world info for my campaign setting.

You can check out my PBP forum at Dirge of Everlasting Iniquity (http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=164)

And the Obsidian Portal page at Dirge of the Damned (http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaign/dirge-of-the-damned)

The premise for the campaign is pretty decent imho. I'll post a blurb from the introduction to give you an idea of what it's about.

"You remember your life vividly as if it were only yesterday, only you’ve been here for so long the concept of time means little to you now. In life you never considered this outcome, but in the end this fate befalls all who are wicked. The afterlife holds eternal damnation for you, an existence trapped in the Ebonlands, the native realm of all devils and demons you used to hear stories about as a child, only they are very real and they very much enjoy torturing you to death, over and over again. The demon who guided you on your path to damnation, whether you were aware of his influence, claimed your soul as his property upon your death and has put you to be tormented ever since. You count the moments of agony as they pass until you earn a few moments of respite when the demons tire of your screams, and they rarely ever tire of them.

You cannot fathom being able to sustain such agony across the breadth of eternity, but after what he believes is sufficient time to break you, your master has decided he has other plans for you. Thrown down at the feet of the demon who possesses you mind and soul, Lord Apoxalon stares down at you for a few moments before lifting you up by your scalp and dangling you there. It’s come time for this goat to leave the flock and do the work of the wolf. You will do as you are told, and you had better not disappoint me worm, lest you'll end up back in the pits with the rest of those I have no use for. Nashira, I leave these wretches to your command.

You emit an unearthly scream and then black out as the demon lord pops your head like a blister, dropping your bloody body to the floor. A few moments after his presence leaves the chamber you groggily awaken as your body reforms, a dreadful quality all damned souls in the Ebonlands possess. Leaning back on your knees as your vision clears, you get a good look at whom Lord Apoxalon was speaking to before your last untimely accident. Nashira gives you quite the grumpy look, apparently not happy to have been stuck with you. All right wretch, on your feet! We need to get you ready for the journey back to Pariatas. Yes, you heard me right, you’re going back to the realm of the living, with a new body and all. Don’t get too excited though, you won’t be there for a vacation. Lord Apoxalon wants his followers to begin staking out territory for his eventual arrival on that plane, and that’s why we plucked you out of the pits. So you had better get your head straight and be ready to follow orders, or it’s back to the feast down there with you! She points downward at the grated floor but you don’t even need to looks to know what’s down there. You don’t really know the why or the how but you do know that you’ve been given a chance at something here. Now it’s a matter of figuring out what to do with it.."

Still looking for a few more players by the way! This will be my 3rd evil campaign and I think I'm getting better with each go around, so here's hoping this time will be the best yet.

Ishcumbeebeeda
08-03-2009, 02:53 PM
My Ultimate Gaming Fantasy is to actually have two mature groups: One Playing heroes, and the other playing Villains. Each group has a seperate game day - where maybe one Villain gueststars in the Hero Group and vice versa, and once a month they all get together and fight it out over who will Rule The World.

I have always wanted to do this! Too bad we're not closer... As for evil campaigns, I've never been in one myself, exactly, but most of my DMs have allowed their players to play whatever alignment they wanted, so long as the character had a good reason to be doing what he was doing. A friend of mine who was playing a blackgaurd once found out that being the only evil member of a group could be hard: He walked into a magic shop, minding his own bussiness, but the owner of the shop recognized him for what he was, saying "we don't serve your kind here, get out!" When my friend responded with trying to reason with the shop keep he was teleported out of the shop! This pissed him off a little, so he drew his sword and marched right back in only to be teleported out again, this time down the street a little. This kept going for a little while until eventually the rest of the party descovered their blackgaurd comrad stuck in a tree a few miles out of town.:lol:

TheRageOfGaia
08-05-2009, 03:47 AM
My Ultimate Gaming Fantasy is to actually have two mature groups: One Playing heroes, and the other playing Villains. Each group has a seperate game day - where maybe one Villain gueststars in the Hero Group and vice versa, and once a month they all get together and fight it out over who will Rule The World.

I was a part of a similar campaign once, each of us created two characters one good and one evil, and the DM had two seperate SLs going that required us to switch over from time to time. We were all very good friends, and mature role-players, plus, if we noticed anyone starting to show favoritism we would call them on it.

I had a NG Elven Druid and a LE Cleric of Hextor, it was a lot of fun. The Cleric was much cooler, I always get a kick out of Lawful Evil "codes of honor."

"Pick up that sword so I can stab you in the back, I never kill an unarmed man."

Jackmoore
08-11-2009, 07:38 PM
I started a game and the first question asked was "OK is anyone ok with selling kids into slavery?" This set the tone overall for the game. We play the palladium system and I allow people to bend thier alignments as they chose. Besides people change over time. The major thing I noticed was how the players did not trust one another. "Hey im going to get the payment." Suddenly everyone is going so they get thier pay too. One of the characters in particular was super manipulative and coerced several of the others to kill one another.

The last diffrence I noticed was the level of secrecy. Everyone had a secret and everyone kept it close at hand. In the bloodbath of Player on Player combat secrets came out and they were so good at it they hid it from each other. In one case a Mega Juicer assaulted a power armor pilot in his sleep. The juicer power punched him in the face figuring it would splat him instantly. Of course the pilot was a sea titan and also an MD creature. My only real regret was not having my camera phone out so I could get the juicers expression when he was kicked though a wall.

Me I like Gming evil games if nothing else then I get to be the good guys for once. Because more often than not I am the evil something or other that crawls out of the hole and tries to eat the players faces.

Emoria
08-21-2009, 11:19 PM
I once ran an Evil Campaign, but there is one problem for me. No matter how evil the characters were I could one up them, and I knew it.

1. This game had like 12 players starting, made things hard on little ol me.
2. Their first point of contact was a Necromancer named "Amalfia" I think it was. She had an extreme undead fetish, and a flesh golem she would graft part she liked onto.

The players grew tired of my one ups so I out did how good most of them could be, and gave them moral dilemma's and such.... I know I'm a little bit of a bully.

gered
08-25-2009, 12:16 AM
I think you know I have, but in case we never talked about it. I've run 3 evil campaigns, all were very interesting.

The biggest dilemma being that many players want to be led to the plot and the plot has to be very open, because the players have a skewed moral compass, so now you can't rely that the path you try to set them down will intrigue them at all.

They either need to be players who like to self motivate (uncommon) or players who have a very definite goal like greed or something.







Ben Rostoker asks, "Have you ever done an 'evil' campaign?"

Have you ever done an 'evil' campaign? That is have a campaign where all or most of the PCs were of the Evil alignment and were either fighting other Evil monsters and Villains or Heroes?

In other words have you ever turned the whole D&D model of Heroes saving the day from the evil monster upside down?

If so what were the results?
If not why?

prestonp
08-27-2009, 01:46 PM
I have not yet done an evil campaign, but I plan on doing one in the near future. Also, I have been tempted to run on in the past in response to unruly players.

The typical fantasy setting is akin to Lord of the Rings; there is evil afoot and the players are playing adventures who must form a common bond in order to overcome the gathering evil. The problem is, what if the players consistently demonstrate a selfish desire to put their own interests before either that of the party or of the greater plot of stopping the gathering evil?

I've seen these things happen before, and at that point I typically stop the game and talk to the players a bit. If they really want to run that kind of game, then I'll switch from a good campaign to an evil one. The way I see it, evil campaigns force far greater player discipline, which is counterintuitive but true. GMs feel the opposite is true, that evil takes the reigns off of the player and allows the unrestrained player "id" to run wild.

That would be true only if the evil campaign were entirely self-directed, which I feel they should not be. Instead, the evil PCs are taking direct orders from evil superiors (think Nazi SS). I give evil PCs direct orders from superiors about what goals should be accomplished. Should they fail those goals, the superiors will tend to punish failure severely. The greater result is that, by switching to an evil campaign, greater player discipline is enforced. Albeit, at gunpoint.

In his blog, Monty Cooke recently expressed surprise that no one had run a Ptolus campaign from the stand point of evil gangsters on the mean streets of Ptolus just trying to get by... a Good Fellas or Sopranos type game set in the D&D world. That idea fascinates me and I think I'm going to take him up on that... using Pathfinder rules.

Lender
08-27-2009, 11:24 PM
This won't be popular here. Oh well. PCs roleplaying evil should not be done. When I say evil, I'm talking about "I have my character rape the woman...while her helpless children look on...," not "I stash the embargoed items in my secret compartment." There's a line that shouldn't be crossed, and it's not that hard to see.

What are RPGs really about, anyway? In a nutshell, they're about placing yourself in the shoes of someone able to see and do things that you never could in real life (most likely). For fun. Stereotypically (in a good way), you get to do something incredibly heroic in a fantastic setting - on a regular basis, even. With friends.

Do you want to put yourself in the shoes of a rapist, serial killer, psychopath, etc.? For fun? WHY?!!! Really. Step back and ask yourself - why? "Why is that enjoyable to me?"

I'm not saying that if you enjoy it, it must be because you secretly want to do those things. But words are powerful. Literature is powerful. Thoughts are powerful. RPing is all of the above. Do you think you can walk down that path in your mind (for hours at a time! every week...for months!) and be unaffected in a negative way? I'm not saying that because you roleplay these things, you'll end up doing them in real life. Not at all. But it's degrading. It's de-sensitizing.

Also, it makes a mockery of the pain of the real-life victims of these tragedies. There was some discussion previously about N. Korean prison guards and the atrocities they commit. The writer of the post went to lengths (appropriately so) to describe the anguish of the N. Korean people and the things they suffered. Knowing that, is it okay for me to turn around and pretend to be one of these guards? Make it a game - for fun? Going into detail about how I torture people or kill infants, because that's in keeping with my character and "good roleplaying?" Just because these incredibly unfortunate people aren't at the table with you to hear it - does that make it okay?

I take it even further. As a GM, I won't go down that road, either. I play the bad guys (and the good NPCs!). So, to come up with an interesting, diabolical villian the players must stop, do I have to dredge up the depths of human depravity in graphic detail and vomit it up on a platter for my players? Tolkien didn't. Neither did George Lucas.

Two final points:

It romantisizes the true-life monsters that commit these crimes.

On a much lesser note, it definitely adds to the "roleplaying is creepy and weird" stygma held by the vast majority of non-gamers, when they bother to take more than a cursory glance at it. This hurts the hobby. Parents don't encourage their young teens to get into roleplaying - they try to steer them away from "those creepy weirdos." I see tabletop slowly going the way of the buffalo - a tragedy! It doesn't help that so many games are dark and oppressive instead of wholesome and uplifting.

There it is...

gered
08-28-2009, 12:36 AM
Yo, I agree with you almost completely. I just want to say that some people do this because it's a way to see the side they've been fighting in their games all this time. And when I've done it, I don't think it hurt them much. But the games didn't really have anywhere to go and a lot of that has something to do with them not wanting to expand on their already evil evilness. It's difficult to pull off a tale with a climax and growth.

Anyhow, good points.




This won't be popular here. Oh well. PCs roleplaying evil should not be done. When I say evil, I'm talking about "I have my character rape the woman...while her helpless children look on...," not "I stash the embargoed items in my secret compartment." There's a line that shouldn't be crossed, and it's not that hard to see.

What are RPGs really about, anyway? In a nutshell, they're about placing yourself in the shoes of someone able to see and do things that you never could in real life (most likely). For fun. Stereotypically (in a good way), you get to do something incredibly heroic in a fantastic setting - on a regular basis, even. With friends.

Do you want to put yourself in the shoes of a rapist, serial killer, psychopath, etc.? For fun? WHY?!!! Really. Step back and ask yourself - why? "Why is that enjoyable to me?"

I'm not saying that if you enjoy it, it must be because you secretly want to do those things. But words are powerful. Literature is powerful. Thoughts are powerful. RPing is all of the above. Do you think you can walk down that path in your mind (for hours at a time! every week...for months!) and be unaffected in a negative way? I'm not saying that because you roleplay these things, you'll end up doing them in real life. Not at all. But it's degrading. It's de-sensitizing.

Also, it makes a mockery of the pain of the real-life victims of these tragedies. There was some discussion previously about N. Korean prison guards and the atrocities they commit. The writer of the post went to lengths (appropriately so) to describe the anguish of the N. Korean people and the things they suffered. Knowing that, is it okay for me to turn around and pretend to be one of these guards? Make it a game - for fun? Going into detail about how I torture people or kill infants, because that's in keeping with my character and "good roleplaying?" Just because these incredibly unfortunate people aren't at the table with you to hear it - does that make it okay?

I take it even further. As a GM, I won't go down that road, either. I play the bad guys (and the good NPCs!). So, to come up with an interesting, diabolical villian the players must stop, do I have to dredge up the depths of human depravity in graphic detail and vomit it up on a platter for my players? Tolkien didn't. Neither did George Lucas.

Two final points:

It romantisizes the true-life monsters that commit these crimes.

On a much lesser note, it definitely adds to the "roleplaying is creepy and weird" stygma held by the vast majority of non-gamers, when they bother to take more than a cursory glance at it. This hurts the hobby. Parents don't encourage their young teens to get into roleplaying - they try to steer them away from "those creepy weirdos." I see tabletop slowly going the way of the buffalo - a tragedy! It doesn't help that so many games are dark and oppressive instead of wholesome and uplifting.

There it is...

DragonDM
09-10-2009, 02:40 PM
I agree with Lender.

For the most part - there are very few that agree with my viewpoints on Alignment. At least for those that have posted in response to me, so far.

The sad truth is that the DM is the one that has to put on the Black Hat.
It is their job to portray those people that are seeking to do something that they are not supposed to be doing.

Remember, Heroes are defined by the Villians that they meet and defeat. This is what makes all of the really good movies so popular.

Without Jafar, would Aladin really be all that interesting?

Without Long John Silver and all of the other Pirates, would the story of Treasure Island be worth reading?

Without Gollum, would Frodo have been able to defeat Saron?

While it may be fun to play the part of the 'evil' Pirate that steals from everyone, and perhaps kills those adults that get in their way, there should be a limit for how far that 'evil' person is willing to go.
Going into graphic details about exactly how evil you are is not something that should be overly enjoyed, by anyone - Player or GM.

Remember that death is (mostly) final. And that all except the most Vile person will kill only as a last resort. After all, it may come down to their turn at the end of a rope or a sword's edge, and their cries for mercy will only be heard if they granted mercy to those that asked for it.

And remember that there is a level of evil that is even greater then being that Pirate - that level is Vile.

Killing babies, for any reason, is Vile.

Rape should be Vile, but a lot of people don't look at it that way, though most will agree that it is Evil. Look at it from the viewpoint of the victim, having been rendered helpless and forced to do something - and ask yourself which would you classify it as - Evil or Vile?

For most Societies, murdering someone is considered 'Evil'.
Killing in self-defense, or the defense of a helpless individual (Murdering Kids is Vile) is "forgivable" - in other words, it is still considered evil, but you can be forgiven of that crime (some would say sin) for having defended someone else. Self-defense is kinda a grey area, it is understood that if it's a "them or you situation" then your going to choose you, and sinse they would have done the same, they can "forgive" this crime as well.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
When the Players want to play evil characters and do not want to accept being ordered around by a more powerful Evil Force (after about 10th level, enforcing these orders is difficult, especially if the Players are clever and their Characters are paranoid) then this requires me, the DM to be Vile.

While I can do these kind of Games, I find that these games do not last long. Mostly because the Players get to the point where they can't stomach it anymore.

I do not like doing Vile Games. Most of my "evil" characters and Games are more along the lines of portraying Batman's Bad Guys - they are meant to be defeated, even if it is in a Scooby-Doo style: a bunch of clueless kids (1st-3rd level PCs taking on 5th level Villians) running around and figuring out how to get the 'cops/guards' enough evidence to get these bad guys.

Think on this for a moment, if you dare:
Even the worse person in Prison today will find things that others do to be offensive. The mass murderer will dislike the rapist - and absolutely hate the child molester/rapist\murderer, and with a justifyable deep loathing.

Changing sides to see what you would do as a Bad Guy is one thing:
So long as there are other Players at the table that are out to stop you.
It should not be the DM's job to suddenly play every Hero in the world.
Quite frankly, this would be akin to the Players suddenly finding themselves on the Most Wanted List. Eventually even other Evil Characters will be out to take these Characters down.
And that's not even counting what the Vile Characters would do....
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Well, Until next time
Good Gaming.
DragonDM

WhiskeyFur
09-10-2009, 06:06 PM
Think a large part of it too is viewpoint. What's your defination of Evil and what's /their/ defination of evil, the ones your labeling as evil...

Take star wars. The empire as a whole wasn't evil in the normal sense, it just became so corrupted. Legally, the rebellion was a criminal organization that worked alot like how terrorists did. The aim was the same, their methods as well.

Rebels were criminals and scum, ungrateful bastards who prefered anarchy to the order that the emperor created. The sith were just nasty buisness, pure and simple. VILE in DragonDM's words. Both needed to be eradicated.

Our party was a 'troubleshooting' cell of the Imperial Signals Branch (ISB), so we had pretty much the free run of the entire empire. And what made it fun was that we would raid the lairs of smugglers, drug dealers and rebel cells, and put them down then and there like rabid dogs, on the spot. To heck with laws, capture... we were judge, jury and executioner.

I played as a dark jedi who loved the power, to have people bow to my whims... loved it. Being able to command storm troopers like they were puppets, going in and blasting cantinas and other dark pits of villany up, grabbing people off the ground and getting answers as they were choking, the sweet smell of spice warehouses getting obliterated along with the drug dealers... They burned nice.

Even dealt with a rapist by cutting him in half right there in the court room, just because I got bored with the proceedings and there was plenty enough to convict. I didn't care he had like tons of cash and the best lawyers. Light saber, meet red tape. -slash- Sorry, imperial laws trump your petty world laws. Learn it, live it, love it. (ok, so I got yelled at by the moff for that one. Ah well.)

But there were some lines that even I wouldn't cross.

When our little group started hearing about someone going around collecting sith artifacts, of course we stepped in! Stomped the daylights out of the thieves we found, didn't even give them a chance. Heck! We destroyed the artifacts ourselves and it was a damned fine sight to see a collection of sith pyramids go up in pieces... you get alot of pretty purple and red flames. :)

That changed when we found an ISB badge on one of the thieves and knew something was not right. Tracking that back to a branch of the ISB that was directly under the emperor's definately gave us pause.

There's a line in between Dark Jedi and Sith, one that I wouldn't cross for any reason, but being told to support their activities or stay out of their way just -pissed- me off. The rest of the group felt almost the same way for different reasons. Our pilot didn't like seeing his buddies sent off on sacrifice runs for tactical stupidity, the bounty hunter got short changed a few times... the list is legion.

End result was that we were plenty pissed character wise.

Last game, the game master set it up so any one of us could have prevented the ending to episode six we all know and love. Not a single one of us prevented it though, even though it would have been so -easy- to... Me? I just ended up hating the emperor more then I hated the rebellion, pure and simple.

Yes, my dark jedi actually recorded the death star blowing up for his own amusement.

In our epilogue we ended up taking over one of the star destroyers and carved out a nice little niche of space of our own on the periphary. As the GM had put it, in a subtle nod towards our deliberate inaction to prevent the emperor's fall, our niche was left for last of the Rebellion's cleanup.

We were evil, but we were evil for a reason.

prestonp
09-11-2009, 11:17 AM
I ran the Kobold Lair section of Reverse Dungeon. It was pretty cool. The player who was playing the Kobold Rogue sneaked into town to spy on the Adventurers. On his way there, he wanted to stop by a random farmhouse that I decicded was populated by a farmer and a child. He killed the two of them, and then then committed necrophilia.

I glossed over it, "Ahm. Ok. Are you done?"

"Yea. I'm just being evil."

It seemed crazy to me but when people are asked to play evil characters, it seems they have to go out and do something randomly evil like kill kittens.

Killwatch
09-12-2009, 03:32 AM
the difference between rebels and terrorists, are their methods. At it's base a rebel faction becomes terrorists when they either don't care about civillian casualties, or, target them specifically. Not caring is a Neutral/Selfish kind of mentality. Targeting them specificially is an evil one.

As for evil kobolds:
Both good and evil are fairly proactive. Good wants to help others, Evil wants to cause pain and strife. Everyone else either doesn't want to get involved or is looking out for number one.

But I guess evil/good is what you do when you have the opportunity

Lender
09-12-2009, 10:13 PM
The player who was playing the Kobold Rogue sneaked into town to spy on the Adventurers. On his way there, he wanted to stop by a random farmhouse that I decicded was populated by a farmer and a child. He killed the two of them, and then then committed necrophilia.

I glossed over it, "Ahm. Ok. Are you done?"

"Yea. I'm just being evil."

A better response would have been an incredulous stare, followed by, "What in HELL is wrong with you?!... Not your character...YOU?!!!"

prestonp
09-13-2009, 03:40 AM
Yea, and I guess that cuts to the heart of the issue. For me, there are many evil characters presented in fiction who can be viewed quite sympathetically. Characters such as:

Al Swearengen from Deadwood
Dexter
Hannibal Lecter
The Vampire Lestat

And so on. Each of these characters clearly meets the D&D definition of evil, but they also have a moral code that they follow. Al Swearengen doesn't see himself as an evil person, merely someone who does what he needs to do to survive. Those are the kind of characters I look for in D&D games: gritty pragmatists who have a moral code (regardless of how arbitrary). I'm not looking for people who are seem to feel that they need to kill kittens at every opportunity because they feel that that's what evil people do.

Lender
09-14-2009, 10:22 PM
I can kind of see your point, though I'm not sure I would agree a Hannibal Lector-type would make a good PC, whatever twisted "code" he might have.

To put it another way, I can see (but not encourage) someone playing Rhaz al Ghul (not sure about that spelling) from Batman Begins, but I would utterly repudiate someone wanting to play the Joker from Dark Knight. One uses a pragmatic, yet ultimately evil "the ends justifies the means" philosophy. The other is just sick. What virtue could there be in playing that? That's a rhetorical question, the answer is obviously "none."

TheRageOfGaia
09-15-2009, 02:41 AM
So the necrophilia bit reminded me of a situation that arised in an evil campaign I played in high school.

I was a NE Rogue/Cleric of Nerull in a party with a NE Fighter, a CE Wizard, a NE Druid, and a CE Ranger. The Fighter had a sister who was a Paladin, and we had fought and killed her. That night while the rest of us were out, the CE Wizard snuck into the room where we were keeping the body for burial. Enemy or not, it was the Fighter's sister. Evil people still care about THEIR dead relatives. Look at Joe Jackson.

Anyway, the party returns to find the Wizard in the act of... violating... the corpse. We killed him. Evil is evil, but some things are inexcusable, even to the most vile human beings.

For example, even Hannibal Lecter had respect for certain people, his behavior wasn't random, it was meticulously planned, but he would probably be considered CE, or NE at best.

Killwatch
09-16-2009, 02:55 AM
THis is why I like Palladium alignments, things are laid out well and gives a point by point points of principles. However, I do not care for their centrist alignment category of "selfish" I like Neutral.

I like how simple D&D alignments are, but they are too simple

prestonp
09-17-2009, 12:25 AM
THis is why I like Palladium alignments, things are laid out well and gives a point by point points of principles. However, I do not care for their centrist alignment category of "selfish" I like Neutral.

I like how simple D&D alignments are, but they are too simple

I agree that the D&D alignments are too simple. In Monte Cook's Book of Hallowed Might (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1588469875?ie=UTF8&tag=prestpoult-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1588469875), he introduced a 1 to 9 scale for Law, Chaos, Good, and Evil. For instance, his Evil scale is


Evil
1 Finds joy in the misfortune of others, but usually
wouldn’t act to hurt others
2 Willing to cause others pain or misfortune to better
himself
3 Actively enjoys lying, stealing, and inflicting pain
on others
4 Willing to cause harm even to friends to get ahead
5 Willing to kill to better himself
7 Will kill for the sheer pleasure of bringing pain and
death to others
9 Hates life, goodness, and light and does everything
in his power to destroy them

Using this system, all characters who rate their alignments on the scale. Thus, lawful evil becomes, Law 3 Evil 5. On this system, effects that target a specific alignments are modified by

1 Treat as neutral
2–3 Half damage (or half duration)
4–8 Normal
9–10 Double damage (or double duration)
Thus the evil character in our equation is would take normal damage from a Smite Evil, even if he wasn't a cleric or other class that has an aura.

I like this system. It also allows the DM to get a clear indication of what behaviors he should expect from his characters.

WhiteTiger
09-17-2009, 04:36 PM
I have played in an evil campaign but never run one. I do have a player that constantly plays neutral because he says "he doesn't know how to play a good character". you can read into that as much as you'd like.. I certainly have. :rolleyes:

DragonDM
09-24-2009, 03:19 PM
Dragonlance actually had a simular system 10 "points" out from Neutral, and that only had 3 points before you 'fell out' into something else.
- although DL was more concerned about Good/Evil, but it can be easily expanded to include Chaos/Law.


I agree that the D&D alignments are too simple. In Monte Cook's Book of Hallowed Might (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1588469875?ie=UTF8&tag=prestpoult-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1588469875), he introduced a 1 to 9 scale for Law, Chaos, Good, and Evil. For instance, his Evil scale is

Evil
1 Finds joy in the misfortune of others, but usually wouldn’t act to hurt others
2 Willing to cause others pain or misfortune to better himself
3 Actively enjoys lying, stealing, and inflicting pain on others
4 Willing to cause harm even to friends to get ahead
5 Willing to kill to better himself
7 Will kill for the sheer pleasure of bringing pain and death to others
9 Hates life, goodness, and light and does everything in his power to destroy them

Using this system, all characters who rate their alignments on the scale. Thus, lawful evil becomes, Law 3 Evil 5. On this system, effects that target a specific alignments are modified by

Thus the evil character in our equation is would take normal damage from a Smite Evil, even if he wasn't a cleric or other class that has an aura.

1 Treat as neutral
2–3 Half damage (or half duration)
4–8 Normal
9–10 Double damage (or double duration)

I like this system. It also allows the DM to get a clear indication of what behaviors he should expect from his characters.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
09-24-2009, 05:25 PM
I never equated evil with a sociopath, or insanity.

WhiteTiger
09-25-2009, 10:07 AM
I like Monte's idea of a sliding scale. Lots of roleplay potential for someone who might be "going to the dark side" or tempted by the "Dark Side". I may have to see if I can find a copy of it or maybe check out Drivethrurpg for a pdf copy.

DMMike
09-25-2009, 10:27 AM
Ben Rostoker asks, "Have you ever done an 'evil' campaign?"

Have you ever done an 'evil' campaign? That is have a campaign where all or most of the PCs were of the Evil alignment and were either fighting other Evil monsters and Villains or Heroes?

In other words have you ever turned the whole D&D model of Heroes saving the day from the evil monster upside down?

If so what were the results?
If not why?


The interesting thing about villains, at least in the real world, is that they don't consider themselves villains. Which begs the question, "is evil absolute, or not?"

In that sense, it would be really easy to run an "evil" campaign, because for all you know, your "heroes" already ARE villains: that sovereign, glorious orc-tribe, about to get stomped down by the heroes, is pretty well certain that the heroes are evil.

The simplified version of evil, unjustified malice, generally makes for a bad campaign, because it breaks with the notion that people are somewhat rational. And when your heroes fail to be rational, they invite condemnation from civilians, would-be allies, and even party members. (This just amounts to a one-session campaign, in which the PCs fight each other to see who's the king of the mountain.)

To run an evil campaign, I'd provide some very concrete incentives to the heroes for doing what would normally be called "evil." And I would make sure that there's a rational explanation for other people in the world to support them, otherwise it would become the aforementioned one-session campaign.

WhiskeyFur
09-25-2009, 10:37 AM
The interesting thing about villains, at least in the real world, is that they don't consider themselves villains. Which begs the question, "is evil absolute, or not?"

In that sense, it would be really easy to run an "evil" campaign, because for all you know, your "heroes" already ARE villains: that sovereign, glorious orc-tribe, about to get stomped down by the heroes, is pretty well certain that the heroes are evil.

The simplified version of evil, unjustified malice, generally makes for a bad campaign, because it breaks with the notion that people are somewhat rational. And when your heroes fail to be rational, they invite condemnation from civilians, would-be allies, and even party members. (This just amounts to a one-session campaign, in which the PCs fight each other to see who's the king of the mountain.)

To run an evil campaign, I'd provide some very concrete incentives to the heroes for doing what would normally be called "evil." And I would make sure that there's a rational explanation for other people in the world to support them, otherwise it would become the aforementioned one-session campaign.

I think what the original poster was implying was the fantasy/hollywood definition of evil, not realistic evil. I could be wrong...

-- fantasy/hollywood evil
In my mind, the fantasy/hollywood definition of evil means when you kill it, even though you leveled the peasant's house in the process and reduced his entire life savings to 0 and less, he'll forgive you because you did it to get rid of an even bigger threat. And that good are always the folks that you can sympathize with because evil creatures are monsters, either morally or appearance wise.

That's hollywood for ya.

Of course then there's Disney Evil which is just plain ridiculous.

-- Religious evil
There's one more type of evil, "religious evil". In other words, since your not <x> religion your either a heretic or a heathen and therefore should burn. I've found this one to be the most -UNREASONABLE- of all the evil's, since fanatics tend not to use common sense when dealing with the 'other side'.

E.G. A spelljammer arch lich is a GOOD aligned lich created from a high level bard. A creature like that would be hunted down and destroyed by every church dedicated to wiping out undead, irregardless of what the bard does with that condition.

Is the church evil then? Is the archlich? Both? or are neither of them evil and the church just picked up a case of fanatical stupidity?

-- Campaign idea
A good 'evil' campaign might be the party having to deal with an overly powerful church who seems to think that free-lance adventurer's are a bad thing, since people should go to the church and pray for assistance, not rely on heathens (like the players).

Killwatch
09-26-2009, 05:26 AM
It's all in the bullet points;
if you do xyz you are evil, despite your reasoning or self image
like transgenders, I don't care what your gender is, your biology says you are X. Please note I have nothing against transgenders or others just pointing out perception versus fact.

DragonDM
09-30-2009, 12:29 PM
Perception is part of the problem, from what I can tell about this debate.
If the person does not percive themselves to be Evil then they aren't, even if everyone else in society says that they are.
"I'm just misunderstood." is their defense.

But that does not change that the things these individuals are doing are evil: Murdering someone is evil. Raping someone is evil.

Doing these things to kids is Vile.

Sadly, it falls to the DM to tell the others at the table where the lines between Good and Evil as well as Law and Chaos (individuality) lay.

Don't be the player that argues that just because your bad guy views that Good is evil, that the foundation of what makes Good what it is has to be changed. Even evil people still love their kids - and want them to succeed. It's just that they teach their kids to view things differently - even if those views are wrong.

Yes, TV, Hollywood and Disney have made it where the Bad Guys always wear Black Hats.

Mine is White, with Black trim and a Sliver band

Blane26
09-30-2009, 12:59 PM
I have ran many evil campaigs, on on many occasions PCs have killed one another, warred each other, killed the prince and took the crown ect, the player were into that, most of the time it was evil fighting a greater evil, but the snobby good guys weren't off limits as in a normal campaign they would be, they robbed magic shops and banks, broke into the princesses room, and relieved her of her jewels and held her ransom


its about the players, and me ill pretty much run anything, being a long time gm/dm i can make anything mine

WhiskeyFur
10-01-2009, 11:51 AM
I really think it's all perception. Case in point...

As a bard in a little one off game 'cause the other players were late, I had kidnapped the mayor's daughter in a small town and set it up so her lover was the only one that could get past all of my 'traps' and such to rescue her... mainly, I pretended to be evil even though I did do some pretty questionable things, that would make me evil according to some posters. no one died though so that was good. (I think)

End result though was that the mayor was ousted as proof of his spending the town's profits on his habits appeared (not something folks could stomach), his daughter who I had kidnapped married the hero I coached (in disguise) to step up and save his lover...

It all worked out. Though.. when the party rolled through, there was an awkward moment or two.

Mayor: "do I know you?"
Me: "Oh no, not at all. Oh! Look at the time I have to go, BYE..."

According to the town, I was evil. (They were pretty naive too about what evil was, but I'm not holding that against them.) According to the paladin in the party, I was evil (or damned near!) and couldn't understand why I would even consider it. I should have focused only on the mayor and not dragged anyone else into it.

Well.. ok, so say I did get rid of the mayor, what happens then? Who takes over? Does it descend into chaos? am I going to babysit it through the transition?

So my methods stunk! So be it... but they were better then being tied down to a town and seeing it through. That and his daughter and the new mayor were happy finally.

Killwatch
10-01-2009, 10:37 PM
1) It is only perceptual that killing kids is worse than adults, becuase of the percieved cutting of life before it had a chance to live. I could argue that victimizing elders is worse, after all they have and maybe still be serving the public and the people. They have knowledge experience and wisdom. Children lack anything useful and are completely dependant. They are, in essence, everything republicans hate, people who mooch off of other's success and hard work.

2) I agree that evil is evil no matter what spin you put on it. But I may put into question the idea that evil loves their children. I don't think we can say that with 100% certainty. Some or even most, ok. But there are people out there, who due to their circumstances or limitations, can only unleash their evil on children, even their own. I think evil may rest in some of us looking for a channel to be funneled through, like stresses. Having children, being responsible for the financial, nutritional, educational, emotional, and physical well being of a new life can be quite testing, and being a helples lump of whiney flesh + being the source of the aggrevation isn't an invitation for cruelty I don't know what is.

A good vigilante will bring in the bad guys with as little force and as close to their legal rights as possible
A neutral/selfish mihgt have some fun with them or even outright kill them with a minimal amount of provocation
Evil won't be too worried about facts or the law or mercy. Going after bad guys is just an excuse to beat people. If they get paid as a bounty hunter, or in reward money good.

Which kind of brings up tomb raiding?

prestonp
10-02-2009, 04:46 AM
Whiskey. Love the bard story. Bravo.

DMMike
10-02-2009, 05:20 PM
A good vigilante will bring in the bad guys with as little force and as close to their legal rights as possible
A neutral/selfish mihgt have some fun with them or even outright kill them with a minimal amount of provocation
Evil won't be too worried about facts or the law or mercy. Going after bad guys is just an excuse to beat people. If they get paid as a bounty hunter, or in reward money good.

Three versions of evil (since Disney and holy books don't define it very objectively):

1) Psychotic. These are the guys in Silence of the Lamb movies, who tend to treat other people like objects. They have no social empathy.

2) Selfish. As mentioned by Killwatch, these evil people don't worry about facts or law or mercy - because these things don't serve them. Their question always is, "does this help ME, or not?"

3) Misunderstood. Like the mayor-usurping bard, "good" people can be evil simply by being seen that way by others. I'm dying to use this one to get two paladin armies pissed at each other, and watch some PC heads spin. It would basically look like this:

Army 1: our Good god's avatar is coming to earth, and your non-worshiping people are living on his landing spot. Move it, or lose it.

Army 2: OUR Good god gave us this land centuries before your god ever existed, and we will bleed before you displace our women and children, and defile our holy land. Come and get it.

WhiskeyFur
10-05-2009, 05:10 PM
3) Misunderstood. Like the mayor-usurping bard, "good" people can be evil simply by being seen that way by others. I'm dying to use this one to get two paladin armies pissed at each other, and watch some PC heads spin. It would basically look like this:

Army 1: our Good god's avatar is coming to earth, and your non-worshiping people are living on his landing spot. Move it, or lose it.

Army 2: OUR Good god gave us this land centuries before your god ever existed, and we will bleed before you displace our women and children, and defile our holy land. Come and get it.

I could almost argue a case to wake up that (almost) big evil just to give the two of them something to focus on.

"Hey! Remember that lich we stuck in stasis a while? How about we let'em loose in between those two armies and see how quickly he gets smashed up? Undead blender, coming right up..."

Make the lich just powerful enough that it takes both sides to stomp'em flat, and when they're licking their wounds and looking at each other... help'em figure out that they're a lot more powerful working together then at each other's throats, and that while they're wailing on each other, undead baddies like him are making out like a bandit while they're busy.

Would that make me evil? :)
--- Merged from Double Post ---
Pure silliness here:

Just had a thought... That could also resolve the issue of those big nasty evil things that are usually left sitting around, in what to do with them.

Just call that no man's land in between the two armies the evil disposal unit. :)

Evil artifact? -toss-
Lich? -toss-
Here's some cursed items too... -toss -toss -toss-

Hit a few buttons and -whirrrrl-crunch-

No more evil. Next?

Hoitash
10-05-2009, 05:46 PM
That. Is. Brilliant!

DragonDM
12-07-2009, 04:57 PM
1) It is only perceptual that killing kids is worse than adults, becuase of the percieved cutting of life before it had a chance to live. I could argue that victimizing elders is worse, after all they have and maybe still be serving the public and the people. They have knowledge experience and wisdom. Children lack anything useful and are completely dependant. They are, in essence, everything republicans hate, people who mooch off of other's success and hard work.

This is a grey area, to me.
While Elders are a potential resource, unless they are teaching those kids as much as possible (this one acknowledges that not all kids are willing to heed their 'advice') then they are also as much a waste of space as the babies you described above. Kids that do nothing find themselves in dire strights when they are no longer legally children – before, if they turn to crime to try and get their way.
They pay for their choice, sooner or later.

I suppose that I have a Repulican view, judging by your comment.
People that only want to exist off the system, getting everything they want, while doing the least amount of work to get it, is evil. The system that is in place to help the single mother that had her deadbead man jet out of town, and leaving nothing for her and the kids. (I can deal with this.)
Ripping off this system is morally wrong – which makes it evil. Having more kids just to stay on the system and find excuses to not get work, I find unacceptable.


2) I agree that evil is evil no matter what spin you put on it. But I may put into question the idea that evil loves their children. I don't think we can say that with 100% certainty. Some or even most, ok.

It is true that not all evil people (parents or other relatives: aunt, uncle, older sibling/s, etc) love their kids; after all a lot of classic Heroic stories are based how how a child managed to escape and then overcome (best them in some contest, prove to everyone how bad they really are, or even kill them.)

But there are people out there, who due to their circumstances or limitations, can only unleash their evil on children, even their own. I think evil may rest in some of us looking for a channel to be funneled through, like stresses.

I could classify this kind of person Vile, not evil.


Having children, being responsible for the financial, nutritional, educational, emotional, and physical well being of a new life can be quite testing, and being a helples lump of whiney flesh + being the source of the aggrevation isn't an invitation for cruelty I don't know what is.

Children can also be a source of great Joy, when cared for correctly.
It's not supposed to be an easy task – some would say that nothing of true value is ever easy.


A good vigilante will bring in the bad guys with as little force and as close to their legal rights as possible

A neutral/selfish mihgt have some fun with them or even outright kill them with a minimal amount of provocation

Evil won't be too worried about facts or the law or mercy. Going after bad guys is just an excuse to beat people. If they get paid as a bounty hunter, or in reward money good.

Look upon the Writing of Samual Clemmens (Mark Twain) and you will see Good and Evil played out in clear tones: it was why someone did something more then what the person did, that made them evil.
Both Tom Sawyer and Huckelberry Finn books – as well as quite a few others were examples of this.


Which kind of brings up tomb raiding?

Funny you should bring this up.
As a matter of fact, D&D was the first RPG that made raiding tombs a 'good' thing.
They put justifications on this otherwise Evil act to make it acceptable to break into someone's burial site and take all their stuff.

Personally, I believe that it was selfish to the point of being evil to try and take all the good things with you when you died. Remember, funerals are not for the dead, but for the living.
Representations of what these good things were, was all that was really needed.
Sure, King Tut took all his stuff with him, but now all of that – plus his mummafied corpse is collecting dust in a museum – the only good news is that lots of people, mostly non-Egypians, are learning lots about that era of time.

LightCWU
05-31-2010, 01:36 PM
What where the results? Elfschwitz Why? Because my players are sick sick people.

I've found evil games can be a lot of fun so long as your playing with the right group. If you have a player that gets a little scweemish in combay then DO NOT have them in an evil game as your just asking to make them uncomfortable. However that being said being able to throw off the rules and run rampant can be fun. Just make sure everyone is on the same page and clear up where peoples comfort zones are before you get started.

templeorder
06-05-2010, 09:44 AM
I recently tried on the evil hat again with mixed results. Of course it all depends on the players and characters and how they were built to work with each other. However, my character turned evil and it was fun. I held up a mirror to the party's actions (hey, again, most PC's are just people who go around murdering other creatures and taking their stuff) and most folks were not comfortable because they were not ready to defend themselves in their beliefs. Every time i would step out of line, i had a ready quip or parable that justified my actions. Eventually i got my behind beaten down and it was change or die (because might apparently made right with the "good guys"). Funny how my character, while less "morale", was more loyal, brave, honest, and trustworthy to the others than the "do-gooders".

Steve S
08-23-2010, 04:57 AM
I've read many of the posts about the different types of evil characters. I do believe that one has been skipped (although certain people did get close). Some of my favorite villains are the Gothic villains. They are a distinct group in that they are very tragic and very human (even if they are vampires and all other sorts of beings). Most of the epic villains I know fit exclusively in this category. They didn't start out as evil people really. A good portion were decent people with character flaws (typically being selfish in some form or other). Darth Vader's transformation from Anakin Skywalker to a Sith lord is a great example.

The reason I bring this up is that many GM's don't promote organic play. It is feasible that a PC hero could become a campaigns main villain. It would certainly mean much more to me as a player to see a villain evolve at the table then to simply decide to play an 'evil' character. The problem with evil for the sake of evil is that the motivation is weak. Why play a 'good' or 'evil' campaign when you could play a 'human' campaign? Why not decide who your character is and let the chips fall where they will?

I realize with games such as D&D, where alignment effects certain game mechanics, that alignment can be an issue of rules. But what use are rules but to make sure that there is fun for all? Do what makes sense and get on to the story that we are all at the table to collectively weave. The less you worry about rules in stone or running a specific game in stone the more fun can be had for all.

The same can be said of an 'evil' campaign. Setting in stone that a campaign is 'evil' hurts organic play at the table. So unless you are shooting for that cheesy, "hur hur, pillage and plunder" type game, let the players play their characters and not their alignment.

Dytrrnikl
08-25-2010, 07:43 PM
The reason I bring this up is that many GM's don't promote organic play. It is feasible that a PC hero could become a campaigns main villain. It would certainly mean much more to me as a player to see a villain evolve at the table then to simply decide to play an 'evil' character. The problem with evil for the sake of evil is that the motivation is weak. Why play a 'good' or 'evil' campaign when you could play a 'human' campaign? Why not decide who your character is and let the chips fall where they will?

In my last Star Wars campaign using the d20 Star Wars revised (edition before Saga came out), I actually had a player who created a character simply to be a sociopath within the group. Ultimately, no matter how much the group in game tried to real the character in or convince him to change his ways, he would always go the extra mile for some pretty heinous and despicable fun. Ultimately, the character went off the deep end and has been a major evil bad guy in the campaign. The character is a blend of Dr. Moreau, Sid 6.7 (from the movie Virtuosity), and teh Joker (Heath Ledger version). One of his last acts with and against the group, was changing one fo the PCs from being Twi'Lek into being a Jawa without using anesthesia or in the case of Star Wars, a bacta surgery unit.