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Farcaster
09-17-2008, 11:52 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?

gdmcbride
09-17-2008, 12:00 PM
Yes, I have done an evil campaign. I believe there are six key rules to keep in mind if you are planning an evil campaign and they are:

Rule One: Lawful evil not chaotic evil
Rule Two: Villians need style
Rule Three: Villians need motivation
Rule Four: While good can be passive, evil must be active
Rule Five: Minions come in two flavors: Competent or Loyal
Rule Six: Villians need heroes

Okay, that's a lot to digest. Let's break them down and take them in order.

Rule One: Lawful Evil not chaotic evil.

It is fun to be bad guys. It is fun to laugh maniacally, have minions (who you kill if they DARE fail you), concoct an evil scheme, build an underground superfortress complete with death ray, raise an undead army, construct a giant robot o' doom, organize a cult of fanactic devotees and try to kill those fools FOOLS who dare oppose you! They laughed LAUGHED AT ME THE ACADEMY! BUT WHO'S LAUGHING NOW AS YOU TASTE MY VENGEANCE?! ON MY COMMAND, MY MINIONS, UNLEASH HEL...

Ahem...sorry.

What isn't fun is petty squabbles amongst the PCs that end in everybody killing everybody else. And so your villians (at least those in a group) must play well with others. You are all members of the Guild of Calamitous Intent and that stops you from offing each other without first proving your fellow villians are traitors. The grand master of assassins forbids one assassin from attacking another. The Zulkirs of the Red Wizard forbid magical dueling without permission. However you arrive at inter-party cooperation, it is essential in a successful evil game.

Well planned, carefully crafted betrayals can be fun. Random interparty violence ... almost never so.

Rule Two: Villians need style.

Yes, you are evil. But there is a big difference between being evil and being tasteless. If your evil campaign devolves into anything overly graphic (particularly regarding torture, rape or the abuse of children) or overly banal (repetitive crimes, boring schemes that take way too long), then your problem is that your villians have no style. As the GM, you must encourage style.

Build in a mechanical encouragement for style. Give a best villianous moment award at the end of every session. Entertaining schemes with lots of panache just seem to work better. Boring or tasteless schemes ... well ... they just always seem to fall flat.

Rule Three: Villians need motivation.

Ask yourself, why are these characters evil? Why are they out to take over the world? Why do they want to kill the hero? If you can't answer that question quickly and directly, your villians don't have a strong motivation. Why does Doctor Doom keep attacking the Fantastic Four? To prove his superiority over Reed Richards! That's a strong motivation. Why does Ernst Stavros Blofeld, leader of SPECTRE, keeping trying to kill James Bond? Revenge! Strong motivation. Why does the Emperor keep trying to crush the Rebel Alliance? So the Sith will once more rule the galaxy! Again, a strong motivation. Evil without motivation is boring and lifeless.

You either need to build in a reason while creating the campaign or make sure the PCs arrive at a suitable goal during character creation.

Rule Four: Good can be passive, evil must be active.

A good guy can sit at home and peacefully raise crops. A good guy can wait for the villian to come along and kick over his sandbox. The villian does not have that luxury. To be evil, you must be doing evil.

You've got an organization, style and a motivation. Now, you need a plan. Concocting a wicked scheme and implementing it can be the most rewarding but most challenging part of running an evil game. The best plans are the ones that you and the PCs come up with together.

Rule Five: Minions come in two flavors: Competent or Loyal.

The villians will likely have minions but only rarely will they be of any real use. Minions either die like flies, failing at their tasks, or betray you. Its the problem with being evil, its just hard to find good help.

Why is this? It forces the evil overlord to leave his underground base and take matters into his own hands. This gets the villian into the thick of the action and that is a good thing.

Rule Six: Villians need heroes.

Perhaps most important, as much as they don't want to admit it ... villians need heroes. Without heroes, who would there be to appreciate the full geometry of your wicked, world conquering plan?

Have fun and remember ... the heroes' feeble skills are no match for the power of the dark side!

Gary

Grimwell
09-17-2008, 12:00 PM
I have run an evil campaign, but I have never played in one. For the most part I avoid them because people tend to think that "evil campaign" is analogous to "go crazy and kill each other."

Years ago some of my friends wanted to try an evil campaign and I agreed to run it despite that reservation that I hold. The one thing that I did to attempt to put the worry to rest was make a single simple rule: The characters must work together as a team.

That rule made all the difference. The campaign went fine until it's natural end, and while there was some conflict within the party, it really was not about beating each other up or killing every single random person they found.

Through the course of the game sessions they realized that the more overtly evil they played the characters, the more annoying the heroes who came to stop them were. That balance kept things in check.

My advice for anyone who wants to run an evil campaign:


Tell the players to work as a team.

Maybe they are part of the same cult.
Maybe they work for someone who will obliterate them if they don't.
Maybe they are family.


If they do great and public evil, send in the heroes and whip on them something good. Teach them caution.
GOALS! GOALS! GOALS! Keep the characters too busy with things to do so they don't have time to kill each other.

Maybe they are hunting down things needed to summon Orcus and don't have time to squabble.
Maybe they are racing to stop heroes from uncovering a goodly artifact.
Maybe a war is going to start and they have to accomplish their goals before it can.



That's my effective short list. If you do that, and your players are really interested in a campaign, it's pretty easy from there.

Other games/genre's:
I think it actually gets easier once you step away from fantasy/D&D. Imagine evil characters in a Cthulu campaign who are trying to summon an elder squid? The end (insanity) might come faster, but it could be really fun.

With Vampire the characters are inherently evil to begin with.

A "modern" game could be pretty fun. Reverse James Bond type stuff. The players are agents of world organizations bent on evil ends. Spy work for the bad guys would be a lot of fun.

Future games would be great too. Cyberpunk with evil on the mind would be great.

I think that it's easier in more modern/futuristic settings because people assume that the reach and scope of the law is a bit stronger than in fantasy, so they act accordingly on instinct.

Fun
The key, as always, is fun. Don't run an evil campaign if you know you won't enjoy it. As the GM your first obligation is to have fun -- because if you aren't, nobody in your game will. That noted, it's very possible to have fun running an evil game, provided you make a few things clear before the dice ever start to roll.

Good gaming!

Anaesthesia
09-17-2008, 12:00 PM
I have both played and ran evil campaigns, and I do like them. Generally when I do run an evil campaign, the players belong to a said group/organization, must follow the group's code of ethics and must work for the groups goal or goals. Traitors and screw ups are punished severely, if they stray outside this code, work against the group or no longer work towards the goals. Some evil groups I'll allow NE, but not always.

Rarely, I've seen the party be a group of advisors or the leaders of the group they belong to. This has worked, but generally from what I've seen, only works for a very short time (around a month or 2).

((Mcbride, I love your rules-I think I mostly have done my evil campaigns like you have written up, but never could write it down how I did it. :p ))

cplmac
09-17-2008, 12:00 PM
No, I have never done an evil campaign. I have seen a couple of posts on the site from some folks who have been in a campaign like that though. The closest thing to an actual evil campaign that I have done is that there was one time that I managed to get an evil NPC (non player character) into the party. The NPC was actually a henchmen of the parties main adversary. When the party was getting close to the adversary's stronghold, they devised a plan to gain access that with any luck would not draw attention to themselves. They woke the next morning only to find that the NPC skipped out on them in the middle of the night while he was standing watch. It didn't take them long to realize that their plan was now seriously compromised.

There is a thread on the forums that has a whole debate about different levels of evil. Going with some of the view points on there, I do think that it would be possible to have an evil aligned party that is not bent on total world domination. They would however be completely interested in making things better for themselves, no matter how it affects anyone else.

At the present time, I'm not inclined to have a game with a totally evil alligned party. Just not my cup of tea.

Mac Who Else
09-17-2008, 01:20 PM
Yes I have done such a campaign, twice. The first time I played, we all worked for a Vampire who was controlling the Politics of the City, our group was a death Cleric, Rogue, Assassin(me), and a Fighter. It worked well, we all planned and schemed, and of course didn't trust each other, but we all all knew they Vampire would slaughter us if we started killing one another... so it kept people in line icly.


the second time I played a swashbuckler in a group and the group had a large ic break down where they turned on each other over distrust and almost everyone got killed, save my character... who was actually C.G and working TO kill the entire group off for the King. they can be loads of fun, the part where they DON'T work are actually at 2 spots....
1. Power Gamers, players who think the game is all about them and they want to be the STAR all the time and do things simply to screw with other players... people I generally don't r.p with.
2. Keeping the characters who are evil from turning on each other, you need powerful NPCS normally to keep that in check.

Daedalus
09-17-2008, 01:47 PM
I ran a D&D 3.5 game that I called the "Thieves of Turean" campaign once. Each of the PCs started as a low level thief or other miscreant on the wrong side of the law.

The adventures generally had them warring with other guilds and taking jobs. One of them created an apothecary as a front for a poison / alchemy store. Another was a cat burglar.

As GdMcbride said, as long as they are Lawful Evil it is not as big a problem.

Cortosis
09-17-2008, 03:57 PM
I like being the GM so I can control the Villains (Muuhahahahhaa), I'll have the players save the day for me. :D

Yes, I believe in an experienced group an evil party can be a lot of fun. but it's just I always encounter the same problems in every evil campaign I play/GM:
- The players start randomly murdering everyone they see
- The players turn on each other in-character
- The player turn on each other out-of-character :(
End of campaign.

So I just stick with a Neutral or Good party and I don't allow evil characters in my group.

kirksmithicus
09-17-2008, 05:06 PM
I have, and it was AWESOME!

We referred to it as the (Mean Green) "Avengers" or the "Brotherhood of Revenge" campaign. Though we were all "evil" orcs, ogres and goblin characters we were all bound by the same driving force, revenge. This is what tied us together and kept us from killing each other.

The second game we played in which we were all evil was a Thieves World game in which we were all (big surprise) thieves. But we had started our own guild and were muscling in on the established guilds territory. A very dangerous game in which you had to really rely on each other.

One thing that helped was that in both games no one was really motivated by greed or self interest. Also we didn't have any lone-wolf power gamer types. Like has been mentioned before, shared goals and the killing of traitors can really help a game like this.

nijineko
09-18-2008, 01:27 AM
i'm pretty down on evil pcs. one of the rules of my campaigns are that there are no evil pcs, only evil npcs. cross that line, and welcome to the character creation dice. thus i've never run an evil campaign. i've never played an evil pc, either. i have guested in as an evil npc for the dm before. one-shot encounter type stuff.

there is one exception where i would allow players to be the evil pcs. i once heard of a campaign where, as a break, they all played evil pcs up to a pretty high level. then they started another campaign, and it was back to hero-ing as usual. only, the villains of the new campaign were the characters they had just finished playing. thus they had to work their way up to high enough level to take down their previous characters. ^^ that sounded like fun. talk about investment. =D

raven21
09-18-2008, 07:45 AM
I have run and played evil games and I personaly enjoy playing an evil character. I have found that evil characters are often held together by the fact that no one knows who's side the rest of the group will take if it comes to blows and no one wants to fight 3-1 odds. I have found that alot of players want to play evil because they have the fredom to do whatever they want and are either smart enough to not be outlandishly evil or that because they now the ability to be evil it losses its apeal. And I agree with the eariler statments that you must have a greater evil to keep them in line. There is a modual called the revers dungen it has a few diffrent games where you play monster repealing heros from your cave.

Cortosis
09-18-2008, 09:12 AM
<<<I have found that evil characters are often held together by the fact that no one knows who's side the rest of the group will take if it comes to blows and no one wants to fight 3-1 odds.>>>

Too bad at least 2 players of my group are very close friends and they always work together. They betrayed a character of me while I was stealing something and my character got in prison. :lol: Then I had to make a new character.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
09-18-2008, 10:08 PM
I've been playing evil type campaigns since the '70's, and they were always fun and successful most of the time. What we havent done was turn it around and have our characters kill hero's. Of course they would if the heros got between them and their goal.

What i've always wanted to do but, as of yet havent had a chance to do, is to play a Reverse Dungeon type game. This is where the humans and such attack a band of... lets say, kobolds, found in their layer-we being the kobolds. There is at least one module out that lets you reverse the role. Looks to be fun.

So...

#1: Yes
#2: Not really. Only if a hero got in the way.
#3: Very successful

raven21
09-19-2008, 06:38 AM
<<<I have found that evil characters are often held together by the fact that no one knows who's side the rest of the group will take if it comes to blows and no one wants to fight 3-1 odds.>>>

Too bad at least 2 players of my group are very close friends and they always work together. They betrayed a character of me while I was stealing something and my character got in prison. :lol: Then I had to make a new character.

Wow thas pretty harsh. I use to game with 2 guys that always teamed up also so I can see how that would make a diffrence in game play.

DragonDM
09-19-2008, 11:02 AM
First, 'm going to answer the Thread's query - and then I will review and respond to what all else is posted here.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
It is rare for me to get a group of Players that are mature enough to do play in an all evil game.

By maturity, I mean that the Player can laugh when another Player's Character shives their Character in the back - killing them.

If I am remembering correctly, I have only run two successful all evil games:
Undermountain & The Temple of Elemental Evil. (AD&D 2e for both.)

In both cases the Players made their characters and met as seperate individuals.
Unlike a lot of "good-games" where just-created characters of even 1st level simply know each other (mostly to save time by avoiding the RP of meeting - and get straight to the Adventure) as the DM, I make them all actually roleplay out what their character is, and what makes them Evil: "What are your reasons for being this way?" and "What are the limits that this is willing to do to achieve their goals?". There are more then enough reasons for them to get together: Greed being the most common, with lots of powerful foes to kill to get the treasure being next up.

Sadly, I have never succeed in running a full Campaign that went beyond just Adventuring.
To me, and a lot of my NPCs - Adventurers are just another type of Mercenary: they are just more picky about who they take money from, and what jobs they choose to do.

Heroes and Villains are the ones that really stand out from this crowd: anyone can pick up a little bit of Class skill and kill a few dire rats and related monsters.

Heroes should jump in and help - even when there is no apparent reward.

Villains should give those Adventurers reason to become Heroes.

DragonDM
09-19-2008, 01:24 PM
Grimwell - 'because people tend to think that "evil campaign" is analogous to "go crazy and kill each other".'
you just pointed out the biggest reason for why a lot of evil games fail.
Over the years that I have been gaming, I have seen this trap cause a group of even good friends to fall apart.

Your advice is sound and welcomed: something that I shall try to remember to do in all my games.

Fun is something that should always be the biggest factor in any Game: Good or Evil.
If you are not having fun running the game, then why are you doing it?
Step down and see if someone else wants to wear those heavy DM Boots.

There is only one real problem that I constantly run into: and that the players will resist being told what to do - even by the DM.

This means that a lot of my games are hinged on simply putting out there, and see if the Party goes after it. If not, then I wait until they create a reason to go do something, and I go from there.

Now, I will admit, right here and now, that I am a gaming addict: I would rather have random dungeon crawls with a bunch of Munchkins (I found out that there was more then one type) then to sit at home bored out of my mind.

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gdmcbride - I like your rules,and they do make for an easier game on the part of the DM.
But remember that Chaotic Evil does not mean insane.
It just means that these individuals are more out for themselves then the group.

Like Venom {CE} (first appearance) compaired to Doc Ock {LE} and how they could even work together for short periods of time, to achieve a common goal. Of course once one of them had what they wanted, they would try and betray the other: that's what makes them evil. Only the nature of comic books prevents them from killing each other - instead showing bandaged wounds and such. Don't want to upset the kids - or give them ideas - don't you know.

But the smart CE villain is patient and will follow rules that either make sense, or will get them killed if they don't: They don't make a betrail unless they know (or at least believe) for a fact that it will gain them the most benefit.

However, there should be a very clearly defined limits for the Player(s) of these CE Characters: Over all game fun.

This is where that Player Maturity that I talked about in my last post comes into play.
All the players must be able to keep their personal feelings seperate from those of their Character. If it starts to fall apart, the DM calls for a Time Out - and everyone takes a break, and when everyone returns to the table, the DM should make sure that the personal issues are resolved before resuming the game.

Most of the time, I run "Good Adventuring Games" (finding Players that do heroes are actually rather rare, sadly) and I only use CE beings as plot-related motivators.
This means that a lot of these CE being s are short term threats, only a few have survived long enough to become long lasting villains.
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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.

A long time ago (in a city far away) I created a roleplaying intense Group Idea.
The Villains Guild: This semi-secret organization was a gathering of villains of all types to better plan on how to Conquer the World.
In truth, what they ended up doing was nothing so much as undermining each other.

Each Player would have their Character stand up (giving a full description of them - appearance, clothing, weapons and equipment, etc) and walk to the front of the theater and stand before the crowd, raise one hand and wiggle their fingers in a claw-like fashion while saying "Muhahahaha" as sincerly (or not) as the Player desired. Female Characters could cackle while doing the Creeping Claw. This was the "secret handshake" of the guild.

Once done, each Player would - In Character - give details of how they were recently defeated by some Hero or band of Adventurers followed by shaking a clenched fist and saying "Curses !" and all the other members were supposed to say this in response to show agreement. They aren't forced to, and a lot will only say it as a token statement.
(What? They are a bunch of egotistical villains !!)

Next up the Character would set forth their Grand Sceme for what they had planned to do next. Others may or may not give advise for some of the more obvious pitfalls of their plans. And of course, at least one of them will tip off a group of Heroes (or at least goody-two-shoes Adventures) to go and undermine that other villian.

Battles between Villains are not allowed within the meeting place of the Guild, and is backed by a Great Wyrm Blue Dragon, as well as all the Evil Deities.

But, what happens outside the Guild Meeting is fair game !!!

The only place that this still exists (though it lies dormant for now) is in my PBP Site: The Dragon's Den and Lairs.

Players that are interested in exploring the possibilities are welcome to join. Be willing to show me and the other players that you are a serious and mature Player, and we can open up another section of the Site:
If enough people join and post - I can open up the entire site.

But I would need at least one experienced and fair DM to be an Assistant Moderator to be there for when I was not. I have strange standards, though. Any DM interested in this can add me to their Yahoo Instant Messanger.

Check my profile for the link and contact info.

Thanks for reading all of this.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
09-19-2008, 02:33 PM
Grimwell - 'because people tend to think that "evil campaign" is analogous to "go crazy and kill each other".'
you just pointed out the biggest reason for why a lot of evil games fail.
Over the years that I have been gaming, I have seen this trap cause a group of even good friends to fall apart.
Your 1st paragraph says it all.

DragonDM
09-19-2008, 11:29 PM
Perhaps, Thoth-Amon - but why would I stop there when I can overexplain like the Classic Villain is supposed to ?

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
09-19-2008, 11:38 PM
No arguments there. (;

gdmcbride
09-20-2008, 04:12 AM
gdmcbride - I like your rules,and they do make for an easier game on the part of the DM.
But remember that Chaotic Evil does not mean insane.
It just means that these individuals are more out for themselves then the group.


Thanks for the compliment! I'm glad my rules were helpful.

From the SRD entry on alignment (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/description.htm#alignment). The emphasis added is mine.



Chaotic Evil, "Destroyer"
A chaotic evil character does whatever his greed, hatred, and lust for destruction drive him to do. He is hot-tempered, vicious, arbitrarily violent, and unpredictable. If he is simply out for whatever he can get, he is ruthless and brutal. If he is committed to the spread of evil and chaos, he is even worse. Thankfully, his plans are haphazard, and any groups he joins or forms are poorly organized. Typically, chaotic evil people can be made to work together only by force, and their leader lasts only as long as he can thwart attempts to topple or assassinate him.


I think by that definition we can safely label anyone 'vicious, arbitrarily violent, and unpredictable' as insane. The emphasized portion of the alignment definition also illustrates why it makes for poor campaign play. Constantly fending of attacks from your fellows and underlings quickly becomes repetitive and tiresome.

An inherent problem with chaotic evil campaigns is the issue of game balance. Since all the PCs will be of roughly equal strength in most RPGs no one of them can dominate the others. They will not have force enough to demand obedience.

Ultimately, I am not trying to tell you that you shouldn't run a 'chaotic evil' campaign. Of course it is your game and ultimately if you are having fun, that's all that matters. What I am saying is that I have never seen a 'chaotic evil' campaign succeed. They always seem to degenerate into the 'go crazy and kill each other' style of play you rightly speak against.

Gary

DragonDM
09-20-2008, 02:12 PM
Oh, by no means was I advicating an all CE party!

I tend to play Devil's Advicate a lot, and I like a good Debate.
I tend to view things a little differently then a lot of other people, as well.

A majority of LE with only a few NE and only one CE would be best, if the CE was to be allowed at all. The entire party jumping the CE's arse should be enough of a deterant to "go crazy".

My point there was that if you view Chaos as being an expression of Individuality instead of a Cosmic Force of Destruction; and someone that does things at random, then even CE can be played as not insane.

These Chaotic people tend to be more the Lone Wolf type, but even wolves can travel in packs for protection. Sure, they may want to be the leader of the group, but no one will follow someone that just gives orders at random, and kills anyone that questions them. These kind of leaders don't last long. Which is why (in D&D) Orcs don't ever really pose a threat to the overall Allied Rulers, they can't keep a leader in charge long enough to make the difference in the long run.
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Consider a Pirate Ship as the ultimate expression of CE that has to work together. The very nature of the Sea makes sure that these otherwise greedy and violent individuals work together and follow the orders of the Captain: Who was chosen by the rest of the crew for his knowledge of how to run a ship, as well as hopefully making the right choices that would lead to Treasure for all.

Even the Captain has to worry about being thrown into the deadly sea, and even the most bada$$ed person can't fight everyone on the ship - because killing too many of them means not being able to run the ship, or causing the ship to sink, killing everyone.

The best for a defeated individual that can be hoped for is to be marooned - since there is a chance (no matter how small) of being found and rescued by another ship.

But even all of those deterants are not enough to stop all of them from Plotting against each other, and occasionally killing one or two members of the crew - which is why Pirate Ships were always looking for new Crew Members - even if they had to Shanghai them.

There are, of course, "Honorable" Pirates and Pirate Captains.
But just because they are honorable does not mean that they need to be Lawful, just that it's easiest for Lawful people to be Honorable.

Remember, it's only cheating if you get caught !!
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It is easy for the DM to simply resort to making a super bad-a$$ed Evil Being, and there are those that do this even for their "Good" Games.

But to me, this is extremely lazy on the part of the DM.
You have an entire World at your disposal and there should be things in it that are already there that should be able to deal with even powerful PCs.
I don't care if you are a 21st level Wizard, if the entirety of a Nation attacks you, they are going to eventually kill you. Imagine 1,000,000 fighter-types, 100,000 of each other Class, and at least 10,000 spellcasters showing up to kick your butt ! And if you do the normal "For every 100, there is a Leader of up to 3 levels higher." and do that for each set of 100, there could very well be another Epic Level NPC for each Class that showed up.

But, doing things this way is also a pain in the arse for the DM.
And I can understand that not everyone wants to do it.
Heck - even I don't want to do it, since it would take me at least a week to just figure out how many there were of each level for each Class.

However, making it know to the Players that there will be consequences for their actions and behavior will make the job of the DM much easier:
Good consequences are called Rewards and Bad consequences are called Punishments. And making sure that these are applied into the game makes all the difference in the World. The Reactions of the NPCs should change as the PCs do things, and the Reputation that they recieve should proceed them almost everywhere they go. The Higher level the PCs are, the farther they are known about.

For the most part, only Oriental Adventures really incorporated Reputation into the overall Game: Honor. Even the most Evil Characters were still treated with the same respect as their Good counterparts, so long as their Honor was intact. Loss of Honor hurt a PC a lot, and not just because if they were Lawful they could be required to kill themselves. Even Chaotic people had to be careful no to lose Honor, lest they attract the disfavor of everyone around them. Which is why a lot of Chaotic people wore masks to conseal their faces - so that they could not lose Honorable 'face'.
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But even LE can have problems avoiding the temptation of not betraying each other.

If the Players can be convinced that they need to work together to defeat the powerful guardians of the treasures (or other goals) and to only strike at each other through indirect methods - the less connectable to them, the better - then this can make for a great Game.

All of these things (Social responses to Reputation and knowing that any PC in the group might be needed later), makes the Players really think about whether or not to leave another Party Member in the trap that they set off, or to rescue them now to make sure that they can achieve the end goal.

Blackmail - and other such things are still allowed, of course.
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There are still a lot of things that I need to learn as a DM, for all the fact that I have been running for many years.

Obah Bason
09-21-2008, 09:41 AM
I played in one where I was a mongolian barbarian. It was fun, but we ended up fighting 95% evil creatures anyway, so I wound up just being a borderline insane Asian thug. If you are going to run an evil campaign, let the PCs be bad! Give them some really good creatures to destroy.

I played another campaign that was all Drow, but the DM kept forgetting we were underground, so he'd say things like "You wake up in the morning" and we would get all confused. That sort of thing can happen in any campaign, but it makes it really hard to be evil if the campaign world is consistently inconsistent. I had a really lazy, alcoholic, sadistic drow all ready to be bad, but the setting was so foreign it was hard to get into it.

Let the PCs be bad.
Give them a familiar setting to be bad in.

Case in point, Vampire the Masquerade. Run a Sabbat campaign, and let your PCs scare you with the things they want to do in their own home town... Like nailing passengers to the ceiling of a subway car if they refuse to give up their seat...

DragonDM
09-21-2008, 11:19 AM
Let the PCs be bad.
(snip)
Case in point, Vampire the Masquerade. Run a Sabbat campaign, and let your PCs scare you with the things they want to do in their own home town... Like nailing passengers to the ceiling of a subway car if they refuse to give up their seat...

Wow. Nice evil deed, that. --^

I do D&D the most, so I'm kinda limited in the WoD regard: I'll place comments about things that might be done to enhance the D&D World(s) later.

My ideas for WoD, in response to that Evil Deed: --v

Letting them do it does not mean that they get away with it.
The first time, sure: "Puts the cattle in place. Hahaha."

The second time might cause one of the people on the train to suddenly become Supernatural themselves: Hunter, Werewolf, even a Mage - or anything else the GM wants to throw at the group.
* After all - Highly emotional events create energy, and every Supernatural being wants it - even though they have different names for the same thing: Gnosis (Werewolves), Quintessence (Mages), Glammer (Changlings).

And eventually, someone should take offense to that first action:
Example: a mortal cop with high ranks in Occult, that hates to see people killed because they can't fight back. This cop does everything to put together all the clues gather by forensics - even when the other cops refuse to believe the conclusion that the evidence leads to.
The cop then arm themselves to take on, and take down, these perps.

This gives the Players an antagonist to fight against, and this is when they can really start exploring the darker side of ther own Characters.
* Imagine where each of the Vampire Players were trying to manipulate the cop into "busting" one of the other Vampire Players - and only later realizing that they needed to band together to eliminate this mutual threat...

And, as the above "hero" battles against these supernatural evil creatures, they might gain special abilities and powers - like becoming a Hunter.

The cop might need to get some Allies to deal with the fact that the Vampires (players) are forming into a pack. Imagine a mixed group of supernaturals trying to take down the Vampires: 1 Mummy, 1 Mage (thanatos order ?), 1 Hunter, 1 Garu, and maybe a Changling.
Or whatever.

Portraying each of these things correctly - all at the same time - is the biggest challenge for the GM.

Personally, I know that I can't do it - I might be able to pull off two at a time. Which is why I find it much easier to ask other Players to take on these Roles, and that frees me up to moderate and think of the next plot twist for the overall Game.
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In D&D, playing a Monster Race is the easiest way to be evil:
after all, all you have to do is have your Character(s) find any of the Allied Good Races, and do bad things to them.... Right?

Well, sure - if all your doing is a Reverse Dungeon-Crawling kind of Campaign.

But, if you are wanting to create more of the feel of a Living World Campaign, it gets a little more tricky.

To me - One of the most profound actions and statements in the Forgotten Realms Campaign, that really drove home the fact that it was not Race that determines Good and Evil, but personal actions and belief:
When the evil Human, Artemis Entreri (Thief/Assassin) was battling the good Drow, Drizzt Do'Urden (Fighter/Ranger/more) and they looked at each other and saw that the other could have been themsevles - that they were inversed reflections in the Mirror.
It was this sudden understanding, that caused the fight to end, for they were each evenly matched in combat skills.

Even Evil Beings still have personal goals, and limits for what they are willing to do to obtain what they desire. Examples can include, but not be limited to: "Killing adults is fine, but leave the kids alone." * "Having a slave-girl is alright, but raping her is wrong."

--
Don't mind all the posts, folks - I just have a lot of time on my hands.

Dolran of Arborea
09-21-2008, 12:18 PM
I have run a few evil adventures, just one session in one night. I had a very powerful, very evil leader in place to keep the PCs in line. I had a definite goal for the group. As soon as the goal was achieved, and the leader turned a blind eye for a second, the PCs were at each other's throats. That was the type of group I was DMing for though. I have tossed around the idea of running a dual campaign where the PCs have two characters: one good, one evil. Both characters act independently in the same basic area, in this case a city. They do their business on either side of town. This is really complicated and requires twice as much prep as a regular game, not to mention some dedicated players. For example, one player has a paladin character working for the church on one side of town, meanwhile, on the other side of town the same player has a rogue character working for an evil cult. One thing that I think would make evil campaigns more fun and acceptable is the idea that an evil character can be redeemed and made good. Because most players are used to keeping the same alignment throughout their careers, it's hard to imagine an evil PC seeing the err of his/her ways, so it takes a very mature group of players and DM to set something like that up. Not to mention that an evil cleric who turns his/her back on an evil deity is going to face some very serious challenges in the very near future.

Albie Blas Tibbits
09-23-2008, 09:24 AM
I have been in many evil campaigns. I've organized and run them as well. After reading many of the entries I have found my experiences quite different. It may have been the group of players or the style, I'm not sure.

There were several CE members of the group, but they all feared one member of the group as he portrayed himself to be a very potent fellow. As a result it was some time before any challenged him. The key was good role playing. The one that made his character "appear" uber took lead. There was one that continuously undermined them by stealing and such and building his own wealth. There were assassination plots and it all made for great fun.

Basically it was a game of survival as each attempted to protect themselves and slay the others and such. It was all a good laugh.

Other games resulted in conquering huge areas and all party members taking control of some land and then defending it as part of the whole empire.

I guess I've found that one of the players usually has an inventive means of quelling the others and taking lead of the group. Not that he always lives to see his goals completed...but he sure rules the roost for some time while furthering his means by providing for the others. A strong warrior that provides work for the rogue to always do can usually keep him in-line sort of thing. Or the wizard they are all afraid will turn them into toads or crush them with his Greatsword. (Long story, but he got a good roll and it sealed his position as leader)

Anyway, I'd recommend an evil group so long as you all know it is a stand alone survival game and make it fun! It is like playing minis with your character. Defend to live!!!

Majin_Puar
09-23-2008, 04:20 PM
Yeah I played in an Evil Campaign once. Every time we rested at night someone wouldn't wake up. Apparently there are monsters in evil campaigns that like to sneak in at night and slit one persons throats and then leave.

Ben Rostoker
09-23-2008, 10:19 PM
Thanks for all the responses guys. I like Evil campaigns as I think it takes more skill to be a credible villain then a credible hero.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
09-24-2008, 01:55 AM
Thanks for all the responses guys. I like Evil campaigns as I think it takes more skill to be a credible villain then a credible hero.
How right you are.

Severan
09-24-2008, 11:11 AM
There is a book by Eve Forward called "Villians by Necessity" (Tor 1995) where the final battle between Good and Evil has been over for awhile- Good won. Unfortunately the days are getting longer, nights shorter, spells change people into productive members of society, and in short, things are starting to stagnate as they move ever closer to the Light. Eventually the world will go out in a blaze of sunshiney-Goodness unless someone DOES something about it.

Enter a handful of 'evil' characters who band together (loosely at first) to attempt to overthrow the status quo and bring Evil back for the 'good' of all!

http://blogs.techrepublic.com.com/geekend/?p=418

Years ago a DM of mine did something similar. It had to be about the same time this book came out (1995) so I presume he read it. We all created Villians (mine was a noble 'paladin' named Levoy Nathanial Draeven who 'pretended' to be Good on the surface but had an evil agenda) and banded together to awaken the sleeping (or dead) Evil or Chaotic Gods to prevent the forces of Law and Chaos from creating a world where nothing Changed or evolved. The presumption is that without Chaos or adversity, nothing will evolve- there for everything will eventual run down- entropy if you will.

By and large we got along well enough together though there was some party in-fighting (mostly arguing, etc.). We all had our own sub-agendas but we knew that we were better off working together. We even managed to eventually wake up enough of the old evil gods that we greased the wheels of evil back into ACTION and could count our mission a success. All the while we made sure that we were well represented and rewarded for our efforts, of course.

Overall, the game went well. Having an ULTIMATE goal as compeling as SAVING the world and therefore ourselves was a good motivator for group cooperation.

I have also GM'd a couple of Evil campaigns with varying degrees of success. I think the main thing is to have mature players (mature in action. not necessarily in 'age') who won't use it as an excuse to back-stab and party in-fight. One of my groups went down in flames when they decided not to listen to the 'advice' of their Patron God- Arioch. Their killing of a couple of the party for spite and pure evil earned them a quick destruction by Arioch after they had been warned repeatedly by him to not use violence against each other until the mission was complete...

I had another campaign where Evil had won years before and Good was just now re-emerging. I had the players first play the Evil group investigating the actions of a Rebel force of some kind and then had the players switch and play the Good party. Ever so often they would switch back. That was a great game!!!

Laters,

Russell

Webhead
09-24-2008, 11:28 AM
I found the idea of the Savage Worlds setting "Necessary Evil" to be really intriguing. There was a great battle between the super heroes and the super villains...and the super villains won. All the super heroes were killed and the villains are free to finally "rule the world". But there is one problem. Shortly afterward, a race of hostile aliens arrives and is attempting to enslave the Earth. With all the super heroes dead, now the only people who can stop the invaders are the villains.

Something like that could be fun.

DragonDM
09-24-2008, 11:40 AM
I can understand where you are coming from, Ben Rostoker and Thoth-Amon, but I view both sides of the issue as still being the same coin.

People are strange, and we have both good and evil within us.
The inner struggle to balence the wish to help others with the desire to achieve your Goals could be construed as the true measure of what makes someone stand out.

Heroes strive for bettering the situation, even if it is for someone else, and sometimes despite there being no personal rewards.

Villains are not really against bettering the situation for others, just so long as they get what they want.

I believe that those that have a touch of each Morality, and show it - are the best Characters.

A change of Ethics should be the most drastic of changes for a Character, even more then changing Morality (you can delude yourself into believing that it serves a Greater Purpose, etc.).

Sorry to keep pointing to this one guys, but it's the favorite of a lot of people: Anican Skywalker (CG) becoming Darth Vader (LE).

When Anican Skywalker was a Jedi he was CG. He saw the Laws of the Jedi Order to be limited and too restrictive, but he still followed them. He just took more personal action to try and change things.

Now, Anican had a flaw: Love.
He gave too much of himself to those that he cared about. Love for his mother and his fear of losing her was what Yoda sensed when Ani was first introduced. The anguish of the loss of his mother drove Anican to seek revenge against those that killed her, and Anican gains a few darkside points doing this. Love for Padme was what motivated him to do anything to save her life. This was Anican's downfall, and soon-to-be Emperor Palapatine used Anican's heart against him.

When Anican swore alliegance to Darth Sidious, he not only accepted the fact that he was going to have to do evil deeds to gain the training that he desired, he also accepted that he would never again be able to challenge the Rules. Thus, Darth Vader is L.E.

Now, Vader could not completely kill those feelings for Love, and it was this fact that allowed Anican to redeam himself: By saving Luke from the Emperor - even though it cost him his life. For love of his son.

DragonDM
09-24-2008, 11:41 AM
Webhead: Turning the Villians into relucntant Heroes is also a great way to have fun.

The more heroic stuff they do, the more the various NPCs react to, and treat them as Heroes.


Next thing you know, all the Villians are trying to be the most popular amoungst the group, each trying to one up the other in preforming Heroic Deeds. Or doing even more diabolocal deeds to try and undermine the new heroes, while still supporting the overall Goal of "Get rid of the Invaders."

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
09-24-2008, 11:47 AM
Here's some interesting trivia: turns out that 5% of the population are complete sociopaths. Now there's a scary thought.

Webhead
09-24-2008, 12:01 PM
That's a good point about "Love" being the source of Anakin's tragic flaw. As Yoda pointed out, it was his fear of loss that evolved into greed that eventually led Anakin down the path of the Dark Side. I think he also had another flaw which ran with this: Hubris.

Anakin was powerful (arguably one of the most gifted Jedi). His abilities came quickly and easily to him and he started feel as though he was being held back from unlocking his full potential. He was supremely arrogant and prideful (facing down Dooku alone against Obi-Wan's warnings, believing that he could use the Force to stop death, being upset at not being made a Jedi Master by his early twenties) and felt that he was greater than the other Jedi and that they were becoming only an obstacle to his desire for more power.

I think his fall was facilitated by the self-deluded notion that, with his power, he could control his destiny and "make things the way he wanted them to be". Instead, his hubris was only responsible for causing the very thing that he so desperately sought to prevent.

Grimwell
09-24-2008, 05:19 PM
Star Wars tangent: Yoda was evil.

He deliberately set Anakin up to become Vader and bring balance to the force. Think about it, the Jedi Council knew a powerful figure was going to arise to bring balance to the force in a time when the Jedi were the overbalancing agency.

If Yoda was really interested in preserving the Jedi he would have found a way to prevent Anakin from going to the dark side (perhaps by killing him?). Instead he deliberately created situations that would put anger in the boys heart and prepare him for the Emperor's manipulations.

Yoda was the silently evil agent in Star Wars. He had to know that balance in the force meant fewer Jedi or more Sith (both bad things in the mind of a Jedi) and yet he did nothing to stop it, and many things to help.

It's a good campaign example for running evil games. Seem good. :)

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
09-24-2008, 05:58 PM
Star Wars tangent: Yoda was evil.

He deliberately set Anakin up to become Vader and bring balance to the force. Think about it, the Jedi Council knew a powerful figure was going to arise to bring balance to the force in a time when the Jedi were the overbalancing agency.

If Yoda was really interested in preserving the Jedi he would have found a way to prevent Anakin from going to the dark side (perhaps by killing him?). Instead he deliberately created situations that would put anger in the boys heart and prepare him for the Emperor's manipulations.

Yoda was the silently evil agent in Star Wars. He had to know that balance in the force meant fewer Jedi or more Sith (both bad things in the mind of a Jedi) and yet he did nothing to stop it, and many things to help.

It's a good campaign example for running evil games. Seem good. :)
It's an excellent example. I like the idea that Yoda was really pulling all the strings. Very ingenious. Yoda was, after all, over 700 years old.

Webhead
09-24-2008, 06:47 PM
Star Wars tangent: Yoda was evil.

He deliberately set Anakin up to become Vader and bring balance to the force. Think about it, the Jedi Council knew a powerful figure was going to arise to bring balance to the force in a time when the Jedi were the overbalancing agency.

If Yoda was really interested in preserving the Jedi he would have found a way to prevent Anakin from going to the dark side (perhaps by killing him?). Instead he deliberately created situations that would put anger in the boys heart and prepare him for the Emperor's manipulations.

Yoda was the silently evil agent in Star Wars. He had to know that balance in the force meant fewer Jedi or more Sith (both bad things in the mind of a Jedi) and yet he did nothing to stop it, and many things to help.

It's a good campaign example for running evil games. Seem good. :)

Actually...that's the running theory that one of my players clings to adamantly! He insists that Yoda is the true Dark Lord of the Sith and has been all along...even the powerful Darth Sidious is merely his unwitting puppet.

Personally...I think it's Artoo... ;)

Seriously though, there's often misunderstanding about the prophesy and "bringing balance to the Force" equating to fewer Jedi and more Sith. In actuality, bringing "balance" to the Force was in reference to a massive shift of potency to the Dark Side (a scene mentioning this to greater effect was cut from RotS but was still mentioned briefly by Mace Windu a la "Our ability to use the Force is diminished"). The Light Side of the Force was weakening while the Dark Side was becoming more potent. Anakin's very conception may have had something to do with this (as he was created by Plagueis manipulating the Dark Side to create a living being). The Chosen One was to destroy the Sith and restore the normal flow of the Force (which he eventually did by sacrificing himself to kill Palpatine).

Ben Rostoker
09-24-2008, 08:02 PM
I think the main thing is to have mature players (mature in action. not necessarily in 'age') who won't use it as an excuse to back-stab and party in-fight.

Bolded by me; just want to say thank you for adding that in.


Originally Posted by grimwell http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/Greys/buttons/viewpost.gif (http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/showthread.php?p=48001#post48001)
Star Wars tangent: Yoda was evil.

He deliberately set Anakin up to become Vader and bring balance to the force. Think about it, the Jedi Council knew a powerful figure was going to arise to bring balance to the force in a time when the Jedi were the overbalancing agency.

If Yoda was really interested in preserving the Jedi he would have found a way to prevent Anakin from going to the dark side (perhaps by killing him?). Instead he deliberately created situations that would put anger in the boys heart and prepare him for the Emperor's manipulations.

Yoda was the silently evil agent in Star Wars. He had to know that balance in the force meant fewer Jedi or more Sith (both bad things in the mind of a Jedi) and yet he did nothing to stop it, and many things to help.

It's a good campaign example for running evil games. Seem good.

Don't forget that Yoda sent millions of clones to their death without a blink, whilst still claiming to be ethical. He also upholds a classist world view where only those who a certain sort of 'blood' can become jedis.

And lets not forget: "Only Sith think in absolutes" - Obi-wan

Therefore Obi-wan was a Sith.

A even better example of how evil is just how you look at things... sometimes anyways.

nijineko
09-24-2008, 08:07 PM
Star Wars tangent: Yoda was evil.

He deliberately set Anakin up to become Vader and bring balance to the force. Think about it, the Jedi Council knew a powerful figure was going to arise to bring balance to the force in a time when the Jedi were the overbalancing agency.

If Yoda was really interested in preserving the Jedi he would have found a way to prevent Anakin from going to the dark side (perhaps by killing him?). Instead he deliberately created situations that would put anger in the boys heart and prepare him for the Emperor's manipulations.

Yoda was the silently evil agent in Star Wars. He had to know that balance in the force meant fewer Jedi or more Sith (both bad things in the mind of a Jedi) and yet he did nothing to stop it, and many things to help.

It's a good campaign example for running evil games. Seem good. :)

i would have called that an example of how so-called "neutrality" is simply evil in disguise.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
09-24-2008, 08:08 PM
Bolded by me; just want to say thank you for adding that in.



Don't forget that Yoda sent millions of clones to their death without a blink, whilst still claiming to be ethical. He also upholds a classist world view where only those who a certain sort of 'blood' can become jedis.

And lets not forget: "Only Sith think in absolutes" - Obi-wan

Therefore Obi-wan was a Sith.

A even better example of how evil is just how you look at things... sometimes anyways.
Having played evil campaigns since the '70's, i can tell you that without a doubt, evil campaigns have no chance if the players arent mature(actions), as well as understand that evil doesnt equate to stupid or suicidal. Now on the other hand, if you get the right kind of players, evil campaigns can be very rewarding. In fact, my most memorable campaigns have been the evil ones, no question.

Foki Firefinger
09-25-2008, 02:24 AM
What is worse than evil player chacters. Evil DMs! I have had players in the group play evil characters just to see if they can mess up my campaign. So I just say things such as "Spendid", "Great" or "Wonderful" and use everything thrown at me as the DMs to aid my campaign instead. Kill the main NPC of the campaign--great! He has 3 brothers, 2 sisters and a lot of children- each of them just as good to take his place. Mess up the main dieties temple, Spendid!-- more people go to worship to defend their god and fight for the cause- ever heard of marters! Mess up the DMs campaign--Wonderful, any skillfull DMs will use it for adventful to make a better storey. DMs dont get mad, use it and get even! I have had player do everything they can to mess up everything and I can use it everytime.

Webhead
09-25-2008, 09:43 AM
What is worse than evil player chacters. Evil DMs! I have had players in the group play evil characters just to see if they can mess up my campaign. So I just say things such as "Spendid", "Great" or "Wonderful" and use everything thrown at me as the DMs to aid my campaign instead. Kill the main NPC of the campaign--great! He has 3 brothers, 2 sisters and a lot of children- each of them just as good to take his place. Mess up the main dieties temple, Spendid!-- more people go to worship to defend their god and fight for the cause- ever heard of marters! Mess up the DMs campaign--Wonderful, any skillfull DMs will use it for adventful to make a better storey. DMs dont get mad, use it and get even! I have had player do everything they can to mess up everything and I can use it everytime.

Yes, the players are usually far better at creating problems for themselves than I am doing it for them. :)

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
09-25-2008, 09:50 AM
What is worse than evil player chacters. Evil DMs! I have had players in the group play evil characters just to see if they can mess up my campaign. So I just say things such as "Spendid", "Great" or "Wonderful" and use everything thrown at me as the DMs to aid my campaign instead. Kill the main NPC of the campaign--great! He has 3 brothers, 2 sisters and a lot of children- each of them just as good to take his place. Mess up the main dieties temple, Spendid!-- more people go to worship to defend their god and fight for the cause- ever heard of marters! Mess up the DMs campaign--Wonderful, any skillfull DMs will use it for adventful to make a better storey. DMs dont get mad, use it and get even! I have had player do everything they can to mess up everything and I can use it everytime.
Evil DM's? We always referred to them as Killer DM's. These are the guys whose sole purpose is to kill the characters. Once word gets out, they stop playing DnD due to a lack of players. Now, as fars as players trying to screw with the DM's game? I agree with you, Foki; a good DM can use anything & everything to enhance their game. I'm sure your games are a blast to play in. Perhaps one day, many of us lich's will meet up at a convention and have a private game. Would be a blast, considering our experiences and stories we can bring to the table.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
09-25-2008, 09:52 AM
Yes, the players are usually far better at creating problems for themselves than I am doing it for them. :)
It does make it easier for DM's to create continued/ongoing stories in their games. I love it when characters create their own problems, the game takes on a life of its own. Even I, the DM, enjoy watching the process unfold.

darelf
09-25-2008, 12:17 PM
So, yeah. I've run a very successful evil campaign, and played in one.

I ran D&D, and it was a two-pronged campaign. There were two entire sets of PCs, one good and one evil, that were played by the same players. We would alternate weekends. The evil PCs were trying to bring about an apocalypse so the world would be remade their way. The good PCs were trying to stop them.

Eventually this ended with splitting the players up, one side playing good and the other evil so that the final battle could be resolved. It was a normal, serious RPG experience which everyone enjoyed.

I played in an Imagine campaign where we were all working for the same evil god. Masta Shank, god of Blood and Whores. It was only semi-serious. We all died about 3 sessions in. I played what amounted to an eco-terrorist... a multi-class Assassin/Druid. It was fun, but too short.

I find that a good "evil" campaign needs to be based on the shared goal that the PCs determine to be "good" and that they simply prosecute that goal ruthlessly. So in spite of any anti-social tendencies, they work as a team toward a goal. Summoning the god of Blood and Whores in order to rule the world would be an example. It explains their teamwork, and any masochism, sadism, etc.

edit to add: You know, that goes for any campaign. The PCs need a shared goal to work towards in order for the campaign to be any fun. So in this sense, an "evil" campaign isn't really any different than a "good" one.

DragonDM
09-25-2008, 12:40 PM
This post covers a wide range of things that were posted recently. Where possible I include the Member's name. Not trying to ignore anyone, but I also dislike repeating myself.

Webhead – I agree that Hubris played a large part. It was Anican's belief in having enough power would make the difference in preventing his Vision, that he made the Oath to Darth Sidious.

Believing that you can change anything (or everything) with Power alone is a dangerous thing to think:
And the Sith believe this above all else. This is what Obi Wan was referring to in his statement.

Grimwell – I disagree with “Yoda was evil.”
Yoda was the only one that saw the Clones for what they were: Living Robots. He did not like the fact that they even existed, but there were a few other things to take into consideration: (1) Once they existed, the Clones were considered Sentient Living Beings, and therefore could not be “destroyed” like metal robots could. (2) the Republic was heading for a War: (3) the Clones “volunteered” to fight, which any sentient being is free to do.(4) the Clones were made for war, and knew almost nothing else. There was no other place for the Clones to be.

To me: Yoda was NG, and represented the Passive side of Good. Remember also that Yoda said:
“The future is hidden, the Dark Side grows stronger, and covers everything in darkness.”
Yoda gave some very good advice and warnings, but because not enough information was available, it made little difference. In Yoda's experience, waiting long enough normally revealed the source of the problem. I'd say that Yoda's hubris was too much patience.

Yoda (or any other person) “forcing” anyone to do anything is evil itself.
Catch 22.
Free Will has to have meaning: forcing someone to do what you believe – is wrong.

Yoda even sought to deal with Darth Sidious – only to realize that Palpatine had too much of an edge in Power, and Yoda was forced to withdraw. Yoda did not see any purpose served with his death.
When shown the children of Anican and Padme, Yoda saw the potential to bring a better era, to bring down the empire of a Sith, and return the political power to the people of the Galaxy.

No one is perfect, and expecting them to be is unrealistic.

There are many kinds of “Balence”:
Most people read this as "Equal number of Jedi vs Sith, and where only one of each battles the other."

But, it was Luke that finally brought “true balence” to the Force. By following his own Hubris, and trying to join the Emperor's new clone, in order to undermine him: Luke almost became the next Darth Vader. Only Leia's love for her brother brought him back from the Dark Side. Ever since that event, Luke's training forces each student to face their own dark side, and decide on what they will do, and become.
Thus, balance is achieved.

Thoth-Amon – Maturity is needed in any game that goes beyond Hack and Slash. Good or Evil.
Evil Campaigns are just a lot more obvious about the fact that Maturity (actions) is needed.
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Foki Firefinger – Being a creative DM is not the same as being an Evil DM.
In fact, because of your tendency to do that, I would still call you a Good DM.

Thoth-Amon – your “Killer DM” is much closer to the “Evil DM”. But smart players can find ways to still survive.

To me, “Evil DMs” are those that act like the Killer DM, but constantly seek to place the Players into “you can't make a difference” and “you can't win” situations. Instead of enhancing the Gaming Experience, these DMs detract from it. Worse then even the baddest-behaved Munchkin ever could. And your are correct, Thoth-Amon, in the fact that once the word gets out, these DMs are hard-pressed to get players to sit down at their table. Most end up with a few favorite people, and become a Click.
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Webhead – I see that we have a common non-gaming interest: Harry Dresden. Contact me if you would like to Chat. I checked your profile and found no contact email – mine should be on my profile.

Ben Rostoker –
Supporters tend to argue with me that roleplaying is separate from the system and can be strongly supported in any game. I always encourage them to write a history for their iron token in monopoly and discuss the motivations for passing go. - Engar
Hilarious !!! (http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/member.php?u=4728)

Webhead
09-25-2008, 01:07 PM
Webhead – I see that we have a common non-gaming interest: Harry Dresden. Contact me if you would like to Chat. I checked your profile and found no contact email – mine should be on my profile.

Awesome. Dresden Files is one of the best book series I've read in years. I'm waiting for Evil Hat Games to finish their Dresden Files RPG which I hope turns out great. In the meantime, I've developed my own house rules for "Dresden-ifying" Unisystem.

DragonDM
09-26-2008, 09:24 AM
Webhead: I also use Unisystem.

Do you have an email that I can send things to?
I try to keep things on the Forum at least semi-related to what is in the Thread.

ChaunceyK
09-29-2008, 12:20 PM
I've never played a fully eveil campaign, but I did play for awhile with a group of 7 characters...5 good, 1 neutral, and 1 evil...run by 2 (sometimes 3) players.

We started with the 5 good pc's and came across a neutral thief npc being held captive during an adventure. Being the nice guys we were, we freed him & he never betrayed us during the adventure...probably because we treated him well & he was a couple levels below us (and would've gotten his butt kicked if he'd tried anything). Anyway, we enjoyed having him along, so we were allowed to "adopt" him into our pc's. His role, as time went on, was to do some of the things our good guys couldn't...like sneaking around at night when everyone was asleep, even if we were invited guests in someone's home. Of course, he never told the party of his nighttime habits unless he found something particularly "wrong" about our hosts, in which case he simply "got up to go to the outhouse". He wouldn't steal...err, borrow...from honest hosts, but if he found something valuable from deceitful hosts, all was fair game.

Some time later, when our pc's became heroes of the land, we decided to liven things up a bit with an arena tournament to induct a new lower-level character. An evil mage won that tourney, and things livened a bit alright. For instance, if it was late in the day & we were in battle, if he had a fireball remaining, he'd use it on the opponents regardless of whether we were in the way or not. His reasoning? "Brothers, I know you are so far advanced beyond my powers that there was no way you would perish from my fireball...those unlucky little orcs, on the other hand...well...it was the quickest way for us to win the battle." I played him to where he was always verbally complimentary towards us, but his actions made you suspect otherwise. Being evil, he was secretly jealous of their advancement over him, but he knew where he was bread was being buttered. He approached the neutral thief at one time, asking him to go on more nighttime prowls for some stronger weapons/scrolls so the mage could "catch up a bit & be on a more level playing field" as the rest of the companions. Sensing his hunger for power, the thief turned him down, advising him that he would get his fair share..."These are a fair-minded & loyal group of adventurers, they saved my life & treated me like one of their own. Just be patient, and they will do the same for you."

One time, we were on a huge continental adventure, and although my D&D is a little rusty, I recall that an evil mage used some sort of spell or item that inflicted sleep or paralysis or something on all characters not of his alignment. As our party members fell to the ground, our mage decided to do the same. By this point, although still a lower level than the rest of us, he had become loyal to the party (but still a mean streak when someone deserved it). As our nemesis returned to his work, our mage got back up, dusted himself off, and although he could have taken a free round of attack on him, he's ego took over. He acknowledged his evil alignment and said that earlier in life he might have joined him, but that these were his friends, and regardless of their inability to see the benefits of putting oneself ahead of others, he would defend them. He challenged our nemesis to a one on one battle to the death. We won, although our mage did take a whooping in the process...he couldn't have done it if not for the magic items shared with him by our party. In this one instance, we would've been toast without our evil mage.

DragonDM
09-29-2008, 08:45 PM
ChaunceyK - Very nice. Just like Raistlin was a very loyal member of the party that he traveled with for a very long time.

But the real question was - Did your mage, in his confronting the other evil wizard, and admiting to his own failing - ever consider that there was perhaps a benefit that the others got from being Good? Did he want to be more like them, and that power alone was not the way to get there?

I ask because that would be where a change of Alignment can come from.
In either direction on the Good to Evil (or even Chaos to Law) scale.

ChaunceyK
09-30-2008, 07:02 AM
Sadly, this was our last adventure together. My friends were getting ready to go their separate ways to college, so we had one big adventure to finish us off. Otherwise, I think an alignment shift would've been the way to go...certainly not to good, that'd be too much of a shift, but to neutral quite likely.

cplmac
09-30-2008, 02:39 PM
Realizing of course that an actual "true" Neutral character if played right can actually change sides, since they think that there has to be balance so that neither good/lawful or evil/chaos gets more powerful than the other.

DragonDM
10-01-2008, 03:53 PM
Realizing of course that an actual "true" Neutral character if played right can actually change sides, since they think that there has to be balance so that neither good/lawful or evil/chaos gets more powerful than the other.

Sure, you might not change Alignment by changing sides, but your actions will most likely be viewed with disfavor by those you leave.
And most likely with suspision from those you join: "How long before they turn on us ?"
Thus changing how they react to and treat your character - which in turn can cause a change of attitide by your Character, which changes their Alignment.

See also my comments on Good:
http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/showthread.php?p=49076#post49076 (http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/showthread.php?p=49076#post49076)

Personally, I tend to disagree with most people's view on Neutral.
The concern for "Balance" would be more of a Lawful thing, to me. The measuring and judging of something else needs to have guidelines: being the reason behind that.

Take for a moment Druids: They are not concened with Good and Evil in the same manner as others are. They have no favoritism towards groups or individuals. Creation and Destruction each plays it's part in the Natural Cycle.

A Driud does not have to worry about Natural Balance - nature takes care of most of that all by itself. So, only when Sentient Beings are involved - and in large groups or very powerful individuals, Does that Druid need to be concerned.

In my games there are three kinds: Light (NG), Dark (NE), and Grey (TN).

Light Druids seek to increase the Understanding of Sentient Beings about Nature. To teach them how to get along with nature, to the benefit of all.

Dark Druids are all about Survival of the Fitest, and that nature needs to be defended at all costs: "Blood makes things grow. Growing things feed plant eaters. Plant eaters feed carnivors."
Their killing of Sentients, even for the "Greater Good" of the environment does not change the fact that they are doing the Evil deed of Murder.

Grey Druids are only worried about their specific area, and maintaining it.
Sentients are warned once to leave quickly, lest they disrupt the balence too much.

There are of course, NG Dark Druids, as well as NE Light Druids - but that is because the individual has forsaken their group's beliefs.
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Now, before anyone jumps me about how Orcs and other Races are sentients, and deserve the same rights as all the others - let me say this:

Technically, you are correct.
However, the D&D game runs on one simple fact: Heroes.

Heroes cannot exist in a vacuum. They need something to fight against.
As such the game designers created things that could always been used to fight against, beyond simple Dire Rats and Giant Spiders.

Thus were created the Evil Sentient Races.

Sadly, most people (DMs and Players alike) don't stop to really consider what - exactly - makes most Goblins Evil. These people just see the "Always CE" in the Monster Manual, and proceed to hack and slash thier way to being "good" Adventurers.

Orcs have always been evil, due to a now near-forgotten tribute to J.R.R. Tolkien.
Everyone knows what makes the Drow evil.
Some might even know the history behind why Hobgoblins are evil.
These Races do very bad things to others, and even though their Society sees it as needed or even "good", it does not change the fact that these actions are evil.

Sure, and individual Goblin might not be evil, but as the story of Drizz't showed, "civilized" people are not willing to accept that. The writer also showed just how lucky Drizz't was, for being able to find friends and allies.

As a DM, I provide these reasons for why any Race is the Alignment that they are, and do my best to maintain them. My games can be as simple, or as complex as my Players allow.

"What's this?" you ask, my Games can change even the very basis of Alignment? Yes.

I'd rather be doing even Hack & Slash Dungeon Crawls, then to sit on my butt at home being bored.

But more Mature Roleplayers can see a deeper level to the Game World, when they start questioning their own actions and behaviors.

Usually, Good will seek to understand another sentient's situation, and perhaps get them to try and chang etheir ways.
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As always, these are just my opinions.

Greylond
10-05-2008, 07:30 PM
My current HackMaster Campaign has mostly Evil PCs in the group. The only non-Evil is being played by my wife.

Favorite quote that goes around the HM circles, "Being Nuetral Evil means never having to say you're sorry..."

dio1632
10-08-2008, 02:24 PM
Most games I run, the protagonists are stuck in a morally gray zone. Either there *is* no way to be "classically" ethical, or personal desires to be "nice" drive people to do things that are ethically wrong, or the characters are classically "villainous" but we put together an ethical framework which encompasses the PC "evil."

I am running a Warhammer Fantasy campaign in which a series of happenstances has mad the PCs firm allies / friends of a Vampire Count.

My favorite RPG ever is "The Collectors (http://www.rpgshop.com/default/fudge-the-collectors.html)."

nijineko
10-09-2008, 06:37 PM
Most games I run, the protagonists are stuck in a morally gray zone. Either there *is* no way to be "classically" ethical, or personal desires to be "nice" drive people to do things that are ethically wrong...


i have yet to find anyone who can stick one of my characters into a gray zone or prevent a character from being classically ethical if i'm determined to be so. ^^ but then let me clarify, before that sounds like a challenge, that i have what is considered an unusual moral and ethical sense.

doink1212
10-10-2008, 07:54 AM
I am running an evil campaign right now in 4e.

All of the PCs are the same race (this helps keep party killing down, because they are all childhood friends), and essentially they are raiding settlements and trying to destroy towns.

So far it is working very well. We do sessions on Saturday and they are in an alchemist's workshop trying to get supplies in order to burn the next town.

Greylond
10-10-2008, 08:08 AM
2nd Ed AD&D had a published adventure called "Reverse Dungeon" The first part the players were goblins defending their lair from a group of adventurers. It was extremely interesting and fun to play...

Webhead
10-10-2008, 09:22 AM
2nd Ed AD&D had a published adventure called "Reverse Dungeon" The first part the players were goblins defending their lair from a group of adventurers. It was extremely interesting and fun to play...

I always wanted to run that campaign since it first came out. Sadly, I never have found a copy of it.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
10-10-2008, 09:34 AM
I have this copy and always planned to run it. Actually, i plan to take it beyond the modules itself. Very cool idea.

Here it is on Ebay: http://shop.ebay.com/?_from=R40&_trksid=m38.l1313&_nkw=reverse+dungeon&_sacat=See-All-Categories

Krevon
10-11-2008, 01:26 PM
I have done this, the campaign lasted three years. At one point the players were sacrificng paladins to the dark gods..........ahhhh good times.

Greylond
10-11-2008, 08:17 PM
My current HackMaster game, as I previously mentioned, is an Evil Party although they don't work for the "Forces of Darkness(tm)". They mostly are out adventuring, fighting classic evil monsters, Orcs, Hobgoblins and most recently minons of a Lich(although they don't know exactly who these guys work for). So they are fighting against what are basically bad guys from the world's point of view. What makes them Evil is their methods. They are the classic "Ends Justifys the Means" types, i.e. they torture, they lie, they steal when they need to do so and don't feel bad about it in the morning. They also aren't doing it for the sake of Good, they're getting paid for it. In short, basically they are the Mercs who are being paid to fight evil and do whatever it takes to get the job done.

There are many faces of "Evil" beyond just the classic "Bad Guys"...

DragonDM
10-12-2008, 12:23 PM
There are many faces of "Evil" beyond just the classic "Bad Guys"...

True. Remember also that Life is never simple. Choosing the lesser evil is still choosing Evil. But, even doing the Good and right thing does not always get you the result that you wanted.

That last is the part that can confuse a lot of players.

Mercenaries are the lowest form of Adventurers.
Heroes are supposed to be above Adventurers.

Villains are also above Mercenaries, but in the other direction.
Leaders and commanders of them.

Krevon
10-13-2008, 06:59 PM
Of course then you have the character that giggles and sets it on fire.

Greylond
10-14-2008, 06:23 PM
Mercenaries are the lowest form of Adventurers.

Why do you say that? In RL history some Mercs have been more honorable and professional than the people they fought against or even their employers. In the middle ages there were NO Permanent National Armies. The few long term professionals that there were(usually veterans from the most recent war) tended to hire themselves out for the simple reasons that;

1) They were better trained/experienced than the part-time military units that were available and

2) In some cases they were more trusted than some of the rulers countrymen for the simple reason that many of their countrymen were household milita/guards to some Noble who may or may not have supported the ruler depending on local politics.

Case in point the Nika Riots. Or the Vatican Guards(even up to today) technically are "Mercenaries". The "English Archers" that fought at Crecy and Agincourt were primarily Welshmen who had to be hired by the King of England(i.e. Mercs) because the "Loyal Nobles" wouldn't or couldn't raise enough for the campaigns in France. The White Company and the company formed by Owain of the Red Hand were both considered quite honorable(meaning that when they were bought off they never sought a better offer against their original employer).

It wasn't until long service National armies were formed and kept did the idea of Mercenaries being scum come about.

Even today the Gurkhas, the French Foreign Legion and the above mentioned Swiss Guard of the Vatican are considered to be honorable units and each of them are "Mercenary Units"...

DragonDM
10-15-2008, 06:58 PM
Yes, In Real Life there are mercenaries that can be honorable.

But, keep in mind that even In Real Life, the over-all reputation of mercs is not very good.
Also, remember that - technically - a lot of the people that are working for terrorists are also mercs.
Bandits and brigands are just mercs that don't have someone giving them work at the time.

Please remember that D&D (and a lot of other Roleplaying games) is geared for the “Epic Heroic Adventure”. Being a Merc in these games will not make your Character a lot of friends or have people throw parades for them.

In D&D every town has a militia, every kingdom has it's own army, and mercenaries are usually only hired to do jobs that the rulers don't want connected directly to them. It for this reason that most mercs are looked at like most people would known criminals, with suspicion and maybe a little bit of fear.

Which is why, if the Party is not careful, they can become little better then mercs.
Adventurers are like bounty hunters, except that they hunt down and defeat/kill monsters that most people would rather not even know existed. Sure, the local militia might be able to take down that Dragon that is raiding the area, but the rulers are more concerned with keeping their own ass covered, if only to prevent another ruler or rival from attacking them (or their protected people) while their militia was away. Which means that the ruler would rather keep that militia near them, and hire some Adventurers (“Honorable” Mercenaries) to go deal with that Dragon.

To me, giving Mercenaries the same status as Adventurers would be like granting every single crook a cop badge. Heroes are the ones that are supposed to be the Sheriffs of the Game - and Adventurers are the Deputies. Granting the same treatment to Mercs would be worse then every town in the Old West treating every gunslinger that rode into town like they were Deputes. Think you have “Bad Cop” problems now – you ain't seen nothing, yet!!

Being a Hero can suck. I mean really. Running around and solving other people's problems at the risk of your life for only a small reward? Especially when the DM likes to say that being Heroically Good means that you do the job even if there is no reward from those that you are saving. (This is my stance, by the way.) Sure, sometimes the Party gets lucky and hits a payload in the Dungeon. But what do they usually do with it? They buy even more powerful Armor, Weapons and stuff to go fight the next Monster.

On the flip side, being a Villain sucks. I mean, plotting and planning to the best of your ability, only to have a bunch of “Meddling Kids” (“Roobby Doo!!”) come along and defeat you, time and time again, is just frustrating. And, some of these kids are very violent and will do everything that they can to kill you. Which means that the line between Hero and Villain can be a very fine line.
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One of the things that seems to be happening here, that I can see anyway, is that the people that are here want to focus beyond the typical “Dungeon Crawling Never-ending Adventure”.

That's great to see, but it is really rare to actually have happen. I've been DM-ing for 25 years now.
In all that time I might have had five games that went beyond this.

Living World Games require a lot more work then even the average Campaign. After all, to keep things interesting, you need to have a DM for covering a single region, and with at least four regions.
Plus, there needs to be a Grand Master DM, one that keeps track of all of what happens in the Realms and how what happens in each Realm affects all the other Realms, and the World as well.
The Grand Master DM also makes sure that everything flows together smoothly. The Grand Master also must not be overly challenged by any of the other DMs. Outside the game, All the DMs work things out, but the Grand Master always has final say. Getting this kind of cooperation is hard to get.
Too many individual DMs that would much rather just run their own Campaign Realms. It is because of this fact that a lot of the “Living Greyhawk” and “Living Forgotten Realms” games don't always have a lot of support.

The biggest problem seems to be defining “Good” and “Evil”
And the “Good Alignment” thread that is on here has the same problems as this “Evil” thread.

The following are only my opinions on this matter:
Good: Peace loving people that are Helpful to others, even when there is no reward.
Evil: Selfish to the point of harming others to get what you want.
Lawful: Wanting to work with others, because it is the best way to get large things done.
Chaotic: The Lone Wolf. Works with others only so long as it is obvious that it is needed.

Now. One thing that I want to establish right off – No one is perfect.
Good can go overboard and create pacifists, who for the sake of avoiding violence will allow Evil to grow.

Even the most Evil Villain can still love their family, and can change their ways for them.

Doing an evil act, even for a Greater Good does not make the act any less evil.
Honor is not a measure for Law or Chaos – since they can both have it.

Personal motivations are not really a great way to judge if someone is Good or Evil.
After all, most of the Bad Guys don't think that they are Evil.
Just like Insane people don't think that they are Crazy.

To me, actions speak louder then words.
It is when the person is confronted with a choice that is the test of their Alignment.
Good: Do you help? If so - how? Do you stand by their side and help them? (Lawful)
or Do you just take charge and try and do everything yourself? (Chaotic)

Evil: Do you take what you want, even knowing that it might hurt them? If so, how?
Do you give them a choice, offering logical reasons to simply give you what you want? (Lawful)
Or, do you smile as you step over their corpse? (Chaotic).

The new 4e D&D attitude for alignment is even more offensive to me:
Anything that goes out and kills monsters is Good.
From Dragonborn Fighters to Tiefling Infernal Pacted Warlocks.
Using evil to fight evil should not make that person automatically Good.

Everything that is in the Dungeon is a monster and is therefore Evil.
I really dislike the fact that they took away Good Aligned Dragons.
Misunderstandings can happen, even amongst “Good” creatures and people. It is the fact that they are willing to stop fighting (with intent to kill) long enough to figure out that there might be another way to solve the problem that makes them Good.

Evil has more of an Ego problem, and only something that is a lot more dangerous will get any group of Evil to really work together for long. Even LE Hobgoblins will still try and backstab each other. They are just a lot more sneaker about it then CE Goblins.

Greylond
10-16-2008, 01:35 AM
Some problems with that. In a Medieval Fantasy game you ARE dealing with a Medieval point of view. Unless your idea of Medieval Fantasy is Modern Culture with medieval technology. Which is a style choice, just not my personal one.

Militia shouldn't be as good at fighting as Adventurers or other Professionals, they spend almost ALL of their time farming and very, very little time throughout the year training. And unless you have a technology base(or enough magic) above say the 13th or 14th century you really wouldn't have enough people freed up to stay around and be in a standing national army. With the simple farming tech of the time you had to have a huge percentage of your peasants farming to provide for the cities and castles before you even thought about keeping a standing army.

Another thing is, very few "Adventurers" in my experience have been anything but "Mercenary". I've run into to maybe 3 or 4 characters in 30 years that truly didn't care about money or payment.

As for doing Good/Evil acts, yes you're right, very few "Good" people refrain from doing something Evil. Yet another reason I like HackMaster, it has an Alignment Tracking Chart/System so you(as the GM) know where the PCs stand as far as their stated alignments.

DragonDM
10-18-2008, 04:31 PM
Warning – this is a very long response. I hope that you read it all.
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Well, Greylord – You and I are a rare type: We both actually do as much of the research behind the historical examples that the Games are based upon, as we can.

A lot of the things that are placed into the games are very modernized versions of past social settings. For example: D&D is a combination of Renaissance France and England of the 1600's to 1700's, with a lot of influence from John Ronald Reuel Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings books and a few other fantasy books for Magic, toss in the Old Deities of Mythology and you get: An “Enlightened World” where magic (Arcane, Divine, Psionic, and in some cases even Technology) is so common an occurrence as to be blasé.

In our modern minds, Magic in these worlds is like Technology is today. Did you get sick? Technology: go to the hospital and see a doctor - vs - Magic: go to the nearest Church of any “Good” Deity and receive magical curing. The only difference between the two is that Technology requires Medical Insurance, and Magic requires a “donation” to the church.
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Think of all the things that we take for granted: Cars, Cell Phones, Computers and the Internet, Toasters, Dish Washers, Microwaves. Light Bulbs, especially in every single house – from the rich to the poor.

Try and remember that there was a Huge Gap between Rich and Poor in those days. Rich people could afford to have kerosene lanterns in their homes, as well as huge coal-burning fireplaces or furnaces for heating. Poor people were lucky to have in their home: a single whale oil lantern (which stinks to high heaven when burned) and a single wood burning stove, that was used for everything from cooking to heating the house, which is why poor houses were small and had no inside walls for private rooms. Coal was more effective, but expensive. It was this fact that the Old Santa Clause stories are based upon: even “naughty” children still got a piece of coal in their stocking – because it would be something that they could then give to their family to help keep them all warm in the winter, if only for one more night.

Today, coal has little value outside a coal burning electric-generating plant. Sure there are other ways to create electrity, but consider the facts for it:
1 - Wind. Not enough places to have the windmills put up, and there are fewer places where the wind is litterally blowing all the time.

2 – Water. Damming up a river to create a Hydro-electic plant destroys more then it creates. Entire ecosystems are ruined by it, but in front of and behind the dam. Also, it is very dependant on the weather. Too little rain means not enough water to run the generators. Too much rain means that there is a lot that is being allowed to go over the dam without creating any power.

3 – Nuclear. A lot of people are still very scared about this. Despite the advances in the means that they do it. No longer do we need to worry about another Long Island Disaster. It is actually a lot cleaner and safer then any other form of energy creation there is out there, now.

The fact of the matter is that no one really wants to challenge the status quo. Even those that can, and should. Every level of politician, from Mayor to President, simply does not want to challenge this, because to do so could threaten the very thing that they have - their political career.
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Try and imagine what all of these things would seem like to someone from say, 1800: When even steam powered ships were rare, and trains were even more rare – and something that was used only by merchants and nobles. Now, go farther back, to say 1700, where none of these things exist. Everything that we take for normal would be like the workings of Magic – and most people were very superstitious in those days – if it was not something that was accepted by the 'common people' as acceptable, then it was bad. If the Church did not say that it was Good, then it was Evil. Period. And “Evil” was to be destroyed on sight. And never mind that the church had members that were more 'evil' then even the worst Pirate around. Question the Church – or any member of it – at the risk of your life and “immortal soul”.
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http://www.gamegrene.com/node/320 (http://www.gamegrene.com/node/320)
While I agree that the D&D game does understate the Importance of Alignment, if I thought that I disliked the rules about Alignment before in D&D – I really hate 4e Alignment.
It is even more maddeningly ambiguous, and is conducive to certain very mindless forms of role-play.

I would have said that your Character's behavior determines your Alignment, and that your Alignment can determine what your PC should or should not do. It does not mean that they can't do it, but that if they do it, it will change their Alignment, if only a little.

Gary Gygax had a very strong opinion of Alignment and the changing of it. But then Mr. Gygax had a strong opinion about a lot of other things: the foremost of which is just how “smart” every Player should be: That they should instinctively understand how Mr. Gygax interpreted every Rule, that they should never ask Questions; that they all should be as knowledgeable and as affective as the players that have been playing the game for Years. Mr. Gygax was also very harsh in the creating of his “Challenges” - where there was only one answer that solved the problem, and any other answer was (almost always) instantly deadly. I did not really agree with a lot of the things that Mr Gygax did, because teaching new players the game is just as important to me as the maintaining of the “Old Crew”.

For Alignment - In some ways Mr. Gygax was right. But, over the years, more and more people felt that the loss of an entire Class Level was too much. This was reduced to the loss of EXP, but even that was taken away. Now, the only ones that are penalized the most are Clerics and Paladins, and then it is because the Divine Being(s) that they serve punishes them, if only by stripping away the Class' Supernatural abilities. The problem with involuntary alignment changes, is that it should be easier to redeem yourself by atonement then if your Character made that choice on their own. Even if the Character was blackmailed into making that choice, it was still their choice to do it.

Stop. Let me explain what I mean a little more: say that a Villain kidnaps your child and threatens to kill him/her if you don't go and murder a prominent member of society - someone that is doing everyone a lot of good. This does not mean that your PC has to do everything that they can to carry out the deed – just enough to fulfill the requirements of that Villain. The PC could do everything that they could to make their attack upon that person obvious, so as to get caught. And if the PC does it right, the Villain would not need to even know that their attempt failed. The PC then tells the people that catch them why they even made the attempt. It now falls upon these other people to help the PC to rescue the child from the Villain.

But, let's say that the PC is high enough level that they cannot make any failure believable, or that the Villain has stated that only success will get them their child back. So, the PC does the deed, and rescues their child. The PC could then do things to 'redeem' themselves for having done that evil act. Raising thier own child in a way that they will understand that there was some bad things that you needed to do, just to protect them when they were younger, and explaining that it is entirely possible that it could cost you your life, someday. Things like making sure that the heir of that person you murdered is well protected, and receives the information that their parent(s) were murdered, but with only small clues as to who did it – and then making sure that any and all attempts of that heir for learning to become powerful enough (read “Class Levels”) to do something about the fact that their parent(s) were murdered. Making sure that your child and the heir are friends, even if you have to play the part of being the hated villain for both of them. And when the day of confrontation comes, making sure that they receive the truth about what had really happened, and that there is a true villain that they need to deal with, and that you were just preparing them for the day that they would challenge that Villain. Asking for forgiveness from the heir (and perhaps your own child as well), and helping them to truly defeat the true Villain.

Accepting the punishment for doing of that bad deed, as well as doing what you can to undo it's effect is all part of the Atonement process. Some “Evil” deeds are still not forgivable, and so that Character might very well have to leave and find a whole new place to live, where no one knows who they were, or what they did. The fear of death is another form of Blackmail, and perhaps the only way to atone is to be willing to lay down your life for someone else, and perhaps they are not even related to the PC.
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The issue of various forms of Detect Evil as well as spells that are Alignment-specific for their effects are just a very easy way out for the Players. There should be some limits. Sure, the Paladin can detect that the merchant is evil, but that does not mean that the Paladin can simply walk over to that merchant and kill them. Doing this, while maybe not enough to cause an Alignment Shift, is still going to make the other people in the town very nervous, if not outright offended. And not every DM and Player wants to go to a Court and put the entire thing in Trial. It's fun to read about, but not actually do.

In my games, there are social reactions for Alignment. Most Allied NPCs (Humans, Dwarves, Elves, Gnomes, Halflings, Half-Elves and Half-Orcs) prefer to be 'good': Helpful and respectful of each other. They will treat anyone that is 'civilized' enough to get along with their society in the same way that they would any member of that society. Individuals should vary, even in an “All LG” society. Fashion copycats aside, each person likes to be noticed and respected for themselves.

Being a LG "Nice Guy” when in the company of CE Pirates is a great way to be the next target for their idea of 'fun'.
And it's a good idea for the CE Pirate on the LG Navy Ship to pretend to be just another sailor.

Now, there should still be little things that the Character does that still indicates that they have a hidden Alignment.
- The "LG" guy should still be cooperative with others, and maybe do little nice things to those that he believes will appreciate it. They should take the fist chance they get to get away.
- The "CE" pirate should still be a loner and an asshole. They should take every opportunity to screw others over. They should also take the first chance to get away, and go be with those they like.
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But, like I said before – actions speak louder then words.
But, not every action should instantly change a character's alignment.
Extreme actions and especially repeated behavior should be the things that change a PC's alignment.
The DM should always ask the Player “Why did your Character do that? What was their motive?”

The biggest thing that the DM needs to do - is communicate their interpretation of the Alignments to their players. This will help the players better portray their character's change of attitude and behavior.

The biggest problem with most games is that it does not really have anything in place for showing that being Evil is not all that great. There are no real ways to 'punish' people for being Evil. It falls to the DM to do these things.

Players have no real fear of “Hell” or “Damnation” or anything like that, since they can just quite playing that Character and create another one. And if they get too tired of constantly remaking Characters, the Player can always just quite the game and go find another group or DM.

Also, just because a Player has their Character go to “Evil” does not mean that the DM should take the PC sheet away and make them an NPC. Yes, there are Campaigns that can justify this, but it should be made clear by the DM to the Players that this is the case – before the game even starts.

For other Campaigns - The DM should just adjust the reaction of the game's NPCs: Townsfolk will become more reluctant to do any kind of business with these PCs; merchants (including Bars and Inns) should raise their prices for these PCs; political people should apply pressure of their own: everything from sicking the local town police on them, to hiring bounty hunters and other Adventurers to deal with these PCs. Also, NPC Heroes should show up and do their best to get the PCs to stop and pay attention to what they are doing, and how it is affecting everyone – including the PCs in question. As a last resort, kill the Characters - using the rules and game mechanics to do so.

Dropping the DM/Deity Blue Bolt to end that Character's life is just Deux Ex Machina. If it works for your game and the Player's don't care, then by all means use it. But for intelligent and serious players, I advise the DM to use other means to accomplish their deaths. And cooperate with the Players to make sure that Alignment is clearly understood. The DM needs to be open-minded and flexible about some things. It's unavoidable. But there should be a line that cannot be crossed without changing Alingments.

If needed, stop the game and address the issue with your players. If they are in the mood to try and do a Campaign where everyone is Evil, then see if you can run that, while still maintaining the fact that being evil does not really pay in the long run – like Crime is not supposed to. It can be fun to figure out ways to undermine the PCs, and remind them that they are evil, and supposed to undermine each other.

Lots of people love to romanticize things that are normally considered “evil”.
Gaming “Evil” Stereotype: Overcoming the minions of Hell (or the Abyss, or Hades (Greek), or Niflheim (Norse, et cetera), and escaping from being trapped in these places. Showing that the PCs could very well be trapped here, and because of their behaviors, past and present, might be the hardest thing for a DM to do. Tread very carefully on this thin ice, lest you have no players at all at your table.

Here's a great example: a Pirate ship. In Real Life: These were considered the worst kind of people: Thieves, Crooks, and Criminals that were ruthless, mean, cruel, murdering assholes. These people are the kind who would kill you for the Piece Of Eight in your pocket - or even a few Reals (a coin that the first coin was based on) {this would be like a few Nickels and a Quarter today} and leave the cooling corpse just enough out of sight to get away without being challenged by what passed for the local law. Each of the pirates were out for themselves (which would make most of them chaotic: but even the “lawful” honorable ones would simply use loopholes - “No Witnesses” being the most used) and working together only because it's the only way to work the ship and survive the ocean, as well as needing everyone to take another ship and her bounty. Splitting the booty was supposed to be 'fair', but the truth of the matter was that given even a small chance they would steal from and kill each other in heartbeat. The “Captain” was responsible for making sure that “equal shares” were given – but how far can you really trust a Pirate Captain? Sometimes, taking of money was done through various games of chance, but not always. Only the fear of the captain killing them (or ordering the rest of the crew to kill them) would be enough to keep each of them in place, but the captain still had to fear being attacked by the entire crew.

Being caught as a pirate (or bandits - or brigands – or river rats, which were different kinds of pirates) was a death sentence. To be caught once might get you only time in prison or hard labor, since good sailors are hard to come by. Sometimes a hand, foot or limb was removed, to mark the offender. However, to be caught a second time was death. Period. Only extreme political dealings would save you this time.

And all those stories about how pirate crews stuck it out, like they were some kind of family are mostly just fantasies. Sure, “pirate families” existed, but most of these were actually privateers (LN or LG), which were “honorable” pirates sanctioned by one government against another government. To attack the ships of anyone flying the flag of the first government were instantly considered pirates, and hunted down and killed.
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Enforcing the bad things that are supposed to happen to PCs that become Evil is not easy, especially if the DM is running a High Magic Campaign. The higher the level the PCs become, the harder it gets to keep them “in line”. Consider trying to stop a 21st level Party from simply destroying the lands of a non-epic Realm. The “rampaging monster” bit might not be enough to get them to stop, and take care of that. I usually always have at least one, if not three things that can get the players to stop doing things that not supposed to be done:

(1) Monster of high enough CR.
(2) Villain of high enough ECL.
(3) Adventurers and Heroes of high enough ECL.

- if none of these work, I stop the game and talk to the players about what they really want to do in the Game. If at all possible, I work something out. However, there are times when I just have to accept the fact that it is time for me to put the Books up, and wait until I find a new Gaming Group.

Greylond
10-18-2008, 04:54 PM
Who is this Greylord person you speak of?... :confused:

Yea, if anyone hasn't noticed I lurve history and learning about what it was like at all levels of society for a given tech level. I also get irked, just a bit, by the continuing proliferation of urban myths about history, like the belief of no baths and everyone thought the world was flat.

Maybe Gygax came across like that in his writing but in person, via Net Chat/Message board and face-to-face he was a cool guy that wasn't that uptight.

DragonDM
10-18-2008, 05:26 PM
Who is this Greylord person you speak of?... :confused:

LoL !!!
Sorry about that. Missed the 'n' and read it as a 'r'.
Aye can't help it, I'm a Professional Pirate.

Muppets: Treasure Island.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HdK4yxgzxWY



Yea, if anyone hasn't noticed I lurve history and learning about what it was like at all levels of society for a given tech level. I also get irked, just a bit, by the continuing proliferation of urban myths about history, like the belief of no baths and everyone thought the world was flat.

Well, I for one try to debunk those urban myths, just like the Mythbusters.
I loved Robot Chicken's merging them with the Ghostbusters. Hilarious!!!


Maybe Gygax came across like that in his writing but in person, via Net Chat/Message board and face-to-face he was a cool guy that wasn't that uptight.
Well, I only got to meet Mr Gygax once, and I suppose that a convention filled with thousands of other people is not really the best way to try and get to meet someone. However, he came across to me as very rude and impolite. I have read a lot of the things that Mr Gygax wrote about, and not all of it I agree with. I never got the chance to actually chat with him online: I actually got my laptop just before he died. A shame, really. There were a lot of things that I did like, and respected, about him.

TheDarkestOfAngels
10-19-2008, 12:20 AM
I've never run an evil game (though I've run a few one-shot evil adventures), but I've discussed the issue (because I allow evil characters in my current campaign) and this is what I tell them.

Evil characters are people.
They have all the flaws, weaknesses, strengths, and platitudes of normal people. Being evil doesn't mean you want to kill everyone or even just some people. What seporates good from bad is their motivations and what they are willing to do in order to get what they want. They might be a psychopath that just wants to watch others writhe because of their horrid acts. They might be otherwise normal people who are just willing to murder someone to get what they want.
More importantly, however, is that alignment is not a straight-jacket and that they should pick an alignment that they think best fits their character.

Being evil doesn't mean you lack co-operative skills, especially if you feel you're in a team of like-minded individuals. Evil people can trust other people just like non-evil people can and not all of them are out to stab one another in the back at the first opportunity or murder every baby in their path.

Meatbag
10-19-2008, 09:14 AM
I just finished an evil campaign, then got my players to roll good guys to go hunt them down. It depends on the players whether or not an evil campaign is going to work. They have to understand that evil doesn't necessarily mean burning down every orphanage you come across. There's plotting and planning involved, which makes it a lot harder than being the good guy all the time, who almost always has a clear and concise directive. Is playing evil hard? Yes, but GMing an evil campaign is much harder. Nothing is linear, because evil is unpredictable.

DragonDM
10-19-2008, 03:02 PM
Evil characters are people.
They have all the flaws, weaknesses, strengths, and platitudes of normal people. Being evil doesn't mean you want to kill everyone or even just some people. What seporates good from bad is their motivations and what they are willing to do in order to get what they want. They might be a psychopath that just wants to watch others writhe because of their horrid acts. They might be otherwise normal people who are just willing to murder someone to get what they want.
More importantly, however, is that alignment is not a straight-jacket and that they should pick an alignment that they think best fits their character.

Being evil doesn't mean you lack co-operative skills, especially if you feel you're in a team of like-minded individuals. Evil people can trust other people just like non-evil people can and not all of them are out to stab one another in the back at the first opportunity or murder every baby in their path.

Darkest Angel – What you write about is also what my point was – Life is never simple.
However - while it is true in Real Life that people can be that are that way, remember that the Games are all about Over-Melodramatic Actions and Behaviors.
Especially for the differences between Good & Evil. It is this that separates Real from Make-Believe.

Placing too much 'reality' into the game can cause other, far more difficult problems to deal with.
D&D is not designed for this style of play, although a Mature (actions) enough Group can do it.
Here are a few that are: White Wolf's World of Darkness (d10), C.J. Carella's Witchcraft (Unisystem), Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Unisystem), & Legend of the Five Rings (d10).

But, even in these games, walk as if you were on Thin Ice.
Keeping the Communication between Players and GM is even more important, then in normal “Beer and Pretzel, D&D Dungeon-Crawling” Games.


Trivia Fact: Leonard Nimoy is what is normally referred to as an “emote” style of actor. Which just means that he actually becomes the Character that he is portraying. It took several years for Mr. Nimoy to separate himself from “Spock”. And when he finally did, he then had to write a book that was titled “I am not Spock” - which was the story to his Fans about himself separating from the Star Trek Character: So that they would understand that there was a huge difference between Nimoy and Spock.

When you encourage yourself - or your players - to place too much of themselves into their Character, then you are lowing the barriers that separate Reality from Fantasy. It is neigh impossible to not place at least a little bit of yourself into every Character that you create. If you didn't do this, then you could not relate to them, or understand their inner motives: What they are willing to do, how far they are willing to go, and what limits they apply to themselves.

I'm not saying that every Player will go crazy and really think that they are actually a Wizard (or other Class), and start mimicking the casting of fireballs (or other extreme Class Abilities) while standing on main street. There was a case of a guy that did this, but it was established that he had already been mentally unstable before he got into the Games, and that his inability to separate Reality from Fantasy caused him to go even deeper Over The Edge.

Making the line between Good and Evil should not always be hard to tell, especially for new players. Having the reality that there are reasons for why someone is Evil, and they might not even realize that what they are doing is evil – is something that is best breached when the DM has been with the same Players for a while – like at least 6 months, if not several years. The DM also needs to make sure that the Players understand how behavior affects Alignment. And how an Alignment Shift can happen, and what affects it had on behavior.

Now, the problem here is what happens with a lot of CE Characters – everyone thinks that they are insane: Sure, not every C.E. (N)PC is a foaming-at-the-mouth psychopath that will kill babies at every chance. But, there should be some way to show that this individual is more likely to do things that are far more destructive then they need to be.

I'm going to take some of Spiderman's foes, and use them as a comparison. Comic Book Characters or not really the best things to use – since they have only a little basis in reality. But, for what I am talking about here, they should work.

The Green Goblin as a great example of a C.E. Character. As Norman Ozborn, he's a NE businessman: He's reluctant to take too many risks, especially those that involve personal confrontation – sure, Norman will foreclose the mortgage on a little old lady's house, and not really give a damn that she's only a month behind, and that kicking her out will not only force her to be in Retirement Home, but will also harm her entire family. But, Norman won't show up at her home, and try to kill her. Norman's lack of compassion is what makes him evil. But, as The Green Goblin, he's unafraid to take risks, and he loves confrontation – and scaring & killing people. Green Goblin will deliberately place other innocent (read 'helpless') people at risk, forcing the Hero (usually Spiderman) to take the time to save them, while Green Goblin goes and does something else that furthers his personal goals. It is this that makes him Evil. Make no mistake, Green Goblin is insane, but that is not really what makes him Chaotic - it's the fact that he is selfish to the point that he cannot work with others, not even those that work at his companies. It is his arrogance in the belief that he is better then everyone, despite being beaten by Spiderman (and a few other Heroes) over, and over, and over again.

The Hobgoblin is a great example of a L.E. Character. Although he copycats Green Goblin in a lot of ways, his methods are a lot different. He only uses what is needed to accomplish his goals. Hobgoblin had no problems working with other evil people - or even for: like Kingpin. And so long as Hobgoblin got what he wanted, he was “honorable” enough to keep the deal. Hobgoblin will normally attack the one that he wants to take down – and will usually start with the Hero. But Hobgoblin's targets are not normally random, or accidental. Sure, Hobgoblin's will blow things up to place innocent people at risk – forcing the Hero to go save them, instead of chasing Hobgoblin, but only in the heat of battle will Hobgoblin simply start shooting at random innocent people, as a desperate ploy to get the Hero off his ass. And even then, Hobgoblin reverts back to his normal 'methodical' ways as soon as he can.

Doc Octopus is great example of NE. The justification of “for advancing science” and “for the good of all mankind” do not change the fact that Doc Ock will do Evil deeds like: steal, kidnap, blackmail, or even kill (although this is usually rare) to achieve his goals. Ock does not really have a super independent streak, nor does he rely on others too much. If Ock trusts you enough, he will work with you. But, he's not dumb, and is always alert for betrayal, especially after having had some of these in his past.

Venom also started out as C.E. Now, it was because of Spiderman's consistency with being a Good Guy, and always trying to treat even Eddie Brok as he would anyone else, and trying to help Eddie and Venom over and over, that caused Brok to force Venom to slowly change. First, Venom became NE. And then he became LE. In the End, Eddie Brok gave the symbiont up and sacrificed his own life for others. I would place this as NG.
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Now, on the Good Side, which I will say is the “compassion for, and protection of others”.
– let's take a look at the Fantastic Four.
Each of them have personal flaws, and it is this reason that Americans love them.

It is hard to really nail down their alignments, but I normally go with:

LG – Reed Richards, Mr Fantastic: Everything is based on logic.
Cooperation of people achieves larger goals. Flaw: I'm always right. Failure is personal.

CG – Johnny Storm: The Human Torch. Self impressed with his powers, and very independent.
Flaw: Showoff.

NG – Suzan Storm: The Invisible Woman. The 'voice of reason' and usually the most concerned about achieving the most good for everyone. Flaw: Overprotective.

CG – Ben Grim, The Thing: Although he can work with others and follow orders, Ben really prefers to take things into his own hands, and solve problems his way. Flaw: Short Tempered.

Doctor Doom is LE. He will work even with his enemies, the Fantastic Four, to prevent the destruction of the World. Sure, it's because there is little point in ruling a ball of ash, but that's just an excuse.
Flaw: I'm always right. And I will do anything prove it. Failure is just a learning experience.
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Now, I am not saying that you cannot – or even should not – try and put more reality behind the Alignments into your Games. No. I'm just saying that you should do so with caution and with open eyes to the problems and dangers of doing so. Every Member in the Group should do Reality Checks on everyone else, including the DM. And when they are challenged, they need to remain calm and listen to what the others have to say. Be willing to reflect on your behavior and actions, explain them to the other Members - and then still be willing to change them.
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As always - these are just my Opinions.
Until next time – Enjoy the Games.

DragonDM
10-19-2008, 03:12 PM
Is playing evil hard? Yes, but GMing an evil campaign is much harder. Nothing is linear, because evil is unpredictable.

I have had way too many 'Intelligent Players' over the year, and let me tell you that Good or Evil, it is never easy to be the DM for them.

I would have said that there is a lot more involved with being Evil, then when being Good.

Most Good Characters are traditionally reactionists, something bad happens and then the 'Heroes' go and try to take care of it.

Evil has to deal with the little BS stuff, like gathering enough money to pay for their mercenary guards.
Successfully kidnapping the person they need to blackmail someone else. And a lot more things that the Player's normally don't think about.

But don't think that Good PCs can get behind the scenes and do those kind of things – building contacts and making sure that they are financially covered.

It's the players that make the difference – not what alignment they are playing.
Adapting to them is the real challenge for the DM.

Meatbag
10-19-2008, 06:09 PM
Yep, that's pretty much it. But people generally do tend to be reactionists, and that is what makes people (who are conditioned to playing good aligned characters) wander about aimlessly when given no linear action sequence to follow. The players do have to adapt to playing evil alignments, though. You don't simply decide to play evil, you have to go outside your normal realm of roleplaying to do it right. You have to, in some ways, become a GM that's on the other side of the screen. Players do not normally plot. That's the GM's job. They do not normally set obstacles int he way of the heroes, that's the GM's job. It would be nice to always have 'intelligent players' but that isn't always the case. There's always one in the group who grow tired of plotting, and decides to burn down a church or something, just to get some combat going.

nijineko
10-19-2008, 10:07 PM
i find it easier to be proactive about being good, than being evil. i never run out of things to do when i'm play a good character. but i get lost trying to figure out what to do when i'm not playing a good character. ^^

Grimwell
10-19-2008, 10:39 PM
Yeah, I think we are casting "Good" into an unfair mold if we are limiting it to reactive actions. That's sleepy and dull, and far from the final word on what good can do.

nijineko
10-19-2008, 10:51 PM
good is much more than so many describe... it's just that i don't think many have ever seen how good can be strong, dangerous, aggressive, and pure. most examples that people give are where people fail to be good, rather than succeed. ^^

DragonDM
10-20-2008, 01:13 PM
Good responses!

Realistically, both Good and Evil Characters have equal 'power' to be proactive. It is up to the Players to figure out how to do so. The DM is supposed to only give Clues as to what can be done and offer Challenges to the Characters of the Players at the table; and to show the consequences for the PC's actions – both rewards and punishments.

Intelligent players are hard to find, but it is possible to help other kinds of players to become smart. While it is true that some of your 'shy' players are unsure of what to do, or afraid of others making fun of what they try to do – Some of your “shy” players are actually rather smart, and quickly become bored with the regular “Hack and Slash” style of play.

I think that the problem stems from a few outside sources: America is the worst of all the Nations about conditioning people to stop thinking when doing something:

TV – it is called the Idiot Box (or Boob Tube) for a reason. Everything is done for the viewer. Sure, people have opinions of whatever it is they watched – but usually only after it happened.

Movies are just another form of what the TV does, but costs the person money to go do.

Video Games – Click a button, and figure out the Plot of the Game, and you win.
There are no changing the outcome of the game.

Online MMOs – are a slightly more advanced Video Game. But again, there are severe limits to what can be done by the Players. If the programmers did not place into the game that something can be done, then nothing the Player does will make the attempt succeed. In a Tabletop RPG, if the Player(s) want to attack the NPCs, there is no game mechanic to stop them, the DM has to find ways to either stop them, or punish them for doing it.

Books – There are only a few authors that show the strength of Good, and the 'rewards' of Evil – while still keeping the “humanity” in all their Characters. I could list a few of my favorite authors, but I think that I will wait to be asked. Since people have such strong opinions about Alignment, suggesting any reading material on such things is risky.

Getting people to break free of this “passive participation” trend can be a challenge.
Especially when the RPG is based on the same 'style' of play that an MMO is.
Rant – 4e D&D is based on the MMO World of Warcraft mechanics. Don't get me wrong, there are things that I like about 4e. But there are just as many things about 4e that I don't like. Alignment being even more vague then any other version of D&D. While I can deal with “Defenses” replacing Saving Throws, I hate the “either/or” options: Str OR Con for Fortitude; Dex OR Int for Reflex; Wis OR Cha for Will; and Dex OR Int for AC when wearing Cloth Armor. Combining two (or more) skills into a single skill to make a shortened list is also something that I don't like. It made sense to me that a person could specialize in say – Spot and not be very good at Listen (or the reverse).

Now, it is possible to balance 4e out, and without nearly as much work looking up options as 3e.
However, it is up to the DM to do so, it is not done in the book. Minions are always just that, and there is a “Level Cap” for a lot of Humanoids. The DM has to work even more to “balance” things out.
Sure, 3e had a lot of option books, but I see that by the time that 4e is only a few years old, it will also have the same problem.

One of the things that I do like about 4e is the fact that Classes are a lot more balanced in caparison to each other. For example: Fighter vs Wizard. Any other version of D&D.
1st level – Fighter wins. 20th level: Wizard wins. 4E D&D = 50/50 bet at any equal level.

Yes, the 4E games can go lots faster then earlier versions, but only if everyone that is at the table is Very Familiar with the rules – which in my opinion was the same for 3E rules. The next problem is that 4E requires that every person at the table has their own copy of the Player Books. Unlike other versions of D&D, where there might only need to be two copies of all the Player Books at the table that the Players could share. Only Players that were using a Spellcasting Class needed their own book(s). 4E has every Class acting like the Spellcasters. And PDF copies of these books can be just as much a pain.
Firs, it assumes that every player has their own computer or laptop – which is rarely the case. Next, the person(s) that do have them, have to stop everything that they are doing and look up what it is that is in question, and can only refer to one page of the PDF book at a time.
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My point there for this Debate is: that the New Players siting down at the gaming table and expect the game to move and flow like their Favorite MMO game: World of Warcraft and Everquest being the biggest. What a lot of players don't realize is just how much work being the DM really is. Sure, the games have put more things that the DM used to be the one that had to do and keep track of onto the Players, but it does not relieve all the work-load off the DM. I have played and even tried to run 4e games, and I have yet to see a single 4e Tabletop game flow like the WoW MMO that I sometimes play when there is literally nothing better to do. Heck, some of my 3E Tabletop games flow easier then the 4E games. I am confidant that as people (myself included) become more familiar with 4E, this will change.

ShadowZephyr
10-21-2008, 12:02 AM
I have done this a few times and the end result for my groups has always been the same. "We had a good time but, can we go back to playing normal?". I have found that most groups like to have some fun spreading carnage but,like to play their "heroes" alot more.

DragonDM
10-22-2008, 11:26 AM
I have done this a few times and the end result for my groups has always been the same. "We had a good time but, can we go back to playing normal?". I have found that most groups like to have some fun spreading carnage but,like to play their "heroes" alot more.

LoL! :laugh:

Which is fairly normal, actually.

painquin
11-03-2008, 05:40 AM
I'm currently running an evil campaign - I didn't plan it, but when everyone was rolling up characters, they just decided on an evil alignment. I'm forcing them to play nice on the basis that at 2nd level, they're in no position to cause widespread harm. Currently their goal is to stop an evil sorceror from getting hold of a powerful artifact - less so that the sorceror can't have it and more so that they get it. A low level evil campaign turns out to be easier because the players have roughly the same goal - become more powerful. What changes is how they go about it, and obviously being too overt would endanger their chances of survival long enough to gain enough power to do anything. 7am ramblings conclude.

USFPutty
11-05-2008, 03:23 PM
Yes, I have done an evil campaign. I believe there are six key rules to keep in mind if you are planning an evil campaign and they are:

Rule One: Lawful evil not chaotic evil
Rule Two: Villians need style
Rule Three: Villians need motivation
Rule Four: While good can be passive, evil must be active
Rule Five: Minions come in two flavors: Competent or Loyal
Rule Six: Villians need heroes

That sounds about right. We've been doing most of this, and it's worked out very well. We just came out of a highly-organized heroic campaign that the DM essentially broke, so we're being 'rebellious' now.



Rule One: Lawful Evil not chaotic evil.

It is fun to be bad guys. It is fun to laugh maniacally, have minions (who you kill if they DARE fail you), concoct an evil scheme, build an underground superfortress complete with death ray, raise an undead army, construct a giant robot o' doom, organize a cult of fanactic devotees and try to kill those fools FOOLS who dare oppose you! They laughed LAUGHED AT ME THE ACADEMY! BUT WHO'S LAUGHING NOW AS YOU TASTE MY VENGEANCE?! ON MY COMMAND, MY MINIONS, UNLEASH HEL...


In fact, we:
1) Laugh maniacally and often. We're evil, and we enjoy it.
2) Have minions both competent (well paid and rewarded) and loyal (at this point, mostly due to torture, severe psychological warping, and deviousness). In fact, our current manservant committed a crime in violation of our interests. I cut off his hand and quickly mended the stump. His hand will be replaced by a construct prosthetic engineered by a party member as part of his experiments as a 'reward' for loyalty.
3) We have two evil schemes active at present. One of which is more a mission, issued by my diabolic overlord.
4) We do in fact have an underground fortress. Well, abandoned civilization dedicated to death and undeath, but whatever. No rent.
5) Undead army on the way.
6) One of the players is a construct, Warforged-esque, but...different.
7) Cult. I need to get started on that. Thanks.




Rule Two: Villians need style.

Yes, you are evil. But there is a big difference between being evil and being tasteless. If your evil campaign devolves into anything overly graphic (particularly regarding torture, rape or the abuse of children) or overly banal (repetitive crimes, boring schemes that take way too long), then your problem is that your villians have no style. As the GM, you must encourage style.


Hmm. Well, we do try to have style, but we definitely engage in a great deal of torture, murder, and sacrifice. But it's all for a good cause! For instance, we are ordered to eliminate a city's governor and his entire family. I happen to have unintentionally already sacrificed his only daughter in a ceremony to Asmodeus. Points for me. The mother died in childbirth, so that's a freebie. My idea is to eliminate his male heirs one by one so he can see his line end, before he himself ends. So, we make plans to kill the youngest first. He likes horses. So I think, 'hey, Nightmares are horses' and make preparations. Unfortunately, we accidentally capture the oldest son while raiding a caravan for supplies and sacrifice victims. So, we have to make do, and we drop him headfirst onto the sharp spire of the town's church so daddy can see his son bright and early the following morning. I mean, we're trying to be EVIL. Book of Vile Darkness-level evil. And so far, we've managed to do it without getting so completely macabre as to freak ourselves out.




Rule Three: Villians need motivation.

Ask yourself, why are these characters evil? Why are they out to take over the world? Why do they want to kill the hero? If you can't answer that question quickly and directly, your villians don't have a strong motivation. Why does Doctor Doom keep attacking the Fantastic Four? To prove his superiority over Reed Richards! That's a strong motivation. Why does Ernst Stavros Blofeld, leader of SPECTRE, keeping trying to kill James Bond? Revenge! Strong motivation. Why does the Emperor keep trying to crush the Rebel Alliance? So the Sith will once more rule the galaxy! Again, a strong motivation. Evil without motivation is boring and lifeless.


Very true. Also, built into the character's core development can be reasons he doesn't attack other characters. My character's entire family was murdered, betrayed, or left to die by the now-empowered nobility of the kingdom in which he lived. So now he seeks 'justice' for his family upon the arrogant nobles and selfish aristocrats who found the value of his family's life so miniscule. He's teamed up with his half-brother, an aspiring necromancer and scholar of ancient secrets. Along the way, they found a long-abandoned underground city, guarded by a powerful construct fueled by the dark energy of death itself. Together, they seek to inflict agony and vengeance on those who've 'wronged' them, attain power over death and life, and return the influence of a 10,000-year-old civilization's evil to the world. Booyah.

Evil is like a disease. You can probably get away with quite a bit, at first, if you do a good job of covering up or spreading misinformation. but sooner or later, the flag's gonna go up and the good guys are going to come looking for you. And that's when the REAL fun starts.

Charles1971
11-20-2008, 03:29 PM
Last year I ran an evil Star Wars D20 campaign that was very enjoyable. The players were all agents working for the Empire and under the command of an Imperial Inquisitor aboard a star destroyer. There missions ranged from going after rebels and small rebel bases to tracking down traitors to uncovering a plot against the Emperor by a faction with the Empire.

I felt that the campaign needed to be very structured and since the players all reported to a higher ranked person (an NPC) it kept them fairly well together with a minimum of back-stabbing and double crossing. Overall, I think it was one of my more enjoyable and successful campaigns that I've ran.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
11-20-2008, 05:46 PM
Sounds like fun. I would've liked to be in your campaign.

This being said, once my move to the Bay Area is complete, and ive settled in a bit, i'd like to start an evil'sh CT campaign. I will most likely be combining elements of old Gamma World(in the beginning anyway), with CT.

DragonDM
11-23-2008, 12:28 PM
gdmcbride - I shall be doing what I can to get your Advice to my Players,
should they ever want to play Evil. Especially for my Online Games.

I think I might have made my own Rules about Evil Characters in my Games, but I will relist them, just to make sure.

(1) The Players must be mature enough that even defeat and death of their Characters do not ruin the fun of the game.

(2) The Villains must be defeatable, and have believable Flaws, as well as Redeeming Qualities. Their reasons for why they are evil are believable, and well thought out.

I prefure that Players portray Redeamable Villains. (Darth Vader) Even if it is not easy or even likely that they will be redeamed, it is always possible, if others figure out how, and give them reasons to change.

I also believe that Irredeamable Villains (Emperor Palpatine) should remain in the hands of the GM.

bananapants
11-23-2008, 10:53 PM
I ended up having a lot of fun playing in the RPGA's organized play campaign set in Xen'drik that offered a chance to be evil.

It made the character creation process much more interesting, caused party cooperation to become more ... hesitant, and often opened up new ways at looking at challenges.

For a campaign that ended up being very episodic and mission based I think it worked nicely, and I know many of us got quite attached to our little bad guys and gals.

templeorder
05-08-2009, 11:09 AM
Yes. Yes and Yes. Because sometimes its just fun. There's a limit that taste allows for, and its no fun if the party is trying to kill each other, but i have one campaign right now called Thug Life - Get Rich or Die Trying. Ok, so i borrowed some terms and phrases, but it sums it up. The PC's are all from the slums or a place called Crow Alley. The entire campaign takes place in a single city. The players compete to be the 'crew chief' for each operation because the chief gets a bigger cut. Each character has 'reputation' as well. Theres a lot of violence, but its not high adventure - sticks, brick, improvised weaponry... very little swords and sabres, and certainly no real armor. Drugs, gang wars, arson, clashes with the city watch, preachers, community members and politicians. In one scene, the PC's put the eye of a priest out with a critical hit from a roof tile delivered via "air mail". Some are wanted, some have their teeth busted out. We got burglars, pick pockets, cut-throats, gamblers (and i have scenarios for that too!)... it can be done, and it can be fun. I even have one scenario that introduces a tunnel found under a place called Beggars wall - at first the gang gets the PCs to check it out because they think it may go under the wall into the mercantil district - a perfect smuggling route. It turns out to be more a classic dungeon crawl - so i even introduced that sort of scenario. As a GM, the scenarios are fast, require little prep time (they are so cliche!) and fun for everyone.

http://www.incarna.net/iweb/host/kelly/rpgs/CampRec/c_thug/

Nocturne
05-13-2009, 03:18 PM
Never ran an evil campaign, but had a DM run a drow campaign. And as a tip if you're going to run something non-standard, make sure your players understand your plans. I had my DM explain that we were all going to play slaves of the drow, and we were elite soldier slaves for a drow house. So i play a NE Human Warlock, made sense to me sadistic cruel, nasty SOB right? The DM was upset, shocked, and appalled 1/2 way through our campaign because my character consistantly would kill, rape, torture, and even eat enemies, all to uphold his evil devils pact. Even going so far as tlling me i couldn't play the character anymore ,no warning for that just "you need to make a new character it's not ok to do this stuff in my game". And most of his problem could've been solved by simply informing us he wanted us to play good characters, though to me a drow campaign with good PC's makes no sense in the common settings.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
05-13-2009, 03:35 PM
Never ran an evil campaign, but had a DM run a drow campaign. And as a tip if you're going to run something non-standard, make sure your players understand your plans. I had my DM explain that we were all going to play slaves of the drow, and we were elite soldier slaves for a drow house. So i play a NE Human Warlock, made sense to me sadistic cruel, nasty SOB right? The DM was upset, shocked, and appalled 1/2 way through our campaign because my character consistantly would kill, rape, torture, and even eat enemies, all to uphold his evil devils pact. Even going so far as tlling me i couldn't play the character anymore ,no warning for that just "you need to make a new character it's not ok to do this stuff in my game". And most of his problem could've been solved by simply informing us he wanted us to play good characters, though to me a drow campaign with good PC's makes no sense in the common settings.
Your DM was mistaken here, if only unintentionally. He should have made things more clear, for your assumption was accurate. Ah well, live and learn. He now knows to be more clear. Always amazes me when DM's try to railroad players to play a certain way, and according to a level of goodness they feel is correct.

I wouldn't have had a problem with it at all, btw. I love putting my players into unusual predicaments and see how they behave. I never judge. I just enjoy the show.

Btw, Nocturne, You can play in my campaigns anytime. There will always be a seat with your name on it. It's nice to run into other gamers that can truly separate gaming from real life.

Panthro82
05-13-2009, 03:36 PM
I think the problem with Evil PC campaigns is that people think about the word evil and their translation is instantly mindless psycho killer who kills everyone. If I were to run an evil campaign or play in 1 I would want everyone else to play it kind of like Spider-Man villains. Real, breathing, caring, people who just wind up on the bad side of the law. Or at the very least characters who dont just go around killing because they realize that this will draw too much attention to them and they want to go unnoticed until they accomplish their ultimate goals. They are just like good PC's or heroes in the sense that they think critically about what their goals are and how they want to accomplish them. They arent just mindless idiots who kill everything and turn on everyone all the time. I guess what I am saying is play an evil campaign like youre a politician. Every action you make is thought out and planned.

Nocturne
05-13-2009, 05:23 PM
Your DM was mistaken here, if only unintentionally. He should have made things more clear, for your assumption was accurate. Ah well, live and learn. He now knows to be more clear. Always amazes me when DM's try to railroad players to play a certain way, and according to a level of goodness they feel is correct.

I wouldn't have had a problem with it at all, btw. I love putting my players into unusual predicaments and see how they behave. I never judge. I just enjoy the show.

Btw, Nocturne, You can play in my campaigns anytime. There will always be a seat with your name on it. It's nice to run into other gamers that can truly separate gaming from real life.

Hey thanks, felt like I was whining at the time, but seriousl. I was confused by the guys intentions, and it caused frustration on both sides.
BTW Thoth I'm always intrigued by a new game, even when it's not my thing. Leave me a msg about what you have going on.

Nocturne
05-14-2009, 09:04 AM
I think the problem with Evil PC campaigns is that people think about the word evil and their translation is instantly mindless psycho killer who kills everyone. If I were to run an evil campaign or play in 1 I would want everyone else to play it kind of like Spider-Man villains. Real, breathing, caring, people who just wind up on the bad side of the law. Or at the very least characters who dont just go around killing because they realize that this will draw too much attention to them and they want to go unnoticed until they accomplish their ultimate goals. They are just like good PC's or heroes in the sense that they think critically about what their goals are and how they want to accomplish them. They arent just mindless idiots who kill everything and turn on everyone all the time. I guess what I am saying is play an evil campaign like youre a politician. Every action you make is thought out and planned.

I notice this alot too, but in the example I gave I was only illustrating what the PC would do was at a time when the PC could easily get away with said actions. When this same character had progressed to an area where more disgression was involved he was much more subtle. The point wasn't to act insane the entire time but to illustrate that the DM was trying to play out a sanitized view of evil, where as, I felt, I was playing a truely depraved character very well. The way a person acts under scrutiny will often be more restrained than when they are unobserved. The PC at that time was given free reign to do what ever he wish in a virtualy un-controlled environ, making him more able to perform heinous acts with little to no repercusions. What was possible in the wild was not the same mode of operations in civilization, even an evil civilization.

Panthro82
05-14-2009, 12:18 PM
yea plus some villains are just raving loonies who go on killing sprees. they are all different but it just seems like most people are introduced to an evil campaign and they intuitively just go crazy with no thought put into their actions.

Zijixiong
05-15-2009, 09:20 AM
I have both played and run evil campaigns, myself. I prefer to play the villain or the anti-hero, but I have found it's just frustration in copious amounts when you or anyone else decides to play the sociopath/psychopath.

The evil games that I have enjoyed centered around the concepts of paranoia, political control, and secrecy. They seem to be the glue that hold "evil" characters together. When I run an evil campaign, I try to incorporate these concepts. Each character knows little to nothing about the others except what they reveal to each other during game or (if using an organization) what their superiors reveal to the group.

Nevertheless, I find it most helpful to encourage each player to think about the following: no functional person truly believes he or she is evil. People can justify anything in any number of ways. When they keep that in mind, most of my players realize that they can be evil without having to be an over-the-top, murderous fiend.

Panthro82
05-15-2009, 02:18 PM
some good points Zijixiong. I do think there are definitely some villains that openly know, admit, and relish the fact that they are indeed the evil villain(Joker as one example). Villains in general though, people dont stop to think that they are probably the characters that think the most! It takes multiple heroes all working together to bring down a villain or their ellaborate plan. The villain didnt just get there by kicking puppies, and tripping the elderly, and killing random people all of the time.

DM_Running_Farland_3.5
05-16-2009, 06:54 PM
Chris -
For the record, that doesn't make the villain a good or excusable person.

Panthro82
05-16-2009, 07:04 PM
oh no thats not my point I know that. I am just explaining how evil pc campaigns tend to fail because the people playing the characters think evil means brainless maniac psycho

DM_Running_Farland_3.5
05-16-2009, 07:06 PM
Oh...
And that is why I don't do them.
It is hard enough for me to do it, knowing that I'm setting up my evil dudes for failure.

Panthro82
05-16-2009, 07:07 PM
Oh...
And that is why I don't do them.
It is hard enough for me to do it, knowing that I'm setting up my evil dudes for failure.


I LOOOOOOOVVVVVE when your evil dudes fail :p

DM_Running_Farland_3.5
05-16-2009, 07:18 PM
Only barely so far...and who knows

ARE THEY FAILING?

Panthro82
05-16-2009, 07:20 PM
If we're talking about the evil forces we are up against in your campaign then yes I hope they fail miserably :)

DragonDM
05-17-2009, 09:51 AM
Well, Panthro82, I do agree to an extent.
Remember that few of either Spiderman's or Batman's villians were 'stupid'. (With the exceptions of Rhino and Killer Krok)
Part of the problem is that some of the most favorite are Insane.
Green Goblin and Joker being the two primary examples.

Now, right away, the problem is that everyone thinks that CE is always Insane, because of these two infamoius villians.

But, Joker is the better of the two examples, since he tends to slip into and out of Insanity, but does not ever stop being Evil, and will indeed even admit that he is Evil and a little nuts.

For the most part the original Joker never hurt kids. In point of fact, Joker loved kids - because they did not judge him for always looking like a clown. Joker hated adults, because he felt that he was always mistreated by them. Joker was always confused by teenagers, because they were neither Kids, nor Adults: Which is one of the biggest reasons why Robin (young Dick Greyson) was never really targeted by Joker , and could undermine him every time, to let Batman kick Joker's butt. Over time, Joker stopped seeing any Robin as a Kid, and more as an Adult, and started treating him as such.

To me, Inanity can be applied to any Alignment, since it warps one's sense of Reality and/or Moral Limitations.

Two-Face was technically Insane, because he had a real split personality:
Harvey Dent - the LG Lawyer: deeply dedicated to making the World a Better Place.
"Harv" - the crewl side of him that had no tolerence for anyone breaking the Law - LE.
Now, everyone likes to think that Two-Face is Chaotic because he uses the two-headed coin (one side flawed) to make his decisions. But, this is not the truth. It's because he has two equally mateched Laywers arguing inside his head, and neither can gain an advantage over the other. Plus, there is no "Jury" or "Judge" that breaks the tie. Thus, the coin becomes the "impartial" Judge. The movie Batman Forever did a good job of showing Riddler and Two-Face, but only scratched the surface of what all they are like. For more depth, read the comics, and remember to look past the cheezy antics of the Writers. Remember, Comic Books are written for Kids - where Bad Guys are obviously evil, and the Good Guys always win in the end; Pulp Fiction Books and Gaphic Novels are written for Adults.

Heroes & Villians are more "extreme" in their dedication to getting a goal done.
Some examples of non-Insane but still 'extreme' Alignments:

LG - Superman

CG - Beast (X-Men)

NG - Spiderman and J. J. Jameson of The Daily Bugal.

N - HULK. Hulk does not really care about anything that does not directly affect him, and even then is only out to prove that he is 'the strongest of them all'. Because Hulk allows his Rage to control him and does not control it, Hulk is rarely anything other then an Accedental Hero, at best. And a force of destruction that is a Monster at worst - especially for Grey Hulk. Banner was also N, because he was never motivated to actually stand up for himself and try to make a real difference: until after he became Hulk, then he becomes NG. - Taking away Doctor David Bruce Banner's love for Betty Ross, especially while Hulk, simply ruined the character for me.

NE - Lex Luther - lots of people think he is LE, but he's not. He will break any law, he just always makes sure that he can't be caught by anyone other then Superman. And since Superman is not a Law Officer, and has beyond human abilities, Lex has managed to manipulate the 'law' to his favor and only has to pay a fine to 'get out of jail' when Superman catches him.

CE - Doc Ock

LE - Kingpin

Another thing that a lot of people, Players and DMs alike, tend to forget is that no one is ever 'pefect' in their alignment. Superman has commited Chaotic (and even Evil) Acts, but has always done his best to "atone" for them, once they were pointed out to him.

Now, looking back at each of them, you already know what their powers, abilities, moral ethics, and reasonable limits are - mostly because all of these are already established and well known. It is their personal flaws that make them Human, and therefore believable, and even likable.

Zijixiong - while it is true that few people like to think of themself as Evil, this statement that none ever do is wrong. Poison Ivy (CE) knew that what she was doing was wrong, but felt that it was the only way to make everyone else change their behavior to better suite her beliefs. A lot of people like to believe that she was Insane, but that is also wrong, she was simply obsessed with proving that she was right.


DM_Running_Farland_3.5[/b];77798]Oh...
And that is why I don't do them.
It is hard enough for me to do it, knowing that I'm setting up my evil dudes for failure

This is something that a lot of Players tend to forget: that the DM is secretly on their side.

It is the DM's job to make interesting and difficult Challenges, while at the same time putting in Flaws in every Villain, so that a clever PC and/or Party can always defeat them. Like writing a script for a Comic Book: the Heroes are supposed to win the day, in the end.

But one of the things that the DM does have to keep in mind is that the Villains are going to do everything in their ability to deal with the threat of the Heroes, once the Villain knows they are there. Death of Character does not mean the end of the Game, since the player can either always get their Character Raised - or make another Character, and jump back in. It's making these raising and changes of Character cost something and make sense that needs the DM's help.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
For me, I would love to run a Game that has Mature Players with both Good and Evil PCs, starting as Adventurers and eventually becoming Heroes and Villians. For the most part, what I do is moderate the two sides for when they Clash, making sure that everything is Fair (no cheeting or metagaming) and everyone [Especially Villians, but also Heroes] takes being defeted {and even Killed} with a laugh. I would even throw in Challenges that required everyone - Hero and Villain alike - to co-operate to defeat. Remember, stay In Character!

Such a dream.

Panthro82
05-17-2009, 02:00 PM
Well, Panthro82, I do agree to an extent.
Remember that few of either Spiderman's or Batman's villians were 'stupid'. (With the exceptions of Rhino and Killer Krok)
Part of the problem is that some of the most favorite are Insane.
Green Goblin and Joker being the two primary examples.

Now, right away, the problem is that everyone thinks that CE is always Insane, because of these two infamoius villians.

But, Joker is the better of the two examples, since he tends to slip into and out of Insanity, but does not ever stop being Evil, and will indeed even admit that he is Evil and a little nuts.

NG - Spiderman

CE - Doc Ock

Green Goblin and the Joker were insane, but neither of them were stupid. They were both tacticians. Experts at instilling fear and accomplishing the goals they set out to do. Joker was crazy, but almost always in total control of himself. Joker was crazy or insane in the sense that he had no qualms or issues with the means he used to get things done, whereas the average human would find his methods horribly evil. Green Goblin had moments where he had no control, but he was still quite smart and in tune with human emotions.

I can't agree that Doc Ock is Chaotic Evil. The man was a brilliant physicist, and a warm hearted man, who was in a constant struggle with his own creation. His own creation was controlling his actions. There were multiple moments in the comics that showed his humanity and plight.

I definitely can't agree that Spider-man would be considered Neutral Good. This is the guy who's motto was, "With great power, comes great responsibility." The same guy who protected an entire city, while giving up his own life 95% of the time. Sometimes he had to take actions that were extreme, and sometimes his emotions controlled his actions, but he almost never stood idly by while the world was under threat.

Zijixiong
05-18-2009, 04:46 PM
Zijixiong - while it is true that few people like to think of themself as Evil, this statement that none ever do is wrong. Poison Ivy (CE) knew that what she was doing was wrong, but felt that it was the only way to make everyone else change their behavior to better suite her beliefs. A lot of people like to believe that she was Insane, but that is also wrong, she was simply obsessed with proving that she was right.

Extreme obsession is a psychosis. Any compulsive or chronic behaviour that limits or hinders a person's ability to function normally within a society renders that person outside the scope of my statement, because they aren't mentally healthy nor properly functional. Even still, when a sane and functioning person does acts they recognise as being "evil", there is a justification, and that person will find a reason not to think of him or herself as evil. Human beings can rationalise quite a lot of horrible things: murder, rape, cannibalism, slavery, genocide, mutilation, etc.

And using comic books? I use real people. No functioning person will truly think of him or herself as evil. Comic book villains and characters in fiction? Yes, they'll frequently admit it. Remember, though, that very few people who write for comics/graphic novels actually have a solid grasp on human psychology. If you wish to use their works as a basis for your campaign, go for it, but be sure not to think they will give you real insight into the nature of the human psyche.

The point of it all is that playing an evil character as a psychotic mess is just as believable as playing a hero as a psychotic mess. If you are really going to play an evil character, consider the fact that an evil character will think he or she is at least not evil. Some of the most attrocious acts in history were committed by people who were quite lucid and able to function quite normally in society, and they never admitted they were evil, or even wrong. Everything was for the greater good, even the acts they knew were ethically and/or morally unacceptable. Look at the Third Reich, or the Crusades, or even the Spanish Inquisition, just for three.

drewshi
05-18-2009, 08:02 PM
I've only had one truly evil campaign and that worked very well. I was running it alongside a good campaign and eventually had the two groups meet in final combat.

I currently have a campaign with mostly evil characters who growl a lot, but aren't really evil. They like the glamor of being evil, but don't have the real stones to do the deeds that need to be done with a person of their alignment.

TheRageOfGaia
05-18-2009, 11:55 PM
Evil campaigns are tricky for one important reason: no matter how rebellious, irreverent, counter-culture, creative, artistic or skilled a person thinks they are they have never been truly evil. Unless, perhaps, they are playing their games from prison. But even most inmates are being punished for poor decisions not some dark stain on their soul.

It is a popular idea in role-playing that evil means murder and chaos. This is is a misconception. Even the dumbest chaotic evil half-orc will at one point or another (probably very early in his life) realize that he needs other people to survive, and really needs other people in order to enjoy life. An evil character is almost entirely the same as a good character. The only difference between a lawful good character and a lawful evil character are their methods. They would have similar backgrounds, similar world views, and similar ideas.

To illustrate, think about Luke Skywalker's final test in the Degobah system. Luke is a fairly lawful good character, in this test he is to face and defeat his greatest fear. What comes up? Darth Vader, who in addition to being Luke's father, is a lawful evil villain. But this isn't Luke's fear. His fear is uncovered when he lops off Vader's head and sees his own face. Because the two of them are so similar, Luke is terrified of becomign like his father.

Evil campaigns require four things; a.) maturity, b.) intelligence and forethought c.) role-playing experience and d.) a little pre-game discussion between the DM and the players.

Lawful Evil and even Neutral Evil characters are fairly easy to integrate into Good Campaigns, and work out fairly well. I once played a LE Cleric of Hextor in a party of Good players. Because he was the only one who knew where their dungeon was, he was allowed to remain in the party. Over the course of the game, it became obvious that they all need each other, and why they weren't strictly friends, my Cleric realized that without the rogue their job would be much more difficult, just as the fighter realized that without the evil cleric, healing (however limited by being evil) would become problematic.

What is far easier than an evil campaign, or an evil character in a good campaign, is a campaign of anti-heroes. Everyone loves them; Wolverine, the Punisher, Han Solo, the Crow, etc. etc. These characters, while not exactly evil, are willing to blur the lines a little bit, and create a gritty and intense sort of game, without a lot of risk to your campaign degenerating into who can stay awake the longest so they don't get stabbed in the back.

Panthro82
05-19-2009, 12:45 AM
Good insight Gaia.

I think within every human though is the ability to be truly evil. Everyday people are murdered, raped, beaten, robbed, molested, e.t.c There have been numerous wars throughout history, mass genocides, crucifixtions, holy wars, and the list goes on and on and on. All of these things performed by humans. The biggest evil in the world is what is inside of us all....

TheRageOfGaia
05-19-2009, 01:35 AM
I agree. We humans do some pretty heinous and horrifying things. In fact, we are responsible for more evil, I think, than everything else on the planet combined. That capacity for evil is fascinating to me. And given the amount of crime-drama, grotesque horror films, "reality" crime television, and true crime fiction, I think other people enjoy it as well.

But it's something that should definitely be dealt with maturely and responsibly. And, if you play an evil game, and someone in the group becomes uncomfortable. STOP. Gloss over it. I once played in a game where the party discovered that the local Priest was a child molester, and one of our players had been a victim of abuse. Someone laughed. It was a very awkward situation. Laughing man was not invited back, but, we ended up losing the other player anyway.

Panthro82
05-19-2009, 02:09 AM
wow that's a tough situation! did the player who laugh know about it before he laughed? and if he didn't did he at least feel bad after he found out?

TheRageOfGaia
05-19-2009, 02:17 AM
He laughed when he found out, that's what was so messed up about the situation. The laugher was a kind of anti-social kid. We later found out that he was on medication, and in counseling, we never knew for what. But it became pretty obvious from his attempts to get back into the group that he was mentally ill. At that point, we kind of figured, that maybe he just had awkward social responses because of his sickness, or maybe he was just uncomfortable and didn't know what to do but try to crack a joke.

Panthro82
05-19-2009, 02:22 AM
who knows. But I have an extremely dark sense of humor, (I joke around with one friend about abortions and dead babies and stuff like that, but we both respect others and would never do something like that) Its all light-hearted and we do it because it is taboo. I would never disrespect someone like that though, man that's cold and honestly I don't think a mental illness excludes him from blame. I wouldn't beat yourself up about it much. There are times and places for everything.

TheRageOfGaia
05-19-2009, 03:46 PM
I was pretty much out on both of them. On the one hand, it really wasn't cool of the guy to laugh, but on the other hand, we joke about all kinds of heinous stuff too. Let's face it, we're the South Park generation. It's what we do. He overreacted, which at the time, in the moment, is understandable, but next week? Come on, get over it. Yanno?

cigamnogard
05-19-2009, 05:42 PM
I played a dragon in a good campaign...one situation had us defeating a band of orcs. We were sitting around interrorgating the last "surviving" one when my dragon decided he was hungry. He tore off the leg of the nearest "dead orc" and ate it. That orc was actually playing possum and subsequently died. The orc we were interrorgating spilled his guts and his lunch. No one in the group remotely thought the act as evil - all the PCs laughed and the DM thought it was perfect.

Panthro82
05-19-2009, 05:52 PM
the dragon definitely wouldnt have seen anything wrong with that, but if the other players were role playing properly some of them definitely would have found that to be an evil deed even though it was done to an orc

cigamnogard
05-19-2009, 07:17 PM
In another campaign - with the same DM - I played a gnome who was lawful evil. He did his best to corrupt the situation around him to better his ends. One scene he is the only player able to translate and it is a scene very similiar to the Robot Chicken episode where the "Wanted Men" were just a gag on Luke and Ben over-reated.

TheRageOfGaia
05-20-2009, 12:02 AM
In my experience, lawful evil is the most fun of the evil alignments. Neutral Evil has it's moments, and chaotic evil can be terrifying. But the thing that I find the most evil, and the most terrible, about evil characters is the tyranny that comes with a LE environment.

There are some cool things you can do with it as well, so that it meshes well with the group if the PCs are good or neutral. For example:

A Lawful Evil villain might be opposed to lying. He might kill innocent people, eat babies, or burn down a church, but he wouldn't lie about it.

A Lawful Evil villain may have a code of honor that includes certain tenets of the typical paladin code, never attacking an unarmed man, honoring all surrenders, etc. But again, might still eat babies or burn down churches.

A Lawful Evil villain may even be opposed to killing intelligent life forms unless absolutely necessary, because it is impossible to corrupt the dead (well, maybe with magic).

There is a lot of potential with evil. Even if you never play an evil campaign, you can put twists on evil to make your villains much cooler.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
05-20-2009, 12:10 AM
The most volatile person is the one that is capable of rationalizing any and all actions for the greater good.

Here's a great quote: "People who claim they're evil are usually no worse than the rest of us. It's people who claim that they're good, or any way better than the rest of us, that you have to be wary of. "
—Gregory Maguire

What's my point? A true believer, a LG Paladin, can potentially be the most fun to play in dnd, for he or she can rationalize any action. At least i know what to expect from evil, now fanatical good types are unpredictable. When played correctly, the most dangerous class/alignment in dnd is not Evil, but the fanatical LG. So, GM's and players, enjoy the class/alignment to its full potential.

TheRageOfGaia
05-20-2009, 04:16 AM
You're right, Thoth.

Thinking about it, nothing has the potential to destroy a campaign more quickly than an intolerant, dogmatic paladin.

But then it does become a case of any extreme. Too much Chaos, too much Law... I don't know if too much Good could ruin a game... and too much neutrality will keep a game from going anywhere! :D

I love D&Ds alignment system, but I generally find that people are too willing to pigeonhole alignments, thus creating a sort of cardboard world. There are so many combinations of traits for any alignment that could be explored, it's a shame they rarely are.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
05-20-2009, 09:34 AM
Doubtful that too much good, would. Unless, this 'good' is coupled with a fanatical belief system.

Now, in over my 30 years of playing, CE has never derailed a campaign. Of course, i play evil correctly: Evil does not equate to stupid or suicidal, looking to kill anything that breathes simply because it breathes.

I have seen the LG paladins derail games, though. When they believe an action is greater than the party, they have no hesitation putting that party at risk for the greater good-and without asking. Even if this puts said paladin's life at risk, something an evil party member would never do. They don't believe in sacrifice.

Paladins can be great fun to play, if done correctly. They area also very challenging to play. If i had to pick out a character class/alignment that hasn't been played to its full potential, I'd put down the dogmatic fanatical LG Paladin.

I only point out LG paladins, here, but any alignment coupled with a fanatical dogmatic belief can be dangerous. Even druids, Deciding the environment is at danger from ALL sentient beings.

Panthro82
05-20-2009, 02:53 PM
My friend is playing a heavily religious LG paladin in our campaign right now. It is sooo hard to convince him that some of the people around him aren't on the level!

templeorder
05-21-2009, 08:25 AM
I love paladins as a GM!!! C'mon guys, its soooo easy to use them against the party. Damaged, hurt? It does not matter, the bandits need thrashing! Don't go to town and heal, get in there and have at 'em! Paladins are iconic because the archetpye IS the intolerant, zealous azz-kicking machine (not so much now). Seriously, they make for great plot vehicles... but i hate the DnD alignment system, i prefer something like palladium's. Good and evil are often so relative in so many situations (not all), in my own own world many of the major powers use "the ends justify the means" to further their own goals... even now one of my groups face the greatest force for good in the world, the church of light, because most of the party is of a different faith. They are now targets in some sense and its open season because church authorities will look the other way because they see the "bigger picture" as more inportant.

PhishStyx
05-21-2009, 12:38 PM
I solved the "I hate alignments" problem by not using alignments anymore.

So have I run an evil campaign in the stock D&D sense?
No. Characters do what they need to do in order to accomplish a goal, and they face the same type of consequences that any of the rest of us would for helping someone.

TheRageOfGaia
05-21-2009, 03:13 PM
My solution has been to use the alignment system as a guide. No one in real life acts according to their code of honor, or their beliefs, or whatever they have ALL THE TIME in EVERY circumstance. But most people, I think, have a set of predetermined beliefs and ideas that they use to govern their actions. So I forgive characters who act against their alignment. If a character consistently acts in a way that is opposed to her alignment, then we talk about changing it, in order to make certain aspects of the game work (spells, items, etc.).

I also mostly just ignore the sections of the MM that say a creature is "always" a certain alignment (especially if they're intelligent). Animals, vermin, and similar creatures are still always neutral, and creatures created through magic (such as skeletons) I typically leave as evil, since the magic that created them is evil, but it's always fun to see the PCs react to meeting a NG Blue Dragon.

PhishStyx
05-21-2009, 03:52 PM
I don't use alignments because I don't use D&D, so there aren't any stock "NG Blue Dragons" for characters to meet.

I don't have a "MM" (is that a Monster Manual? that jargon would have very much confused except that someone mentioned it last night in the chat). Rather than using WOTC's imagination (or lack thereof), I use my own to what I've been told is great effect.

cigamnogard
05-21-2009, 06:20 PM
My friend is playing a heavily religious LG paladin in our campaign right now. It is sooo hard to convince him that some of the people around him aren't on the level!

The paladin or the friend?

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
05-21-2009, 06:35 PM
...or both?

Panthro82
05-21-2009, 06:57 PM
The paladin or the friend?

Its hard to convince the paladin. My friend plays him almost too well. The character is very headstrong. One of the hardest things to do in the game is convince him of something that goes against what he currently feels.

cigamnogard
05-21-2009, 07:03 PM
I played a paladin gnome in a campaign versus a spellthief. Out of charcter I knew the spellthief was a liar and a thief. One day the paladin caught him stealing. However, his bluff check was an amazing natural 20. The paladin had to apologise profusly for his "error".

PhishStyx
05-21-2009, 07:16 PM
Its hard to convince the paladin. My friend plays him almost too well. The character is very headstrong. One of the hardest things to do in the game is convince him of something that goes against what he currently feels.

I know plenty of extremely zealous religious people in real life exactly like this. The only way he could make this more realistic in my mind is to come up with a bunch of verses from his fictional religious text to justify anything he does as being what his god wants him to do.

TheRageOfGaia
05-21-2009, 07:16 PM
I don't use alignments because I don't use D&D

That's a good reason not to use it :D.

The original (cause I don't like old) World of Darkness used Nature and Demeanor to help gauge personality, and the new World of Darkness uses a Vice and a Virtue, which I think is a slightly better system than D&D alignments. The Nature and Demeanor system allows you to pick any combination allowing for a lot of disparity or similarity between what you are and what you show. The Vices/Virtues system is a little better still, because it acknowledges that everyone has a good side and a dark side, while they still typically react a certain way. Both systems also use Morality, which can go up or (usually) down, depending on behavior.

I prefer to use my imagination within the paramaters of the system, to help avoid confusion and disputes, since arguments about good and evil are still as plentiful now as they have been since the concepts were first created.

To me these systems shouldn't be set in stone, like I've said before, but offer a jumping off point for a new character, or a point of reference while you're playing, if you start to fall out of character during an intense scene, or a long period without playing said character.

Panthro82
05-21-2009, 07:19 PM
i think you should use the alignments but loosely. I think that alignments represent who a character is the majority of the time they are alive. Of course people will act out of alignment from time to time, but that ultimately is what makes them that alignment. The experiences one has in their life shapes and reinforces their alignment.

cigamnogard
05-21-2009, 07:21 PM
I am not crazy about the "always" alignment catagory in MM but I do like Eberron's take on alignments much better.

TheRageOfGaia
05-21-2009, 07:30 PM
Have any of you taken the WotC alignment test? I haven't seen it since 4e came out, but I took it once for myself, as though I were a D&D character. It was interesting.

I also have heard the argument that most people in the world are LG, because they follow the rules, and try to do good things. Buuut, I think the folks pushing that argument are being optimistic.

cigamnogard
05-21-2009, 07:34 PM
Do you have a link?

PhishStyx
05-21-2009, 07:45 PM
That's a good reason not to use it :D.

The original (cause I don't like old) World of Darkness used Nature and Demeanor to help gauge personality, and the new World of Darkness uses a Vice and a Virtue, which I think is a slightly better system than D&D alignments.

I haven't played WOD since 2nd edition, and I never really bought into the game (as in, I didn't buy the books) although I did enjoy our ST's take on the setting. He was a Ye Olde Schoole D&D from way back, so it was much like a faction oriented city campaign that just happened to be set in Philadelphia.


Also, have you looked at Unknown Armies? UA allows for a much higher grade of personal definition by giving you defined triggers for events that happen to your character and around him (or her) like Violence, The Unnatural, Helplessness, Isolation, and Self. Plus it offers definable Stimuli for Rage, Fear, and Nobility.

UA Character Sheet- http://www.mediafire.com/?sharekey=7b703ca8d0607510d2db6fb9a8902bda

Panthro82
05-21-2009, 08:16 PM
I would agree that the average person in the gaming world would be LG unless you're in a particular world. In our farland campaign for instance the forces of evil have taken over almost the entire world, so the average alignment in that game is NE

TheRageOfGaia
05-21-2009, 09:44 PM
cigamnogard - Sorry. No. They probably took it down with 4e? Maybe? I looked for a bit but couldn't find it.

PhishStyx - No, I haven't tried it, but it sounds kind of interesting. Also, White Wolf's 3rd (or Revised) edition was much better than 2nd, and their nWoD Storyteller System is better yet, but a lot of the old guard haven't gotten over their "nerd rage" about a new system coming out.

cigamnogard
05-22-2009, 05:05 PM
cigamnogard - Sorry. No. They probably took it down with 4e? Maybe? I looked for a bit but couldn't find it.

:( Thanks for looking.

Panthro82
05-22-2009, 06:09 PM
yea I would definitely be interested in taking that alignment quiz. Would be interested in knowing where I am in terms of the D&D and gaming world...

cigamnogard
05-22-2009, 06:27 PM
I have always thought it boiled down to selfsacrificing/giving = good versus selfinterest/taking = evil.

Panthro82
05-22-2009, 06:35 PM
yea I would put myself into one of the lesser evil alignments if not for the fact that I am honorable in the sense that I would sacrifice myself to save others...

cigamnogard
05-22-2009, 06:48 PM
I have only recently come to this thought - but I wish I had come to it earlier in my "gaming" days.

Panthro82
05-22-2009, 06:50 PM
life isnt over yet cig, you learned this lesson with plenty of time left :)

cigamnogard
05-22-2009, 06:53 PM
It's not?:high5:

TheRageOfGaia
05-23-2009, 02:44 AM
Found it!

http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/dnd/20001222b

I took it twice. I was chaotic good, then neutral good.

Panthro82
05-23-2009, 08:09 AM
I wound up scoring "True Neutral" on that test. I guess I agree mostly.. ;)

MrFrost
05-25-2009, 09:57 AM
I allow Evil player characters into my campaigns with the understanding that with ever action there is a reaction. I think evil PC's can bring alot to the table in a well rounded campaign setting. They tend to flush things out abit and create situations that make for saome real good role playing.

But a "Evil Campaign"? My answer would be no, they for the most part I find never turn out well. Each PC has their own goal, being evil allows them to stop at nothing to reach that goal. It makes for alot of back stabbing and many dead characters.

Your best is a neutral campaign that allows room for both only to make the game more interesting

LoL, I got Neutral Good on the test.

DragonDM
05-25-2009, 01:08 PM
Gaia makes a very good point.
Thoth-Amon has some very interesting comments and responses to Gaia.


My solution has been to use the alignment system as a guide. No one in real life acts according to their code of honor, or their beliefs, or whatever they have ALL THE TIME in EVERY circumstance. But most people, I think, have a set of predetermined beliefs and ideas that they use to govern their actions. So I forgive characters who act against their alignment. If a character consistently acts in a way that is opposed to her alignment, then we talk about changing it, in order to make certain aspects of the game work (spells, items, etc.).

I also mostly just ignore the sections of the MM that say a creature is "always" a certain alignment (especially if they're intelligent). Animals, vermin, and similar creatures are still always neutral, and creatures created through magic (such as skeletons) I typically leave as evil, since the magic that created them is evil, but it's always fun to see the PCs react to meeting a NG Blue Dragon.

You and I are very simular, Friend Gaia. I had to figure out ways to make half the Icon of D&D scary again, to the Players as much as their Characters. PCs encountering any Dragon need to be on their Guard.
The Black Dragon could be CG and the nearby Bronze Dragon could be NE.
Only through interaction with each of these will the Party be able to figure out which is what.

In my Game - Even Undead can have any Alignment, since as Van Helsing said about Frankensteign (Monster): "Created for evil, touched by evil, but is not ruled by evil." Especially with the existance of Living Dead (Positive Undead) creatures.

The only real exception that I apply to sentient beings about the "Always [Alignment]" are the Outsiders: Celestials, Demons, Devils, Slaads, etc.
Because they are supposed to represent a given behavior as a way of their existance. It's because Mortals are so fluid in their own Alignment ways, that fascinates these beings.


Note – this was written out in the order that I read it. Please forgive me if I tend to seem to mentally wander.

Ok. I see that I need to simplify my POV. Um – If I can.
First, Real World Alignments cannot be applied to any Gaming System.
Simply because the “Grey Line” between Law, Chaos, Good, and Evil can be Miles Wide when you are in the middle of it. Alignment is judged by others by your past actions, and their own concept of the Alignments.

Alignments are set in stone, in the fact that they do not change; an individual changes their Alignment.
I refuse to see Law as unchanging, unbending Rules. That is a Tyrant's view.
I absolutely refuse to see Chaos as a force of destruction (That is Entropy), but as assertion of Self.

For Evil PCs I see two types: Redeemable (Darth Vader – who was LE) and Irredeemable
(Darth Sidious – who was NE)

For Good PCs - I remind people (Player and DM alike) that no one is perfect, and expecting them to be perfect will drive the Players away, as well as perhaps driving The DM crazy.

I only used Comic Book Characters for ease of everyone's reference, and certainly not to show how any Alignment should be played. Only what the most famous/infamous portrayal is.

Doc Ock was CE. He defied all other Laws – both Scientific and Social, and set out to prove that he was right. Like a lot of Comic Book Villains, his obsession bordered on Insanity.

Spiderman being NG is entirely possible. Especially by 3.5 D&D Alignment Rules.
That is what the motto: "With great power, comes great responsibility." translates to.
To use you power to help others; no matter the personal cost, or what other people think about you.

Even a Lawful Good Paladin (Superman) will rarely deliberately break the Laws, and if they believe that it was truly needed for them to do so, will turn themselves over to a Lawful Society that they believe will give them a Fair Trial – and will also accept a just punishment.

CG people will break what they deem unneeded or 'stupid' laws, so long as no one gets hurt, and they believe they won't get caught. Like going 5 mph over the speed limit.

Evil Alignments are a little harder to nail down.
Not everyone has to be a Criminal to be Evil.
And a Reformed/Redeemed Criminal can become a force for Greater Good.

Evil is uncaring-ly selfish: limited only by one's own 'honor' – if any.
NE – I'll get everything that I can, by the easiest means possible.
CE – What is mine is mine, what is yours is mine – If I can take it from you.
LE – I'll use the Laws of Society to improve my Influence, Power and Wealth.

Zijixiong – the path of Insanity is one that is even more difficult to deal with then “normal” Alignments. Adding any form of extreme obsession or fanaticism to an Alignment can cause Insanity.
I'm not a History buff, and only know a few real individuals to refer to, when it comes to either Alignment or Insanity.


The point of it all is that playing an evil character as a psychotic mess is just as believable as playing a hero as a psychotic mess.
This was the point that I was trying to make.
But remember that it's more complicated then simple “Yes/No” answers.

The Third Reich – CE, working towards becoming LE. What makes them Chaotic? Their “Might Makes Right” mentality. While they did have LE individuals within their ranks, most of these were Military, and raise to believe that what they were enforcing was the Law. An induced Delusion of Good, where they were not even aware that they were technically insane (if only a little).
What makes them Evil? Their willingness to place their wants over other people's needs. Every. Single. Time. No apologies given.

The Spanish Inquisition – NE. More wars have been done “In the Name of God.” then I care to recall.
This Church-State was the biggest reason why America said: “Separation of Church and State”

The Crusades – CN. The Crusades (and there are like 13+ of them) themselves served the religious and/or political desires of those that were in charge of the Country that Initiated them (France was just as bad as England in this) at the time. Remember, that like the Inquisition, most of these were done “In the Name of God.” This is not to say that the Muslims were completely innocent of Evil Deeds.
Simply because it is allowed by their Religion does not make these acts any less evil, to me.

To me, the Crusades were where two LG Societies went to War over what the Name of God should be (what is a name to The Creator of All Things?), to grant individuals political influence or power – and the results caused a lot of unneeded Chaos.

France – NG. A larger state of “hippies” (Let's All Get Along, or at least avoid each other) one cannot find. But every Government has politicians, and not all of them are as nice as they claim to be.

America: CG. (Claims to be LG) War causes people to have to do Bad Things to Other People, to win. The real problem was not that they did it, but that they did not stop doing it.

China – LN. Breaking the law can cost you your life!

There is no Country that is CN. True Anarchy is a state of constant warfare with the rest of the world.

cigamnogard
05-25-2009, 04:56 PM
Neutral
A neutral character does what seems to be a good idea. She doesn’t feel strongly one way or the other when it comes to good vs. evil or law vs. chaos. Most neutrality is a lack of conviction or bias rather than a commitment to neutrality. Such a character thinks of good as better than evil. After all, she would rather have good neighbors and rulers than evil ones. Still, she’s not personally committed to upholding good in any abstract or universal way. Some neutral characters, on the other hand, commit themselves philosophically to neutrality. They see good, evil, law, and chaos as prejudices and dangerous extremes. They advocate the middle way of neutrality as the best, most balanced road in the long run. The common phrase for neutral is "true neutral." Neutral is the best alignment you can be because it means you act naturally, without prejudice or compulsion

Panthro82
05-25-2009, 05:09 PM
There is no Country that is CN. True Anarchy is a state of constant warfare with the rest of the world.

I honestly believe that North Korea would constitute the title of CN. I have read an article about their prison system which made me sick to my stomach. The guards there routinely will stomp on pregnant women's stomach's. If someone swears in public, not only are they arrested, but their whole family is as well. There are swarms of children in their prisons. Oh yea and if a pregnant woman actually gives birth in the prisons there, the newborn baby is murdered right in front of her. These prisoners aren't there for much more than littering either. Any country that does these things to itself almost borders evil.

Did I mention their numerous threats to not only our country(United States) that they have technology for nuclear warfare and they intend on using it?

Also there is a country that is CE...Iran. Read up about them. They have had thousands of suicide bombers in their own streets and in neighboring countries, killing countless innocent people. All because of their crazed belief system. They as a whole are psychotic.

The last post said that Spider-Man would be NG because of the fact that he would maintain tranquility in New York through any means possible, but part of being neutral is to not act simply because it is the good thing to do. To be neutral you, in fact, would only act to serve yourself. You can count on 1 hand how many times Peter Parker(Spider-Man) has acted simply to serve himself. Almost all of his actions have been made because of Uncle Ben, Aunt Mae, and Mary Jane. The very word Neutral has multiple meanings within its definition, which is why Spider-Man could never honestly be considered Neutral anything. I think Spider-Man/Peter Parker is one character that does not fit into any D&D alignment.If he does the only one I can think of is Chaotic Good.

cigamnogard
05-25-2009, 05:11 PM
The last post said that Spider-Man would be NG because of the fact that he would maintain tranquility in New York through any means possible, but part of being neutral is to not act simply because it is the good thing to do. To be neutral you, in fact, would only act to serve yourself. You can count on 1 hand how many times Peter Parker(Spider-Man) has acted simply to serve himself. Almost all of his actions have been made because of Uncle Ben, Aunt Mae, and Mary Jane.

So, if not NG - then what?

Panthro82
05-25-2009, 05:13 PM
Sorry cig I noticed that I hadn't picked out his alignment so I went back and edited my last post

cigamnogard
05-25-2009, 07:42 PM
No worries, however I would - myself and my own opnion - put him somewhere in between CG and NG.:juggle:

Panthro82
05-25-2009, 08:18 PM
yea he is probably the toughest hero to put into an alignment. He's complex. Thats one of the reasons why he is my all-time fav. :)

TheRageOfGaia
05-26-2009, 01:21 AM
Spider-Man is definitely Neutral Good.

"Neutral good is known as the "Benefactor" alignment. A neutral good character is guided by his conscience and typically acts altruistically, without regard for or against Lawful precepts such as rules or tradition. A neutral good character may cooperate with lawful officials but does not feel beholden to them. A doctor that treats soldiers from both sides in a war would be considered neutral good."

Wolverine is hard to classify, for me. I guess he would be True Neutral, or Lawful Neutral, because even though he is capable of evil, and sometimes does it, he follows a certain code of honor.

Panthro82
05-26-2009, 01:32 PM
"A neutral good character will keep his word to those who are not evil and will lie only to evil-doers. He will never attack an unarmed foe"

This is part of the reason why I do not think Spider-man fits into neutral good. Even if every definition you can find gives examples and Spider-Man is amongst them, perhaps either they should read their own definition, or read the comics...Spider-man/Peter Parker HAS lied to people who weren't evil doers, and he HAS attacked unarmed foes in the past...

TheRageOfGaia
05-26-2009, 02:12 PM
"Only a Sith deals in absolutes."

Putting aside the irony inherent in the fact that "only a sith deals in absolutes" is an absolute, Obi-Wan is right.

This Spider-Man argument, to me, proves that you can't be your alignment 100% of the time. But, if you look at the definition for Chaotic Good, I think you'll find that Spider-Man fits better into Neutral Good.

"Chaotic good is known as the "Beatific," "Rebel," or "Cynic" alignment. A chaotic good character favors change for a greater good, disdains bureaucratic organizations that get in the way of social improvement, and places a high value on personal freedom, not only for oneself, but for others as well. Most elves (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elves_(Dungeons_%26_Dragons)) are chaotic good, as are some fey (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fey_(Dungeons_%26_Dragons)).
Starbuck (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kara_Thrace) from Battlestar Galactica (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battlestar_Galactica), Malcolm Reynolds (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malcolm_Reynolds) from Firefly (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Firefly_(TV_Series)), and Robin Hood (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robin_Hood) are examples of chaotic good individuals.[7] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alignment_(Dungeons_&_Dragons)#cite_note-CompleteScoundrel-6) Eladrin (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eladrin) are the outsider race representing chaotic good."

Favors change for a greater good. Yeah. That's Spidey.

"Rebel?" Spider-Man is a rebel, but does he choose to be a rebel, like a chaotic person does, or is he made into a rebel by the fact that he doesn't put any particular faith in law or chaos?

"Cynic?" Definitely not. Sarcastic. Yeah. But not cynical. Unless, I guess, he's going off to find his black costume. But we all have slumps.


Does the webhead disdain bureaucratic organizations? I don't think he has any dislike for them, he works with them when THEY allow it. He joined the 50 state initiative, for example. Does he place a high value on personal freedom? Not any more than any other American, I don't think. Not in the way that Malcolm Reynolds, or V from v for Vendetta do.

Also, another question, is it possible to discern the alignment of someone who is insane? Is, for example, Magneto Lawful Evil? Or does he just seem that way because he's a megalomaniac?

Panthro82
05-26-2009, 03:17 PM
I just think that the alignments are too broad for characters as diverse as Spider-Man. I genuinely believe that he doesn't fit into any alignment. If you read all of his comics, you start to realize that any alignment you place him in there are numerous instances where he proves he is not that alignment. Very, very cool character. I agree with CIG, if they had an alignment in between NG & CG he would definitely be that.

TheRageOfGaia
05-26-2009, 06:49 PM
Yeah, he definitely hovers somewhere between, depending on who is writing him. THAT, I think also has an effect on his character. It gets even more confusing if you try to throw the movie or cartoon versions which are all closer to LG

cigamnogard
05-26-2009, 07:31 PM
No worries, however I would - myself and my own opnion - put him somewhere in between CG and NG.:juggle:

:amen:

DragonDM
05-26-2009, 08:43 PM
Humm. Politics is not my strongest forte.
To me:

North Korea would be more LE as a Government and NE as citizens – then anything else.
The actions that you have described being allowed is evil. Especially since I am sure that a lot of the new mothers were most likely rape victims.

Iran I could see as a NE government, with a lot of CE factions within.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------
I would say that Spidey is normally NG, with times of slipping into CG - especially when he wants to help a personal friend/relative.

Blacksuit Spidey was more NE towards the end of that sage.
Venom started out being CE, with slight Insane tendencies - and slowly became NE.

To me: The fact that spidey needed these people to really kick him into being a hero, is what kept him from being self motivated enough to be consistantly CG.

Also, another question, is it possible to discern the alignment of someone who is insane? Is, for example, Magneto Lawful Evil? Or does he just seem that way because he's a megalomaniac?

Another Complex Character. I normally list Magneto as being LN/E.
Rarely does he go out of his way to target normal Humans, and focuses on government & military that are usually out to get Mutants to begin with.

Does he sometimes do evil acts, in the name of his envisioned Greater Good?

Yes. Like in the 1st X-Men Movie, when he tried to transform all the Humans in NYC into Mutants. Especially when he was willing to sacrifice young Rogue, instead of himself - to do so.

In the comic books, I have only seen Magneto really go insane once.
(Please note that I no longer collect comics, and have not read every issue)

When Wanda: The Scarelet Witch, was believed to be murdered.
It took every single X-Men member fighting against Magneto, just to get him to stop long enough to talk to Xavier about what the problem was.
The story ended with Wanda being alive, but I don't recall the exact means that she was 'rescued' to be revived.

There are other times that Magneto seems to slip over the Edge of Sanity (having a high Ego is as close to being a Megalomaniac as the two ends of the same straight magnet) - What usually prevents him: is his own Code of Honor, and the realization (when it is pointed out) that he is so close to that edge, and then retreating from it. It is only because he is so powerful that it sometimes requires Epic Battles against him to get him to listen long enough, to accept that he could be wrong in his viewpoint.

Even Xavier has been known to slip off that Sanity Edge (not surprising for someone that can literally hear everyone's thoughts around him within about a mile radius allthetime), and during these times the X-Men are surprised to find Magneto willing to aid Xavier in returning to relative 'normal'.


Panthro82 part of being neutral is to not act simply because it is the good thing to do. To be neutral you, in fact, would only act to serve yourself.


This is what CN is supposed to be, but is so rarely portrayed as such.
“I do random acts - to the point that I need someone else to roll 1d100 to determine what I do this round.” is what I end up seeing. Which is insane, not Chaotic: Just like running up and punching every person you meet in the face as hard as you can (maximum Power Attack) and then running away as fast as you can – is not CE, it is also Insane. This behavior will provoke even the TN person to do something to stop you – even if it is only to complain to the local government to please make you stop.


Totally self-serving acts are bordering on Evil, since you will not care how the effects of what you are doing affect other people.

Panthro82
05-27-2009, 01:00 AM
Yea Magneto is another really interesting character that I don't believe truly fits into any one alignment. I have always liked Magneto alot, and I look forward to his movie, so everyone can see the days when Magneto and Xavier used to team up and fight on the same side!!

TheRageOfGaia
05-27-2009, 02:28 PM
Hopefully they learn from the Wolverine movie, and make the Magneto movie... you know... not suck. I hope they use some of the material from the recent Magneto mini, where they show how he survived Auschwitz. I liked that arc a lot.

Also, DragonDM, Wanda is kind of like Psylocke, she's never actually dead. But at least with Wanda and her power, it sort of has some kind of plausibility, especially after the whole House of M thing. Which if you didn't read that, you should, it was pretty cool, I thought, and one of the last good X-Men stories that's come out lately.

I am one of the few people I know who can play Chaotic Neutral the way it was intended. I'm not trying to toot my own horn, cause, I'm definitely not God's gift to role-playing or anything, but I have an easy time getting into character with a CN alignment. And when I have players who have trouble with it, I point them at Han Solo from A New Hope (he becomes more CG/NG after that), Jayne Cobb, from Firefly, or, to some degree, Rorshach from Watchmen. I think Rorshach is CN, but believes that he is LG. So there is some conflict there between him fitting squarely into any alignment.

CN and CE are the two alignments that always scare me when a player chooses them, especially a new player, cause about 60% of the time it means "I have no respect for you, or the effort you're making, so now I'm going to do my best to ruin it with random acts of idiocy."

Panthro82
05-27-2009, 02:35 PM
ahhhh Rorshach....I love that character...

TheRageOfGaia
05-27-2009, 02:37 PM
Rorshach is pretty awesome. But, the movie was... another Alan Moore work of brilliance with all of the meaty essence removed and replaced with a lot of flashy decorations. Though, the flashy decorations are pretty damn cool. lol.

Panthro82
05-27-2009, 02:45 PM
lol yep. I have no major complaints about the movie. Aside from all the blue wang I was exposed to(which does stay true to the comic book, book.)

cigamnogard
05-27-2009, 06:46 PM
North Korea would be more LE as a Government and NE as citizens – then anything else.




Whoa - whoa - whoa! NE as citizens! Okay, let me get this straight. You live in a country:

where famine is an everyday occurence
your technology is so out of date any media people with cameras and cell phones are considered twenty-thirty years ahead of you
your government makes you confess once a week that you disagreed with them and you were wrong - in public.
If you flee and get caught caught by your northern neighbor (China) they send you back to a camp (not a summer one either)
If you flee to your southern neighbor and survive the four miles of death traps you live in a society alien to your own (S. Korea)
The governemnet controls the media
The goverenment controls every aspect of your education, upbringing, and personal life.
So, you must be neutral evil...sure. How about:


Your parents walk you to school everyday because that is a norm - everyone does it.
Everyone cares about you and if you flee the country - you still miss everyone you left behind and they are not angry but happy you escaped
The governemnt has blasted you with propaganda that makes you feel proud of your country
Nuetral evil it is...:(

Panthro82
05-27-2009, 11:29 PM
Yea the people of North Korea are definitely victims. I would place them at LG. The government of North Korea is not LE, they are literally living, breathing monsters...Read up about North Korea's government if you have the stomach to. I warn you though it will make even strong hearted people break down. Absolutely horrible...

TheRageOfGaia
05-28-2009, 02:57 PM
I think that Kim Jong Il is probably Chaotic Neutral.

He isn't lawful because of his disregard for the other authorities in the world. Which is something that we know about him. I also don't think he is evil, because a lot of the things he does, he does because he believes that they are for the good of his people, and his country. I'm not denying that N. Korea is a bad place, or that there are horrible things going on, or even that Kim Jong Il is responsible for at least some of them. But the real truth is that we know next to nothing about Kim Jong Il, and it's extremely hard to find out.

Look at his wikipedia entry and you will see the words "suspected" "unconfirmed" "believed" and "accused" about five-hundred times each. You will also see that we aren't even sure when or where he was born. His people are told that his birth was heralded by a swallow, a double rainbow, and a new star appearing in the sky. We don't know where he went to school, what education he received, what he does, or really, anything.

Our information comes from three sources; Kim Jong Il himself, which, unless you're planning on converting to Juche is probably not reliable. We have Korean defectors and immigrants who are either victims of the propaganda and indoctrination, or else so opposed to their government that they have betrayed them. How many people do you know who say nice things about stuff they hate? And we have hearsay from Russian and Chinese sources, since they have always been our friends :wacko:.

Then we also have our own personal taint and bias. The United States has lost two wars in it's two hundred plus years of history. The first one, was in Korea. Today, almost 60 years later, we still have sanctions in place. The import of goods from N. Korea to the U.S. is severely limited, and these goods are subject to the highest tariff taxes the government can place on them. The export of goods to N. Korea is severely limited, and aside from informational goods (books, magazines, cd-roms, disks, etc.) no U.S. Citizen may export ANY type of technology to N. Korea. I would like to see a successul modernized society without access to modernized technology. Furthermore, the U.S. is urging the U.N. to not only adopt their own sanctions, but a total trade embargo.

There are four reasons listed for the current sanctions given in the document I've linked to at the end of this page. (1) N. Korea is seen as posing a threat to National Security. (2) N. Korea is designated by the Secretary of State as being a state sponsor or supporter of international terrorism. (3) N. Korea is a Marxist-Lenninist State and (4) N. Korea is proliferating weapons of mass destruction.

So, in essence, 1 & 2 say, we don't like them. 3 says, because they're different than us. and 4 says... well... nothing. Remember Iraq? And if we were that concerned about proliferation why arent' we going after India or Israel?

The point is, the United States is partially responsible for the state of affairs in North Korea. Our sanctions, which according to the reasons listed above have nothing to do with the people, are hurting those people just as much, if not more, than Kim Jong Il's antics.

Honestly, I think Kim Jong Il cares more about the attention he gets from his stunts more than anything else. Like pulling out of the armistice with South Korea yesterday. S. Korea is one of N. Koreas largest trading partners, who would attack one of their largest trading partners? No one. But who would get off on the media frenzy in the western world? Mr. I'm-so-ronery himself, I'd wager.

It's funny to me how up-in-arms our country seems to be, in regards to how paranoid we are about other countries starting violence. In the last five years, we've started more wars than any other country in the western world.

Some links:
http://fpc.state.gov/documents/organization/17337.pdf
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kim_Jong-il
http://www.treas.gov/offices/enforcement/ofac/programs/nkorea/nkorea.pdf

cigamnogard
05-28-2009, 05:41 PM
The United States has lost two wars in it's two hundred plus years of history. The first one, was in Korea.

Not to be a jerk but playing devil's advocate:

The War of 1812
The American Civil War
Korea
Vietnam

TheRageOfGaia
05-28-2009, 11:13 PM
The War of 1812 was a stalemate, really. The British burning down the White House, and the U.S. winning the Battle of New Orleans are the two things that stand out in my mind. And neither was really that important.

And the Civil War, lol. Technically, yes, America lost that war. But it wasn't the United States of America, it was the Confederate States of America. :D As long as we're splitting hairs.

cigamnogard
05-29-2009, 05:11 PM
:usa:The battle of New Orleans took place after the treaty and war was over = a loss.
And yes, I was splitting hairs but more Americans were lost than in any other war = a lose lose situation.

TheRageOfGaia
05-30-2009, 03:45 PM
It was a win for Andrew Jackson!

Panthro82
05-30-2009, 04:15 PM
I think all battles in the worlds past were essential in the sense that they shaped how life is today. All battles in the grand scheme of things were wins for humanity. Perhaps there is still war, famine, and crusades, but it is no where near as bad as it used to be! War, famine, and crusades are human nature, and they will never cease until humans do...

DragonDM
05-30-2009, 07:47 PM
Like I said, Real Life/World Politics is not my forte.

Part of the point that I was trying to make is that each Alignment can still have individuals within it that will border on a nearby Alignment.
They can even cross over that line, from time to time.

The citizens of N Korea being NE, is that fact that they are (on a consistant basis) simply not motivated enough to oppose the current Government from within.


Your parents walk you to school everyday because that is a norm - everyone does it.
Sure they will walk their kids to and from school - because it is the only way to make sure they get to/from there safely.
But, they will not do so even for the sick single mother that lives next door to them; unless she does something to bribe them into doing it - which makes them Evil.


Everyone cares about you and if you flee the country - you still miss everyone you left behind and they are not angry but happy you escaped

Perhaps, but to those that stayed behind, your escape is little more then a pipe dream to them.
And those that do escape rarely do anything to help those that are still back there - despite missing them.
Even those that escape from Mexico still try to aid those that are 'back home'.


The governemnt has blasted you with propaganda that makes you feel proud of your country
Heck, the good old USA does the same thing - and in more ways then I care to count.
But, because we still have people that will stand up and fight - no matter cost to themselves - we can believe what we want, in the end.

Brainwashed people are mildly Insane, forgivable because it was forced on them.
But teaching them how to change their ways of thinking is a process that can litterally drive them Fully Insane: and needs to be approached with the greatest of care.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
CG people will start small goralla factions (called gangs, or terrorist cells), with hit and run tactics.
The problem is that they still need a place to hide, and a way to resupply.

LG people that live in such a state will oppose the Rulers and their 'laws' with all their heart, and with all their strength. Seeking to gain enough popular support and political power to win - prefurably by not breaking any posted Laws. Ghandi did exactly this, and even managed to use a policy of Non-Violence. Part of the problem with Pacifism, is that you need somone else that is willing to fight protecting you. Or at least lots and lots of people that are truly needed to run the Country. Ghandi managed both.

Even NG people would seek to help others, while also making sure they were at the least amount of risk. Like those people that hide the Jews from the Nazi during WW2.

The funny thing is that Evil Alignments can do some of the same things as the Good, it's just that they are more 'selfish' about it.

CE would also have small goralla factions, but they would also double as mercenaries and bandits to make ends meet.

LE would manipulate popular opinion and political support in their direction, even if from an outside source. Even if it was required to kidnap the wives and children of those political people, for blackmale.

NE would do as the NG people did, but would have a high price for doing so.
Rumors exist, even to this day that some of these so-called 'nice families' for Safe Houses- insisted on payments of (sometimes large amounts of) money up front, and then additional amounts of money (as often as once a week) on top of that - and there were those that even sexually abused the Jewish young - male and female alike. All for a place to hide from the Nazi, and failing to meet their requirements would get you turned in.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
The line between Good and Evil can be hard to tell, when viewed in this manner. There is no DM sitting at the table asking you (the Player) "Are you sure your Character wants to do that?"

All you know is that there is are two possible places to hide from something you cannot fight against (either for lack of personal power - or for fear that your children would suffer for you doing so) - both seem to be equally 'nice' - and you need to make a choice fast, or lose the ability to do so at all. Therefore, you make what you believe is a good choice, and can only Hope and Pray that you make the correct one. But, it is only after you are already there, that you will truly find out.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
America doing what it has done to limit the "Government" of North Korea is, in a lot of ways, just as bad as what said Government is doing to them.

But, on the Flip side, America can't be everyone's "Daddy" or "Big Brother" - which in no way stops them (America Government) from doing so, to both Americans, and then the rest of the World.

Panthro82
05-30-2009, 10:01 PM
The citizens of N Korea being NE, is that fact that they are (on a consistant basis) simply not motivated enough to oppose the current Government from within.

Oh they are motivated, but they have no power. An uprising? LOL, Anyone who would revolt not only would be executed, but their entire family would be executed as well. Right down to the 4 year old cousins and infants.(regardless of if they had anything to do with the revolt)


Sure they will walk their kids to and from school - because it is the only way to make sure they get to/from there safely.
But, they will not do so even for the sick single mother that lives next door to them; unless she does something to bribe them into doing it - which makes them Evil.

They walk their kids to school because they have to. Sick or not you walk your kids to school. If a sick mother doesn't walk her kid to school? She is put in prison if it is found out. If someone from another family walks the child to school because the childs parent is sick? The person who walked the child is put in prison, the parent who is sick is put in prison as well. Don't believe it? Read up. The people are not evil. They are up against tyrannical facism.



Heck, the good old USA does the same thing - and in more ways then I care to count. But, because we still have people that will stand up and fight - no matter cost to themselves - we can believe what we want, in the end.

This is true, but in the USA if you speak out against the country, the US government doesn't put your ENTIRE family in prison(on top of you being beaten to death). Oh and most of your family will spend the rest of their entire lives in prison. The rest will be killed at some point while in prison by the guards. Not because the people act out, simply because the guards kill prisoners for sport. North Korea, does do all of this.



America doing what it has done to limit the "Government" of North Korea is, in a lot of ways, just as bad as what said Government is doing to them.

America doesn't do enough. There is no capital gain. There is no profit to be made from sending our troops to North Korea to restore order and peace. So we sit aside and allow these atrocities to keep happening. However, if North Korea had oil mines and other profits like, perhaps, Iraq. Then America would put an end to the absolute horror that is the North Korean government.

It is very hard for the average American to truly comprehend evil as horrific as the North Korean government. It is real though. Those people are oppressed. They live in fear all the time. They have no power or ability to gain it. North Korea is not a democracy. It is a dictatorship. If you try to change it? You are killed and your entire family spends their lives in prison. Try to be a hero? Even your infant nephew goes to prison. He won't be there long though. Because the guards will stomp him to death. Don't believe it? Think I am sensationalizing? Nope. Do research if you have the stomach. It will horrify you...

TheRageOfGaia
05-30-2009, 11:29 PM
America doesn't do enough. There is no capital gain. There is no profit to be made from sending our troops to North Korea to restore order and peace. So we sit aside and allow these atrocities to keep happening. However, if North Korea had oil mines and other profits like, perhaps, Iraq. Then America would put an end to the absolute horror that is the North Korean government.

Since the 1950s, North Korea has been on the receiving end of the most limiting sanctions that the U.S. can place on a country. Until 1989, we did zero business with North Korea at all, then it was decided that we would sell them food, medicine, and other items of "basic human need." However, in 1988, North Korea was put on a list of people who fund international terrorism, which made it necessary to obtain special licenses, pay increased taxes, and otherwise hinder the ability for Americans to sell food and medicine to North Korea. North Korea is not allowed to be a member of the World Bank or the International Monetary Fund (foreign aid) because the United States and Japan refused to allow the status of North Korea to be changed. As a result, North Korea is denied direct foreign aid, bilateral assistance and participation in programs designed to provide debt relief to the poorest nations. They cannot purchase items related to nuclear proliferation (some of which are also used in water purification, construction, and in factories), they may not purchase a variety of chemicals (some of which are used for perfectly legitimate purposes), nor may they purchase certain electronics, computers, software, or other technology (much of which is used for mundane, and not sinister, purposes).



It is very hard for the average American to truly comprehend evil as horrific as the North Korean government.

All we really have to do is take a gander at our own. The only difference is we have the power to torture, murder, and oppress other people. We only have to do it to our own citizens sometimes.


They live in fear all the time.

"Fear is the foundation of most governments." - John Adams.


North Korea is not a democracy.

Neither is the United States. I don't believe there is a single democracy in existence today. If you recall the pledge of allegiance "and to the republic for which it stands."


If you try to change it? You are killed and your entire family spends their lives in prison.

"I began a revolution with 82 men. If I had to do it again, I'd do it with 10 or 15 and absolute faith. It does not matter how small you are if you have faith and a plan of action." - Fidel Castro


Try to be a hero? Even your infant nephew goes to prison. He won't be there long though. Because the guards will stomp him to death.

What's the difference between this and U.S. soldiers killing babies in Vietnam? Or U.S. soldiers sodomizing prisoners in Iraq with broomsticks? Nothing. Are all American soldiers this reprehensible? Of course not. So why is it any more logical to believe that all North Korean soldiers are? Especially when service in the North Korean army is mandatory?


Don't believe it? Think I am sensationalizing? Nope. Do research if you have the stomach. It will horrify you...

I believe it's bad. Is it any better here? Look at Detroit. Look at New Orleans. Look at the slums of Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, Washington.

You keep asking us to do research... where's yours?

"I come from the land of Ben Franklin
Twain and Poe and Walt Whitman
Otis Redding, Ellington,
The country that I love
But it's a land of the slaves and the ku klux klan
Haymarket riot and the great depression
Joe McCarthy, Vietnam
The sickest joke I know" -- The Descendents "'Merican"

Panthro82
05-31-2009, 01:38 AM
Castro was failing miserably. He and his 82 men ultimately would have failed epicly if not for the leadership, guidance, and drive of Ernesto El Che Guevara.

All those things happen in America to a much, much, much, much, much smaller degree. America does have the ability to do what the North Korean government does. The difference is that we choose not to. We as a people are ultimately lucky compared to other countries.

The difference between the things the US have notably done and North Korea, is that North Korea does those things DAILY, the US everytime that they have done something like that have a much bigger stage and spotlight to keep them in check.

The point I was making with revolt is lost on people who have nobody depending on them. Would you make a revolt knowing most certainly that your actions would lead to your wife and children murdered? Your family raped of freedom and robbed blind until they were killed? If not killed, imprisioned for the rest of their lives? My research? Anyone can find it effortlessly. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,444672,00.html this is one of thousands of reports. Look up the prison systems in North Korea. One of the highest prison population to country population average in the world. (including their concentration camps!) It is also not because these people deserve to be there.

America is bad, but it is better off then most every other country in the world. Don't think so? Go live in another country. You will find out the hard way...

TheRageOfGaia
05-31-2009, 02:40 PM
Maybe Che is one of those 10 to 15 men with absolute faith? In the quote, Castro is talking about what he would do differently. I'm sure our own revolutionary, rebellious, and (to Great Britain) terrorist founding fathers would have liked to avoid certain things in their own overthrow of the government.

It's impossible to deny that North Korea is a terrible place. That would be like saying the Holocaust never happened. I doubt anyone would be able to make a good case that the US is worse than Korea. But it's not hard to see that the United States is not nearly good enough to play police for the entire world. This article, the questionable validity of which will be addressed in a moment, talks about Korean gulags, but we have the same thing going on. Albeit on a smaller scale (we think). To be fair, the U.S. government doesn't know how many people are unconstitutionally imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay. NPR (which is probably about as reliable as FOXNews) says that guesses range from 250-750. Are they all terrorists? Maybe. But the fact that we're hiding them, and not giving them the basic rights we give to pedophiles and serial killers, seems a little bit shady to me.

And there's also the issue I talked about regarding the validity of our news sources. The United States is one of the largest censors in the world. I read an article that claimed we were 2nd, behind Turkey. We may not be as bad as North Korea, or the Sudan, but the United States is still one of the top 10 violators of human rights in the world, alongside our "most favored nation," China, and our best buddies, Saudi Arabia. 15 of the 19 9/11 hijackers were Saudi, 0 of them were Iraqi, 0 of them were Afghani. Kind of makes you think about our government a little bit differently. Though, since Saudi Arabia is the 4th largest supplier of oil to the US behind Canada, Mexico and Venezuela, it's not a hard problem to solve. The point is, our new sources, are not news. There's a documentary specifically about FOXNews that pretty much shatters it's credibility, and plus, with flapping jaws like Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity at the helm, it's more like a circus with serious clowns than news. BUT Wolf Blitzer and Anderson Cooper aren't any better. Our "news" is basically propaganda originating from one end of the political spectrum catering to those people, and trying to scare the piss out of them so they'll buy more duct tape and support their republicrat or democran candidate. It's better, but still not entirely accurate, to get your news about the US from other countries, like Canada or Britain.

Anyway, the point I was really trying to make, is that economic sanctions like the ones we have placed on North Korea and Cuba, don't really hurt the government, they hurt the people. Everyone in North Korea will go without champagne before Kim Jong Il does, and that, to me, is a big part of what makes him Neutral Evil.

The people, from what everyone has said, seem to be somewhere between Lawful Good and Lawful Neutral. Then again, I tend to believe that people are inherently good. But there are hopeful signs out of North Korea:

http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/editorials/archives/2007/05/15/2003360999 (http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/editorials/archives/2007/05/15/2003360999)
http://rconversation.blogs.com/rconversation/2005/01/signs_of_dissen.html (http://rconversation.blogs.com/rconversation/2005/01/signs_of_dissen.html)

Panthro82
06-01-2009, 12:20 AM
oh im not saying america is a saint in terms of its actions. (in fact, it was president Eisenhower who hired the assassin that killed Che). America definitely has an agenda, but on the overall we are lucky to live here as opposed to other countries.

cigamnogard
06-01-2009, 05:20 PM
Sure they will walk their kids to and from school - because it is the only way to make sure they get to/from there safely.

Not true.
--- Merged from Double Post ---


Heck, the good old USA does the same thing - and in more ways then I care to count.
Very true.
--- Merged from Double Post ---

I think all battles in the worlds past were essential in the sense that they shaped how life is today. All battles in the grand scheme of things were wins for humanity.
Possibly True.
--- Merged from Double Post ---

It was a win for Andrew Jackson!
Too true...well maybe...
--- Merged from Double Post ---

Brainwashed people are mildly Insane, forgivable because it was forced on them.
But teaching them how to change their ways of thinking is a process that can litterally drive them Fully Insane: and needs to be approached with the greatest of care.
So, you are saying then that all Americans are insane then...interesting...

TheRageOfGaia
06-01-2009, 05:36 PM
Given the amount of prozac and other such drugs we're given, I'm sure the APA would like us to believe all Americans are insnae. :lol:

cigamnogard
06-01-2009, 05:38 PM
Oh...oh...:laugh:

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
06-01-2009, 07:57 PM
Given the amount of prozac and other such drugs we're given, I'm sure the APA would like us to believe all Americans are insnae. :lol:
It's all about treatments, not cures. It's a business, after all.

cigamnogard
06-01-2009, 07:59 PM
It's all about treatments, not cures. It's a business, after all.
America is a business...and insane...:boom:

DragonDM
06-01-2009, 08:11 PM
Ok. Upon ponderance of your side of this debate, TheRageOfGaia, I can accept that North Korean people are TN: Doing only what is absolutely needed to survive (everyone - Good and Evil - still loves/cares about their immediate family, unless they are Heartlessly Insane) another day.

But, I still say that the North Korean Government is NE.
Simply because of this is the best environment for both CE and LE people to thrive. The Guards that you write about are CE, but even the LG and CG guards would still have to participate, just to avoid having it done to them and/or their families.

You say that these people are powerless, and in a way - you are correct.
All support that they should be getting has been either cut off (other family members afraid of death, or worse: Imprisonment), or denied by Outsiders - and exactly for the reasons that you listed: No Profit.

Fidel Castro was mostly undermined by the US Government, and in a lot ways - simply because he supported the Communist Belief System. (His having nukes less then 100 miles off the shores of the USA was also a huge factor.) He got the Leadership position, and the US made it nothing more then just another form of Imprisonment for the people of Cuba.

Sadly, the People of Cuba are reduced to L/TN(G) NPCs, waiting for some Heroes (not just Adventurers) to show up, and make things better for them.
And in Real Life, said Heroes are no longer inclined to put their very lives on the line for absoultely no return, and a very nasty death - including those that they care about.

So the real question is - is lack of personal initiative (for whatever Reason or Excuse) enough to make the individual Evil?

Not everyone can be like Martian Luther King Jr, or Ghandi.
(and remember that their goals did not happen overnight.
Heck, MLK's "Dream" did not really happen for another 25 years; well after the Government forced Whites and Blacks to learn together in Public Schools. And there were a lot of really bad things that were done, on both sides of that Fence.

And there will always be those that prefure to fill their hearts with Hate, regardless of what Country they live in.

This has happened with a lot of the other Ethnic Groups, too.
I won't bother to try to list them all.

In the end: It was individuals that decided that they would look past Skin Color to find Friends. - NOTE: I am not advocating Public Schools, there are times when they are just as 'evil' as anything else in US Society.
More cases of Child Molestation come from "Public Schools" http://innocentjustice.org/2009/teacheraccused-child-molester-groomed-adults-as-well-as-children/ (http://innocentjustice.org/2009/teacheraccused-child-molester-groomed-adults-as-well-as-children/) and "The Churches" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_Catholic_Church_sex_abuse_scandal (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_Catholic_Church_sex_abuse_scandal) then anywhere else outside the Internet Child Porn Sites that are based in foriegn countries - because it is not illegle there. Does this mean that Church and Public Schools should be shut down?
No. But there should be more people that are out there watching, ready to take action when they detect that these Evil Acts are being done.)

Are the parents of North Korean children any less of Heroes for doing everything in their power to shield their kids from the worst of the Evil around them, and teaching them the best way to survive - in the hopes that someday, somehow, they will one day be free?

And yet, this is exactly what the US Slaves did, for nearly 200 years - before that finally happened.

And yes, technically the majority of US citizens are Insane - it's just how insane we are that is the only concern of those in charge. Violence is always a "bad thing" - unless it is done by someone that was 'authorized' to do it....

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
06-01-2009, 10:23 PM
America is a business...and insane...:boom:
But America is not alone, business is human nature, and therefore same around the world.

Killwatch
06-01-2009, 10:55 PM
evil is easy, its all about the DMs response. With heroes, they are the ones to respond. With evil they are the ones promoting or instigating heroes or other villains to respond.

Evil ultimately gets lonely, because it is evil, and paranoia isn't only an unfortunate side effect, it's a necassity if you ant to keep all the things you have done, such as raping torturing, sodomizing with pokers, feeding children to their parents, or vice versa, or hey even at the same time a secret. YOu could start with extremities and work your way up. Or to keep all the loot you have gotten yours.

Neutral characters might want to steel, look out for themselves etc but to be evil, that is very proactive, making conscious decisions, or even yearning to cause pain death fear and horror, watching the innocence and "naivete" of humble country folk to the horror that mortals can do to one another as you flay some poor guys son on the local gods temple altar and seeing if you can wok his loins before the heart stops beating.

But then again I think NG and NE are the paragons of their fields, willing to do anything in the name of good or evil. The law dictates you can't slay the evil over lord, that he has to go through a tribunal and found guilty. but he is and I am going to run him through. CG is just as stupid as it does't want to recognize any form of organization as good, or that institutions can serve a purpose.

Anyhow, evil campaigns are easy. You simply respond to whatever they are doing. There is a lot of vengeance of paranoia. With good everyone is kind of working for the same goal. With evil everyone else can be a target. Sure they may work together to create a world dominating cabal, but what about after that? What magical items does the "other" covet that they have aquired over the many long years of conquest. How many heroes have fallen by their blades or mechinations? What family members may make it their goal in life to bring them down?

Evil is everyone's enemy. Even those who benefit from evil like LN-swine laying lawyers, CN-psychos, NN-selfish bastards, should know that the evil characters may turn on them if they feel threatened, or that you are no longer useful or kow too much.
--- Merged from Double Post ---
You know, thinking just now I think that KOTD is an example of an evil campaign that works

TheRageOfGaia
06-04-2009, 03:07 PM
Killwatch brings up something that I've often wondered about in the D&D alignment system. The entry for NE describes TWO different types of NE character. The one who is simply selfish, and takes what he needs, or the one who holds evil up as the supreme ideal. I.e. is essentially a paladin for evil. Which do you all prefer?

I've never been a fan of evil for evil's sake, especially for villains. I think it's a shallow, and mostly lazy, way that people (especially fantasy authors) create bad guys. These bad guys are always shallow, flat, and seem uninspired. Take the Lord of the Rings, for example, it has several villains: Gollum, Wormtongue, Theoden, Denethor, Saruman, and Sauron. Well, of those, I think most would agree that Theoden, Gollum, and Denethor are not actually evil, but are corrupted by the evil influences around them. But le's look at Wormtongue, Saurman, and Sauron.

I believe Wormtongue is NE. Law and Chaos don't matter to him. But neither is particularly interested in doing evil. Wormtongue's goal, from my reading of the LotR, is power. His evil stems from his own selfish desires, and a willingness to do whatever it takes to fulfill them.

Saruman hovers between LE and NE. His evil is a direct result of his pride. He is unwilling to accept that Sauron is greater than he is, and sets himself up to be a rival of Sauron, only to find that he has been doing the dark one's work the whole time. In a way, he is evil because of the same reason that Wormtongue is. A thirst for power, in the form of knowledge, at first.

And Sauron himself, once a member of the Valar, is now evil... because Melkor wanted him to be? That's a pretty weak motivation. And to me, it explains why Sauron is a lame ass floating eye and doesn't really play any part in the story, except as some mythically badass bad guy who... fails to live up to the hype.

Most truly successful EVIL villains (It's important to point out your antagonists needn't be evil, simply opposed to the protaganists) have some reason for becoming evil, and some purpose to obtain in being evil, rather than being evil for evil's sake. Darth Vader, Magneto, Sylar, Khan, the Borg, Lex Luthor, Scar from the Lion King, even the Wicked Witch of the West all have strong motives, and purposes. Villains like Sauron, The Dark One from Wheel of Time, and Fu Manchu, while potentially entertaining don't deliver the powerful punch that deeper villains do, because there's not chance that you, or me, or our players could BECOME them. What's truly horrible about evil, and evil villains, is that given the right stimuli, we could become them.

[Disassembles soapbox] :cool:

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
06-04-2009, 03:11 PM
Wow. Nicely written, TheRageofGaia

cigamnogard
06-04-2009, 04:50 PM
Wow. Nicely written, TheRageofGaia
I concur!

TheRageOfGaia
06-05-2009, 02:57 PM
Thanks!

I still love LotR, though. It's dull at points, and two-dimensional at others, but the things that Tolkien does well, and right, he really does well and right.

Like Boromir.

cigamnogard
06-05-2009, 06:41 PM
Sort of...

Panthro82
06-05-2009, 07:39 PM
Don't forget that wormtongue, like Theodon, was also brainwashed. I would put wormtongue in the same category as Theodon. He proves he isn't truly evil towards the end.

cigamnogard
06-05-2009, 07:42 PM
Don't forget that wormtongue, like Theodon, was also brainwashed. I would put wormtongue in the same category as Theodon. He proves he isn't truly evil towards the end.
Really? I missed that somehow.

Panthro82
06-05-2009, 07:48 PM
Grima Kills Saruman.

cigamnogard
06-05-2009, 07:55 PM
When does this happen?

Panthro82
06-05-2009, 08:16 PM
He killed Lotho-Sackville Baggins(who was working on the side of Saruman), he then slit sarumans throat at the shire(after Frodo opened his eyes of the situation) and as he ran, was shot down by hobbit arrows. He redeemed himself only to be wrongfully killed.

cigamnogard
06-05-2009, 08:20 PM
Which book is this in?

Panthro82
06-05-2009, 08:28 PM
I believe it was in Return Of The King.

cigamnogard
06-08-2009, 05:23 PM
Really? Hmmm!

Panthro82
06-08-2009, 06:25 PM
I've read pretty much every Tolkien book so they tend to blend together, but I am pretty sure I read it in ROTK.

cigamnogard
06-08-2009, 06:26 PM
Next time I am in a bookstore I will take a peek at the end.

Panthro82
06-08-2009, 06:33 PM
Saruman and Grima go to the shire to exact a form of revenge on their fallen plans. Saruman ultimately wants Frodo dead. At this point he is treating Grima terribly to the point where Grima starts to look and act like Gollum. Saruman I think started calling him just Worm because of it. Grima develops a hatred towards Saruman the worse he is treated. In the movie he kills Saruman too (in the extended scene DVD version) but they do it differently. They probably wanted to preserve the ring being destroyed until the very end of the conflict.

TheRageOfGaia
06-08-2009, 07:15 PM
Yeah. Grima kills Saruman at the end. But that whole part of RotK where they go back to the Shire was never my favorite part. It made Saruman seem so petty, and childish, after he had been such a huge factor in the story. Saruman, to me, was more frightening than Sauron. I suppose you could make the case that Wormtongue was a brainwashed pawn... but does killing Saruman redeem him? I donno. Boromir gets redeemed because he not only sacrifices himself to save Frodo, but he pwns orcs in the process. That's my favorite scene from the movies.

cigamnogard
06-08-2009, 07:44 PM
Interesting.

Killwatch
06-09-2009, 02:49 AM
Magneto:
D&D LN. It's his rule and no one else's
Palladium: Easily abberrant

Spiderman: LG. He lies, but he doesn't like it. He is a vigilante, begrudgingly, and he never kills anyone and if he does it weighs on him as well
Palladium: Principled or Scrupulous, Easily

TheRageOfGaia
06-11-2009, 03:10 PM
Magneto:
D&D LN. It's his rule and no one else's
Palladium: Easily abberrant

Spiderman: LG. He lies, but he doesn't like it. He is a vigilante, begrudgingly, and he never kills anyone and if he does it weighs on him as well
Palladium: Principled or Scrupulous, Easily

Magneto has to be evil. He's the only Jew who survived the Holocaust and went, "You know that was pretty cool, when I grow up, I wanna be a genocidal maniac too." Further proof can be found in the name of his terrorist organisation the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. And the "his rule and no one else's" sounds LE to me, the alignment which is also known as the tyrant.

I also maintain that Spidey is NG. In fact, I would say he is the paragon of NG in the comics world. In fact, here are my #1s for each alignment as far as comic book characters go.

LG - Captain America, Superman, Nite Owl
NG - Spider-Man, Wonder Woman, Silk Spectre
CG - Wolverine, Green Arrow, The Comedian? Maybe?
LN - The Punisher, Batman (usually; depends on writer), Rorshach
N - The Watcher, Metron, Dr. Manhattan
CN - Deadpool, Catwoman, V from V for Vendetta
LE - Magneto, Lex Luthor, Ozymandias
NE - The Kingpin, Ares (Wonder Woman villain), jeez... Dr. Sivana?
CE - Red Skull, The Joker, Spike from Buffy, before he became a wuss?

Killwatch
06-12-2009, 04:27 AM
Except that he doesn't want tokill humanity he wants mutants to be left to their own devices, and if he happens to rule over that land and be seen as the leader of all mutant kind all the better. Especially as a jew his parents were human, everyone around him was human. The Germans were persecuting him as a mutant but as a jew. If anything he might want to destroy and rule over germany, if he was evil. But he doesn't. with his powe it would be an easy thing to send the earth into chaos. He doesn't even have to really DO anything. He could sit outside the DOD DOJ Pentagon etc and just emit EMPs while sipping a latte. The BoEM is just a stupid name, I think he would have and did just call themselves the Brotherhood.

now as for your alignments and people

LG - Captain America, Superman, Nite Owl,
-Batman needs to be here to. He might talk a big game but he's a grumpy superman at heart
-Spider-Man, Wonder Woman, Silk Spectre: These people do not kll wantonly and avoid it whenever possible. I mean even when WW had a damn good reason for killing that guy in the Crisis, she felt really bad about it (odd considering shes an amazonian warrior) and the world threw the JLA in with her and their credibility was squashed for a time which is still bs
NG -Wolvering and Punisher go here. They care not for Law or Chaos, anything for he cause of justice
CG - Wolverine, Green Arrow, The Comedian? Maybe?
LN - The Punisher, Batman (usually; depends on writer), Rorshach
N - The Watcher, Metron, Dr. Manhattan,
-The Comedian would have to go either here or in CN, he either didn't care or saw the joke. He did rape a woman, killed the woman carrying his child in vietnam.
-Magneto
CN - Deadpool, Catwoman, V from V for Vendetta
LE - Ozymandias
-Red Skull: The red skull is evil, much worse than magneto, but he wants everyone to come under his flag, no matter who dies or what he has to do to get there
NE - The Kingpin, Ares (Wonder Woman villain), jeez... Dr. Sivana?
-Lex Luthor: he breaks the law all the time while appearing to be working within it. He uses the law and breaks it. All that matters is his goals, wherever they land.
CE -The Joker, Spike from Buffy, before he became a wuss?
-Joker I would agree here but I cold see him as a force of pure chaos to, but he does have a cruel murderous heart

TheRageOfGaia
06-13-2009, 12:29 AM
In his career, Magneto has: attacked military bases, conquered entire countries, genetically altered the human inhabitants of the Savage Land (i.e. forcing mutations on them), uses mind-control technology to be exonerated of his crimes, teams up with the Red Skull (who is a Nazi), nukes military jets, rips the adamantium out of Wolverine's skeleton, attempts to blackmail the world into creating a mutant nation, and killed hundreds, if not thousands of people human and mutant alike. This number is more than 16 million if you include the destruction of Genosha, which wasn't his doing, but could be considered his fault.

"A Lawful Evil villain methodically takes what he wants within the limits of his code of conduct without regard for whom it hurts." Magneto does this all the time. Attacking military bases, conquering nations, genetically altering the humans in the Savage land, blackmailing the UN into creating Genosha, etc.

"He [a LE villain] condemns others not according to their actions but according to their race, religion, homeland, or social class." This is how you described Magneto yourself.

"A Neutral character does what seems like a good idea. She doesn't care one way or the other when it comes to good vs. evil or law vs. chaos." Magneto does whatever he thinks will help him further his cause, whether or not it's a good idea. I.e. Nuking Soviet Jets.

"Such a character thinks of good as better than evil -- after all, she'd rather have good neighbors than evil ones." Magneto doesn't care, as long as his neighbors are mutants. Heck, he even teamed up with the Red Skull at one point.

"Some neutral characters devote themselves to neutrality. Such a character views good, evil, law and chaos as dangerous extremes." Definitely not Magneto. He's devoted to mutant superiority. Not equality (which would be good or neutral) but superiority, which is inherently evil.

"People who are neutral in respect to good and evil have compunctions against killing the innocent." This is definitely NOT Magneto.

Now that we've proven that Magneto is Lawful Evil, I'd like to talk about the rest of the list.


Batman - Depends on the writing. Adam West's Batman was definitely Lawful Good. Complete Scoundrel lists Batman as being a Lawful Good scoundrel. However, Frank Miller sees Batman as "a dionysian figure, a force for anarchy that imposes an individual order." and imposed this decidedly Chaotic Neutral alignment upon Batman during his work on the title. Other writers treat him as a vigilante (i.e. a person whotakes the law into his own hands) which is decidedly not lawful. Batman has frequently used torture and other illegal methods to achieve what he wants. This picture http://kundor.org/pub/batman-alignment.jpg (http://kundor.org/pub/batman-alignment.jpg) makes a case fo rall nine alignments. I believe most writers interpret the character as being Lawful Neutral, and that's the Batman I enjoy reading.

Wonder Woman, Spider-Man, Silk Spectre - Not killing people doesn't make you lawful good.

Wonder Woman - Wonder Woman has respect for the law, but her first priority is spreading her own message of love and empowerment, if that means stepping over the law now and then, she's okay with that. She isn't devoted to upholding the law, as we saw when she killed Maxwell Lord. That action was highly illegal, but it was the right thing to do, and that is Wonder Woman's guiding star. Which brings her into conflict with Superman's lawful personality, and Batmans good-evil neutrality. She's the balance between the two.

Spider-Man - the fact that Spider-Man is constantly wanted by the police for breaking the law makes it impossible for him to be lawful good. If he cared about the law, he wouldn't break if by being Spider-Man. The truth is that Spider-Man is guided by his conscience, and acts altruistically without regard for (or against) lawful ideas such as rules or tradition. When he can follow the letter of the law, he does. But he doesn't owe them anything. That's Neutral Good.

The Punisher - I hope you were laughing when you said he was a good guy. He murders people. Yes, they're drug dealers, but killing bad guys doesn't make you a good guy. He lives by his own code, a code which involves murdering drug dealers whatever the cost. If good people get in his way, he is not against hurting them. Depending on the writer he can become Chaotic Neutral, and even Chaotic Evil, but Good? Never.

Wolverine - "A chaotic good character acts as his conscience directs him with little regard for what others expect of him. He makes his own way, but believes in goodness and right, he just has little use for laws and regulations. He follows his own moral compass which, although good, may not agree with that of society. Chaotic Good is the best alignment you can be because it combines a good heart with a free spirit." That's Wolverine.

The Comedian - Yeah, I think I have to change my mind on that one. The Watchmen characters are really hard to put into alignments.

The Red Skull - Though originally pretty Lawful Evil, The Red Skull and his buddies in HYDRA are VERY VERY Chaotic Evil. Their whole goal is to create chaos and mayhem. The problem with designating villains as CE is the fact that so very many people get it wrong. True Chaoti Evil, is not to be confused with Chaotic Stupid or Stupid Evil, which can be found here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_31sAAL7nc (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_31sAAL7nc)

Lex Luthor - What you described in your post as NE is actually LE, a Lawful Evil villain does whatever he wants within the confines of his own code of conduct. This is where alignment gets tricky though, as Law can refer to the laws of the society, or a personal code of conduct. Lex Luthor is very devoted to the tenets of Law (order, stability, organization) as can be seen in how he uses the system to further his own goals; even to become president.

Joker - is the greatest CE villain ever. And one of the only CE villains, I think, who is TRULY chaotic evil, except maybe Two-Face. But then again, only half of him is CE.

Panthro82
06-13-2009, 01:00 AM
And another point to Joker, Rage, is that it is the Joker who turned half of Two Face into CE

MortonStromgal
06-13-2009, 02:09 AM
The Punisher - I hope you were laughing when you said he was a good guy. He murders people. Yes, they're drug dealers, but killing bad guys doesn't make you a good guy. He lives by his own code, a code which involves murdering drug dealers whatever the cost. If good people get in his way, he is not against hurting them. Depending on the writer he can become Chaotic Neutral, and even Chaotic Evil, but Good? Never.


Uhhh, I would say hes Lawful Neutral, hes really "blind justice" incarnate. Heck he killed his own sidekick for selling cocaine. To me the Punisher is everything the Paladin should be, no I don't mean Lawful Good, I mean a man who follows his code to a flaw regardless of whatever "mans" law is.

Panthro82
06-13-2009, 02:15 AM
I can definitely agree on Punisher being in the neutral spectrum. I don't think he could ever be considered evil for an alignment.

DragonDM
06-14-2009, 12:09 PM
As I stated before, Magneto is a complicated individual.
Eric believes that War between Homo-sapian and Homo-superior is inevitable. And in some ways, he is correct. Not willing to sit by and allow what the Nazi did to happen again, Magneto decides to strike first.

The name of group that Magneto leads is Brotherhood of United Mutants, but because they are seen as supernaturally powerful terrorists by the military and media, United is replaced with Evil.

In point of fact, Magneto hates anything that seems to simular to those Jewish Prison Camps: to the point that he will attack even other Mutants that try and duplicate it - even if done on normal Humans !!

When I run superhero games that involve Magneto, I tend to run him as Neutral Evil with fairly strong Lawful tendancies: which reflects his personal Honor: Once a promise is given - he will keep to the letter of the agreement. Magneto also believes that a Lawful society of mutants is best for all, and works to create one.

But what makes Magneto Evil is that he will not always do what he knows to be the Good and Right thing to do:

Like the scene from X-Men 2, where Magneto finds Xavier inside the re-created Cerebro, designed to kill every mutant in the world with the power of the most powerful telepath in the world, amplified.

"It seems that they are not playing by your Rules, Charles. Very well, let us play by theirs." and rearranges the configuation of Cerebro (he helped build it) so that Xavier's telepathic power only affects non-mutants. Magneto then has Mystique pretend to be the boy's dad, and tell him to kill all the normal people.

The "Good" thing to have done there would be to have simply removed Xavier from the area, and destroyed the faux-Cerebro: thus ending the threat. I am not sure if killing Jason Stryker (the kid in the wheelchair that had powerful illusions and secreted a liquid that could control other people, including most mutants) would be an act of mercy/kindness (Good) or an act of Evil: Since there is so little of the original personality of Jason left - and was already proven to be beyond 'redemeption'.

Like you stated before Gaia: truly powerful Characters (Good or Evil) are those filled with passion to get something done - and that under the right circumstances, we (the viewer or reader) could become.

Killwatch
06-14-2009, 10:36 PM
well put DDM

Panthro82
06-15-2009, 10:45 PM
You could actually make claim that my one group is currently in an evil campaign. We are a minority(group of good guys) in a world overrun with evil. Evil lords rule over the world. So technically in the world we are in, we are considered evil...

TheRageOfGaia
06-16-2009, 02:42 AM
DragonDM - I can buy NE, especially in the films, where I feel like less of his code of honor is represented.

And despite how much fun these arguments about alignment are, if you have a character who is 100% of their alignment, you will have a boring character. And, with comic book characters especially, every writer brings their own spin.

Panthro - You bring up a good point... when you guys run games do you determine alignment based on the characters perceptions? Society's perceptions? Out of character perceptions? Or something else entirely?

DragonDM
06-19-2009, 11:04 PM
DragonDM - I can buy NE, especially in the films, where I feel like less of his code of honor is represented.

I agree. I have problem with almost every Marvel movie produced so far.
The special effects are great, but there seems to be a lot of inconsistancies placed into the movies for the benefit of 'impressing the crowd'. Like "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" made Logan a 'good guy' from jump. This is as far from the truth as possible. Logan is an anti-hero, bordering on almost being a Villain.


And despite how much fun these arguments about alignment are, if you have a character who is 100% of their alignment, you will have a boring character. And, with comic book characters especially, every writer brings their own spin.

I agree, again. True depth means that there is always something inside the PC that can cause them to change Alignment. Maybe not a radical change, like to the opposite alignment (which is still possible, like Anican Skywalker's CG becoming Darth Vader's LE) but a definate shift, non-the-less.


Panthro - You bring up a good point... when you guys run games do you determine alignment based on the characters perceptions? Society's perceptions? Out of character perceptions? Or something else entirely?

And that is really the heart of the matter for any Alignment debate.
How does the Group, and more importantly -> the DM <- determine alignment?

Yes, in an "evil" world 'Good' would be viewed as evil - or at least wrong.
But, the DM should not change the basic views of what "True Good" and "True Evil" are: Just the reactions that the NPCs will have; and there should still be enough people left in the world that will respond to someone doing Good Heroic Deeds for them, perhaps causing them to also shift in Alignment.

Personally, I would have played a LG Paladin (of either Tyr or Palor) in that world, that viewed the "Laws of the Land" to be unacceptable, and would have opposed them at all times. Creating a "Rebel Movement" (read Good Adventurers - which would be seen as 'Bandits' and/or "terrorists" by the rest of the world) - and that all (starting with the Paly) would accept that theirs would be a never-ending battle - that had to maitain secrecy at all times (Like the FR Harpers, only more so!), and that personal death was unavoidable. "But Martyrs only fuel the fires of Rebellion, my friends."
- And because he sees that he must oppose all others with armed force, and that his views can be as unyielding as the steel his sword is forged of - he has the potential to fall to (any) Evil, himself.

As an interesting note, a friend of mine ruled for his games that Smite was going to be changed. Instead of Smite "Good/Evil" - it was "Smite Unbeliever". 'Do you believe in/worship my Deity? No?' SMITE!!

This means that even two LG Paladins of different deities could Smite each other!! As well as Evil smiting other Evil!! Let me tell you, it's a LOT more fun this way!!!

Panthro82
06-20-2009, 04:41 AM
Yea my friend is running an LG Paladin in that game. He is technically a rebel in the game, but Paladins are at times stubborn, which can make for difficult situations.

Killwatch
06-21-2009, 07:28 AM
Palladium takes the guess work out by giving you 15 points of reference for each alignment. Does your character torture? For Pleasure or Necessity? Do they take dirty money? WIll they harm n innocent? and so on. I've added a few alignments like Honorable and Vile Evil and moved alignments around like Aberrant to the middle ground instead of flat out evil. So it doesn't really matter wha tthe perceptions are, they are clearly defined. Now any idiot who thinks you have to be 100% 100% of the time is clearly misguided but who we are in times of trouble is who we really are. If you help old ladies across the street on nice sunny days, great, but if you are the first to suggest that you eat the old lady when the zombie apocalypse comes to pass and barrs people from enering a safe haven then you might not be as good as you think you are.

DragonDM
06-21-2009, 05:05 PM
I usually have a little trouble doing the Paladium 'alignement', to be honest. Although this is most likely because I don't get to play it very often. I have been known to use the Alignment Questions from there and apply it to the D&D Alignments.

Now I would say that so long as you behaved in the good guy manner (helping little old ladies, etc) but the zombie virus hits and then you want to off her first - the moment that you suggested it, your alignment would shift. And the other PCs could then apply their views for their reactions.

Killwatch
06-21-2009, 07:01 PM
but ahat is always who you were. when the S hit the fan your true colors came out as a bastard.

I don't think most people have enough introspection to determine their alignment. If they are confronted with the question of 8 people may survive in a room with 8 currently in and there is a knock at the door, the good guy is going to try to figure out a way to let them in, even if it means self sacrifice.

When I give points for playing in alignment it isn't every game and everytime they do something good or nice etc, it is whne there is a true test of alignment, when the question arisesl who are you? what would you do?

I think there are very few truly good people in the world. I think most of us are simply hairless animals who eventually only look out for the big number 1. I was thinking about this the other day watching "Animals Behaving Badly" and I realized humans are really no different in there "civilization" than other animals. We all steel, we all fight for survival, we trade we can be kind, we are selfish etc. But true good? Watching out for others for altruistic reasons is what separates us from other animals most of the time. Animals build, wage war, perform abotage, murder (not by hunting, see cukoo bird), feel fear and love and hate, have oposable thumbs, etc. But only we can think about our world, our environment our effects on the greater whole. If we don't then there really is no difference as we play our own little roles.
Most of us are simply selfish. But luckily very few of us are also evil. Some are angry, some want vengeance, but very few people like causing harm to anyone just to watch them scream/cry/moan/etc.

Anyhow, most of us travel through the world without knowing what we would do in situation X. We like to thik we are good people, we like to think that we would do the right thing, but never actually have to decide what that right thing is, andit usually always involves self preservation over the security of others.Which is natural, which is animal.

In the zombie scenario Neutral or Selfish alignments will logically keep the old lady out of the bunker, perhaps it will haunt them, perhaps they will regeret it but in the end, the old lady will still die and they will still be safe inside
Evil will taunt and smile at her as they close the door and peer out the window with glee as she looks to you for desperate salvation as the zombies consume her

Panthro82
06-21-2009, 07:09 PM
I think the truest sense of alignment and morality comes from the movie, 28 Weeks Later. The opening scene where the guy comes into the room and sees his wife and a few feet from her is a bunch of zombies that just burst into the room. This is the most extreme case of morality and alignment I can possibly think of. Someone who would run in to save her would be the exact definition of honor and valor.

Killwatch
06-22-2009, 04:42 AM
of a good alignment sure. Although I haven't seen the movie (yet) I would be surprised if there weren't acts of selfish bastards and/or evil twits.

Panthro82
06-23-2009, 12:21 AM
If you like zombie movies it is top 5 all time in my mind...and ive seen every zombie flick known to mankind...

DragonDM
06-27-2009, 03:54 PM
In his career, Magneto has: attacked military bases, conquered entire countries, genetically altered the human inhabitants of the Savage Land (i.e. forcing mutations on them), uses mind-control technology to be exonerated of his crimes, teams up with the Red Skull (who is a Nazi), nukes military jets, rips the adamantium out of Wolverine's skeleton, attempts to blackmail the world into creating a mutant nation, and killed hundreds, if not thousands of people human and mutant alike. This number is more than 16 million if you include the destruction of Genosha, which wasn't his doing, but could be considered his fault.

"A Lawful Evil villain methodically takes what he wants within the limits of his code of conduct without regard for whom it hurts." Magneto does this all the time. Attacking military bases, conquering nations, genetically altering the humans in the Savage land, blackmailing the UN into creating Genosha, etc.

"He [a LE villain] condemns others not according to their actions but according to their race, religion, homeland, or social class." This is how you described Magneto yourself.

"A Neutral character does what seems like a good idea. She doesn't care one way or the other when it comes to good vs. evil or law vs. chaos." Magneto does whatever he thinks will help him further his cause, whether or not it's a good idea. I.e. Nuking Soviet Jets.

"Such a character thinks of good as better than evil -- after all, she'd rather have good neighbors than evil ones." Magneto doesn't care, as long as his neighbors are mutants. Heck, he even teamed up with the Red Skull at one point.

"Some neutral characters devote themselves to neutrality. Such a character views good, evil, law and chaos as dangerous extremes." Definitely not Magneto. He's devoted to mutant superiority. Not equality (which would be good or neutral) but superiority, which is inherently evil.

"People who are neutral in respect to good and evil have compunctions against killing the innocent." This is definitely NOT Magneto.

Now that we've proven that Magneto is Lawful Evil, I'd like to talk about the rest of the list.

I can't quote exactly where each of the following things has happened, it's been too long since I was a Collector. Some of these are from the Comics, and not all of them X-Men; others are from Cartoons; and not just from the resent Movies.

Magneto has also done things that seem contrary to his "LE" alignment.

Magneto normally avoids areas that are not near or related to Military 'interests'. But then, he built the Brotherhood HQ in the middle of a business district, simply to avoid being noticed by the Military: But, even then, he had "Rules" that were expected to be followed by the other Mutants: Like not using their powers anywhere in the area near where the HQ was located. Plus, Magneto quietly 'took care of' the gang problems in the local area, himself - and even leaving them alive for the cops to deal with.

Magneto has rescued non-mutant children, even against other mutants.
Few, if any, explainations given for why.

Magneto has backed Xavier's views; again, against other mutants.

The mutatations on Savage Island were also done by Mr. Sinister, and may not be entirely Magneto's work. This is not to say that Magneto is completely innocent of that.

Magneto has taken over Xavier's School (more then once) as the "Dean", just to make sure that the Ideals that Xavier stood for did not die.
Yes, Magneto's teaching is a lot different then Xavier's, because of his 'get them before they get you' views - but amazingly, Magneto does not force this upon any of the X-Babies.

To me, Magneto shifts between LE, NE, and LN(E).
Magneto's views are always harsh and unforgiving: "Fight or Die".
But, he can be reasoned with, and even convinced that Peace is possible.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
The real problem that I see, RageofGaia, is that the American public has too much of a love for Magneto (and a lot of other Characters) being viewed in a certian way, and because each Company panders to this public in order to keep the sales flowing in, the writers end up trying to find ways of 'returning' the various (MCU & DCU) Characters (Good and Evil) back to this view - even when doing so would not be realistic - ie: not something that a 'real living person would do' - or even something that makes any sense.
And when they run out of all other reasons to kick the Characters back to these 'standards' - they take the lazy way and simply do a "Restart/Recreation" of the entire Storyline.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Killwatch: I think that I will simply have to end with a “We must agree to disagree” on this one.

Introspection is something that is done after the deed, and usually (but not always) done to find a way to 'justify' the act in some way to whatever Alignment the person has:
Like a KKK (or other radical, violent group) member without their hood/mask.

I can easily see the 'good' Hero seeing the little old lady and making the judgment that she is not worth saving, in order to increase the odds of survival for the next person to be found. Like a medic treating wounded on a battlefield: “These two people are critically injured but can be saved – but only if one dies, because I can't do both at the same time.”

I can also see an Evil individual letting the little old lady into the room full of people, simply to later sacrifice her for food.

The true motivation behind why you do something is more important then the deed itself.

TheRageOfGaia
06-28-2009, 01:05 AM
I agree that most re-vamps of comic book storylines seem to be just an excuse to go back to the old status quo. This is sad to me, because it could be a really interesting way to twist up the characters. Like the way that the Ultimate titles did for Marvel.

Magneto saving children could fit a LE villain. LE villains have a code of conduct. A LE villain could refuse to fight an unarmed opponent, but stab a palace guard in the back. "Hey, he was holding a spear," in those cases for Magneto, I think it is something similar. Killing children won't win his war. I agree with you, by the way, I just mention it cause it's the most interesting aspect of the LE alignment.

DragonDM
06-28-2009, 10:20 AM
I agree that most re-vamps of comic book storylines seem to be just an excuse to go back to the old status quo. This is sad to me, because it could be a really interesting way to twist up the characters. Like the way that the Ultimate titles did for Marvel.

Yeah! Someone that understands!! :cool:

That (remakes) was what really killed the Collector Spirit in me; their constant re-forging of Old Characters, and the ignoring or un-needed deaths of New Characters.
Some of the X-Babies stepping up and becoming full X-Men would have been great to see. As well as a few more of the "Brotherhood" brats standing up and kicking ass.

Some recreations of Characters made sense:
Kitty "Shadowcat" Pride being the grandchild of Merlin, as a spontanious spellcaster that was even more powerful then Gramps was simply too much to believe, magical dragon pet and all. Besides, how do you create challenging plotlines for someone that is that powerful? Sure the Superpower World of Comic Books tends to equal the ranges of levels from 5th (Canonball) to 30th (Galactis) - but throwing in something that is 100th level and quazi-deific is just too much. If nothing else, you lose the interest of the reading public. Sure, I can read about Superman's travels through space (and occasionally time), but he deals with things that actually push even his amazing levels of power to their limits.


Magneto saving children could fit a LE villain.
LE villains have a code of conduct. A LE villain could refuse to fight an unarmed opponent, but stab a palace guard in the back. "Hey, he was holding a spear," in those cases for Magneto, I think it is something similar. Killing children won't win his war. I agree with you, by the way, I just mention it cause it's the most interesting aspect of the LE alignment.

One of the things that a lot of people overlook is that Honor is also a rather strange thing, almost a seperate indicator.

"Lawful" people can have Honor due to their Oaths, and tradition.

"Chaotic" people can have Honor due to their deep emotional beliefs: 'this is the way of my people/family.'

Also, both Lawful and Chaotic can be dishonorable.
Lawful will use logical excuses to ignore Honor.
Chaotic will view Honor as a weakness to be exploited.

Panthro82
06-28-2009, 05:37 PM
Also, both Lawful and Chaotic can be dishonorable.
Lawful will use logical excuses to ignore Honor.
Chaotic will view Honor as a weakness to be exploited.

This explains Batman perfectly. The people of Gotham in general were lawful, but had very little to zero honor. The people of Gotham turned their backs on Batman when the Joker demanded him turned in or deaths would ensue. The Joker played on Batman's honor all the time.

Although it is still hard for me to admit Joker is chaotic. I don't know to me the word Chaotic also means unorganized. The Joker was meticulously prepared and organized. There was always a method to his madness.

TheRageOfGaia
06-28-2009, 09:16 PM
There was always a method to his madness.

I don't agree with this. But I'd like to hear the justification.

There are three quotes that define the Joker for me:

"They could put me in a helicopter and fly me up into the air and line up the bodies head to toe on the ground in delightful geometric patterns like an endless June Taylor dancers routine—and it would never be enough. No, I don’t keep count. But you do. And I love you for it."

"You . . . you just couldn’t let me go, could you? This is what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object. You truly are incorruptible, aren’t you, huh? You won’t kill me, outta some misplaced sense of self-righteousness . . . and I won’t kill you, because you’re just too much fun. I think you and I are destined to do this forever."

"When super-villains want to scare each other, they tell Joker stories."

My Joker is tough, intelligent, and completely batshit crazy. He's a sociopath, a sadist, and a masochist. He's violent, fickle, and entirely unpredictable. If he comes to a bridge, you never know if he's going to cross it or blow it up. And I don't think the Joker knows either. He indiscriminately kills men, women, children, kittens, puppies, heroes, villains, and even his own henchman as part of his "performances." He is the epitome of chaotic evil. Why? Because his only motivation is mayhem. He doesn't want money, he doesn't want power, he doesn't want to save the plants, bring back his frozen wife, or even to kill Batman, he just wants to raise hell.

The other Joker... that guy who dances through art museums with spray paint, or carrys around giant round bombs that say BOMB on the front, are not my Joker. Though that Joker is probably NE, he sucks.

Killwatch
06-29-2009, 12:09 AM
Joker is all about whim. Once he gets that whim though he is obsessed with it's completion.
I think that if anything ever killed batman, joker would make it his lifes mission to capture torture and kill whoever caused his death
On the other side, batmans sanity relies on joker. If joker was to ever die and cease to be the example of what he never wants to become, he might start sliding, letting his rage control him more and becoming more an more like the Punisher, which would just be awesome

As for Galactus level 30. What? Have you seen his MSH stats? MSH stats somewhat mirrror D&D an upper limit of human stats is at about 30 with average being about 6 or 10.


GALACTUS

Fighting MN(75) Health: 4150
Agility MN(75)
Strength CL1000 Karma: 3000
Endurance CL3000
Reason CL1000 Resources: CL3000
Intuition CL1000
Psyche CL1000 Popularity: -1000

Agility=Dex
Endurance=Con
Reason=Int
Psyche=Wis


KNOWN POWERS:

Body Armor: Galactus’ armor provides Shift X
protection from physical and energy attacks.
In addition, Galactus is Invulnerable to Heat,
Cold, Corrosives, Toxins, Disease, and
Radiation.
Energy Manipulation: Galactus has Class
3000 ability to manipulate all forms of energy.
He has used that ability for a number of
Power stunts.
• Transform and transmute living and nonliving
matter.
• Project Energy or Force with unlimited
range.
• Teleportation of self or other objects
• Creation of Force fields
• Endow others witMk portion of his power
• Manipulate objects as if having Unearthly
Telekinesis
• Flight at Class 3000 Speeds
Galactus does not use his Powers at full
levels of ability as they drain his cosmic
energies, preferring to rely on his
technologies.
Telepathy: Galactus has Unearthly Telepathy,
but may only read a mind that is not being
read by another.
Technology: Galactus has an unbelievable
amount of technological devices available to
him, noted by the high Resources rating. He
has a spherical shuttle ship that may carry
him between the stars, and carries equipment
to allow him to eat planets without expending
any of his own energies. His solar systemsized
world ship, Taa 11, was destroyed in a
conflict with the Beyonder.

LIMITATION: Hunger. In order to survive,
Galactus must consume the bio-energies of
planets that support (or have the potential to
support) life. Galactus’ hunger is so severe he
must feed every 30 Terran days or begin to
suffer reductions in abilities. Use of his Powers
at full abilities reduce this time by 1 Terran day
for each instance. After 30 days Galactus’ Class
3000 abilities will slip to Class 1000, with
resultant reduction of Power and Health. After
another 30 Terran days, all Class 1000 abilities
diminish to Shift Z (one of the few cases when
such a shift is possible). After 90 days, they
lessen to Shift Y, and so on. It is theoretically
possible for Galactus to die of starvation, but
upon reaching the Shift X level,
he will take any measures necessary to prolong
his life. Galactus may devour a planet’s
energies by using specially-built devices, or by
absorbing the energy (the last leaves Galactus
immobile for 1-10 days). The process takes 24
hours to initiate and complete.

BACKGROUND: Galan of Taa survived the
destruction of his universe and the big bang
that created ours. Created at the same time
as the entities of Death and Eternity, Galactus
can be considered a sibling of these two great
powers. Galactus is spurred by his great
hunger, and must consume planets to survive.
His desire to consume Earth has brought him
into conflict with Earth heroes on a number of
occasions. On the last occasion, Reed
Richards saved Galactus’ life and the
Earthwoman Frankie Raye volunteered to
serve as his Herald (see below).

for comparison


Magneto

F GD(10) Health: 125
A RM(30)
S GD(10) Karma: 100
E MN(75)
R IN(40) Resources: Am(50)
I GD(10)
P AM(50) Popularity:

KNOWN POWERS:

Magnetic Control: Magneto manipulates iron
and iron-based alloys with Unearthly ability.
He has used this ability to perform a variety of
Power stunts.
• Scrambling non-sentient machinery with
Unearthly ability
• Inflicting Shift X (126) damage to sentient
iron-based or alloyed characters
• Detect magnetic fields with Monstrous
ability
• Use metal objects to attack or enwrap
others (damage no greater than material
strength of the object manipulated)
• Use magnetic fields to manipulate nonferrous
objects, with Monstrous ability
Energy Control: Magneto may manipulate
other forms of energy to a lesser degree. He
has in the past manipulated light, heat, radio
waves, X-rays, and gamma rays with
Monstrous ability and effects, but rarely does
so.
Force Field: Magneto may use his magnetic
Powers to project a force field of Unearthly
strength over one area. Magneto may use his
magnetic and energy Powers through this
force field.
Flight: By manipulating the magnetic/gravitic
lines of force, Magneto may fly at Remarkable
(15 areas/round) speeds.

TALENTS: Magneto’s Reason is +1CS in
matters of Electronics and Genetics. In
addition, he has Engineer talent, allowing him
to construct new devices.

CONTACTS: Magneto has cut most of his
previous criminal contacts. He is a member of
the X-Men and the mentor of the New
Mutants.

BACKGROUND: Magneto began his career
with the intention of protecting the mutant
minority by dominating the human majority.
The XMen repelled several of his attempts.
Coming to realize that his actions increased
the fear and hatred of mutants, Magneto has
changed his approach and has inherited the
X-Men and New Mutant teams from Charles
Xavier.

and further


CYCLOPS
Scott Summers

F EX(20) Health: 76
A EX(20)
S TY(6) Karma: 80
E RM(30)
R EX(20) Resources: Gd(10)
I RM(30)
P RM(30) Popularity: 6

KNOWN POWERS:

Optic Blasts: Summers’ eyes constantly emit
a ruby-colored beam of pure concussive force
from his eyes. These ruby beams inflict
Excellent Force damage at a range of I area,
Using a specially-constructed visor, he may
project a beam of up to Amazing Intensity up
to three areas distant. This beam can affect a
single target or multiple targets. Targets in
different areas are treated as multiple attacks
and require a Fighting FEAT to hit. Cyclops
receives a +2CS to hit with his optic blasts,
and may bounce his beam off materials of
higher material strength than the current
Power rank used as a Power stunt (each
target in the path of a multiple “bounce”
requires a separate Agility FEAT to hit; one
miss negates any other attacks or bounces).
Cyclops is invulnerable to his own optic blasts
(and the effects of his brother, Havok), but
may still be stunned and slammed by them.

TALENTS: Scott is an accomplished Pilot of
aircraft, As a member of the X-Men, he has
developed Leadership, Martial Arts A and C,
and Resist Domination Talents.

CONTACTS: Cyclops has led the present
team of X-Men as well as the original team
(now known as X-Factor). He is not on good
terms with Magneto, the X-Men’s current
mentor. Scott’s father, Alexander Summers, is
the leader of a group of intergalactic freedom
fighters known as the Starjammers. Scoff’s
brother is the mutant hero Havok, a member
of the X-Men.

BACKGROUND: Scott and his brother were
pushed out of their parents’ plane when it was
attacked by a Shi’ar scout ship. The boys had
a parachute, but the fall injured Scott,
crippling that section of his mind that would
later be needed to control his mutant Powers.
These Powers surfaced in his teens, and the
youth was recruited by Professor X to be the
team leader of his X-Men. Scoff has served
as team leader for both old and new teams.
He left the group to marry Madelyne Pryor,
who resembled his former love Jean Grey,
thought dead, Upon Jean’s return, he left his
wife to become a member of X-Factor.
26


SWAT Operative

F A S E R I P
Ex 20 Gd 10 Gd10 Ty 6 Ty 6 Ty 6 Gd 10
Health = 46 Karma = 22
Abilities: Law Enforcement and
Marksmanship skills.
Notes: Special Weapons and Tactics teams
are attached to most modern police forces to
handle volatile situations. Members wear flak
jackets for protection and are expected to
fight under dangerous conditions. In dealing
with super-powered opponents, some SWAT
teams are equipped with mechanical
exoskeletons and nullifying restraints.


Fighting
Rank Description Examples

FB No training or ability Children
Elderly
PR Normal human ability Professor X
Mastermind
TYl Minimal training or Vindicator
natural ability Dr. Octopus
GD Some formal training Captain Marvel
Hawkeye
Police Officers
EX Regular, formal training Cyclops
Nightcrawler
RM Superior talent Spider-Man
She-Hulk
IN Superior talent with training Nick Fury
Wolverine
AM Maximum human potential Captain America
Silver Surfer
MN Super-human maximum potential Galactus
Mephisto
UN Super-human with intensive Thor
training Hercules


Agility

FB Physically limited Disabled
Elderly
PR Clumsy, inaccurate Children
TY Normal human reactions Mister Fantastic
Baron Mordo
GD Some training in dexterity and Colossus
accuracy Invisible Woman
EX Intensive training in dexterity Captain Marvel
and/or accuracy Cyclops
RM Olympic athlete Hawkeye
Iron Man
IN Olympic gymnast Captain America
Daredevil
AM Super-human sense of dexterity Nightcrawler
or accuracy Spider-Man
MN Super-human sense of dexterity Silver Surfer
and accuracy Mephisto
UN Movement and reactions in a Odin
flash, rarely misses Celestials


Strength

FB Able to press up to 50 lbs. Children
Elderly
PR Able to press up to 100 lbs. Normal humans
Mastermind
TY Able to press up to 200 lbs. Doctor Strange
Invisible Woman
GD Able to press up to 400 lbs. Daredevil
Human Torch
EX Able to press up to 800 lbs. Captain America
Maximum human ability
RM Able to press up to 2000 lbs(1 ton) Beast
Doctor Doom
IN Able to press up to 10 tons Iron Man
Spider-Man
AM Able to press up to 50 tons Rogue
Electro
MN Able to press up to 80 tons Thing
She-Hulk
UN Able to press up to 100+ tons Hulk
Thor


Endurance

FB Reduced or impaired ability Elderly
Disabled
PR Minimal ability or exercise Children
TY Occasionaly exercise Normal humans
GD Moderate exercise Black Knight
Mockingbird
EX Regular exercise Daredevil
Human Torch
RM Intensive exercise Captain America
Cyclops
IN Enhanced abilities Spider-Man
Doctor Doom
AM Enhanced and trained abilities She-Hulk
Loki
MN Rarely tires, great fortitude Hulk
Thing
UN Never tires Silver Surfer
Thor


Reason

FB Couch potato. Good grasp of Hulk
native language, simple machines Klaw
PR Limited exposure to technology, Aurora
understands complex machines
TY Operate 1980's technology Captain Marvel
Daredevil
GD Repair and install 1980's Captain America
technology, comprehend terran Doctor Strange
languages
EX Modify existing 1980's technology Beast
Box
RM Understand advanced 1980's Shadowcat
technology including computer/ Vulture
circuitry design
IN Understand non-terran Iron Man
technologies Professor X
AM Create leading-edge technologies, Mister Fantastic
such as stardrive or time travel Doctor Doom
MN Improve and modify advanced Mephisto
alien technologies
UN In effect, IS an alien technology Watcher


Intuition

FB Unaware of surroundings, Man-Thing
limited or impaired senses
PR A little slow on the uptake Iceman
TY Normal human levels Black Knight
Angel
GD Above average intuition Captain Marvel
Human Torch
EX Fine eye for detail Nick Fury
Mister Fantastic
RM Detective skills or background Cyclops
Spider-Man

IN Strong empathic sense; Captain America
gut feeling Doctor Doom
AM In tune with all surroundings,strong Professor X
hunches in regard to subjects
MN Senses beyond all normal Daredevil
limitations Wolverine
UN In touch with universe, cannot Watcher
be blindsided

Psyche

FB Easily dominated or programmed Dreadnought
PR Young, untrained, or hampered in Rogue
sense of will Aurora
TY Normal human willpower Captain Marvel
Human Torch
GD Resist ordinary mesmerism Captain America
Daredevil
EX Some experience with mental Beast
control and/or mystic forces Nightcrawler
RM Trained in resisting outside Hulk
will-dominating forces Mister Fantastic
IN Highly trained, or posessing Spider-Man
great strength of will Wolverine
AM Indomitable willpower Marvel Girl
Doctor Doom
MN Intense training in mental powers, Professor X
experience in wielding those Loki
powers
UN A closed mind, practically Doctor Strange
uncontrollable by outside means Mephisto


Resources

FB Reduced circumstances, Aunt May
unemployed, on Social Security Power Pack
or allowance
PR Freelance, poor credit risk, Spider-Man
lower middle class, students Daredevil
TY Salaried employment, middle class Iceman
Ben Urich
GD Professional employment, Doctor Strange
middle class Foggy Nelson
EX Small inheritance, small business, Box
upper middle class, Avenger's Captain America
stipend Tony Stark
Circuits Maximus
RM Large business or chain of Angel
businesses, established trust fund, Wasp
upper class TSR, Inc.
Williams Electronics
Cordco
IN Standard corporation, millionaire Kingpin
Stark/Stane International
Fantastic Four, Inc.
Brand Corporation
AM Large corporation, small country Doctor Doom
Mandarin
A.I.M.
MN Multi-national corporation, Annihilus
government branch or military Roxxon
of major country, billionaire S.H.I.E.L.D.
playboy Great Britain
UN Major country, mega-corporation United States
Soviet Union
CL 1000+ Extra-dimensional realm, galactic Shi'ar
empire or entity Asgard
Galactus

Panthro82
06-29-2009, 06:17 AM
Have I mentioned how much I have always hated Cyclops? lol

The Joker even admits to being an agent of Chaos, but in planning to cause chaos doesn't that make you non-chaotic? Part of what it takes to be Chaotic means to be unorganized. Most of the Jokers plans are very well orchestrated and organized. I think he is in love with the very idea of chaos, but I can't truly give in to him being chaotic. A mob bank heist being pulled off without a hitch does not happen from chaos, it is orchestrated. Every little detail finely crafted. Any form of chaos that has more than one step(which almost all of jokers do) is a plan. More than one step requires organization. Organization is the exact anti of chaos.

The Joker causes chaos. He is from the school of chaos and chaos theory, but he himself 90% of the time isn't chaotic.

TheRageOfGaia
06-29-2009, 11:17 PM
You're supposed to hate Cyclops. That's why he's so awesome. And actually, in Astonishing X-Men by Joss Whedon and John Cassady (which everyone should read because it's excellent) he's pretty badass. For example,

There's a giant sentinel on the grass at the mansion.

Logan: I need to get it's mainframe.
Cyclops: there isn't time [taking off his visor] I want this thing off my lawn.

There's a panel that is entirely red.

Logan: Every now and then, Summers, I remember why you're still in charge.

As for the Joker, in D&D chaos/chaotic aren't really the same thing as they are in the real world. In the real world chaos/chaotic is a state of utter confusion, disarray, and complete absence of order. In D&D the chaotic spectrum is just the opposite of the lawful spectrum. I.e. instead of putting emphasis on honor, obedience, respect for authority and reliability. On the downside, law includes being close-minded, adamantly traditional, stubborn, etc. The Joker isn't any of these things.

But he does exemplify the ideas of freedom, adaptability, flexability, recklessness, disregard for authority, and irresponsibility.

Killwatch
06-30-2009, 04:22 AM
pure chaos can not exist

Panthro82
06-30-2009, 10:49 AM
pure chaos can not exist

Yea that was what I was eluding to. There is no such thing as pure chaos, because whatever caused the chaos intended on causing the chaos which in turn means it wasn't a chaotic action. Anything organized or planned based on the definition is the exact anti of chaos and chaotic.

DragonDM
06-30-2009, 08:12 PM
Sadly, I did not play a lot of Marvel Super Heroes.

Remember that there is another definition to Chaotic:
Pure Ego. The concept of 'I am better then all'.
(ID is the basic concept of 'self')

For good this is balenced against an 'Honorable Limit'
For evil, it can be the fastest way to Insanity.
I was simply trying to give a number valuer for the other readers, as to the 'normal power levels' of Marvel (and a lot of DC) and that there were Characters that went past these, and that did not make any sense for why.


My Joker is tough, intelligent, and completely batshit crazy. He's a sociopath, a sadist, and a masochist. He's violent, fickle, and entirely unpredictable. If he comes to a bridge, you never know if he's going to cross it or blow it up. And I don't think the Joker knows either. He indiscriminately kills men, women, children, kittens, puppies, heroes, villains, and even his own henchman as part of his "performances." He is the epitome of chaotic evil. Why? Because his only motivation is mayhem. He doesn't want money, he doesn't want power, he doesn't want to save the plants, bring back his frozen wife, or even to kill Batman, he just wants to raise hell.

I also prefure this Joker, but will add things that I recall from the Old Days: like the fact that Joker would not kill children, even for a joke.

Joker is full of Ego - and will change his plans as his moods shift.

TheRageOfGaia
06-30-2009, 08:56 PM
Yeah, and that's more of what chaotic in D&D means.

Using the definition of chaos, which is in my last post, and is also from the dictionary, it's easy to see that such a character would be nearly impossible to create, and if you somehow managed it, would not be a functional character.

As far as alignment is concerned, chatoic doesn't mean defined by chaos, it's just the opposite of the lawful alignment.

Panthro82
06-30-2009, 11:39 PM
yea that's one of the things about alignments that annoy me.

TheRageOfGaia
07-01-2009, 01:48 AM
I think the alignment system works well if you lay out some general ground rules with your players. Such as:

-- Alignment is not set in stone. Make it known that characters (I include Paladins) are not restricted by their alignment. Most adventurers will act against their alignment at some point. That's okay. Roll with it. Even better, use it to create drama, or depth of character. If a NG character is in a situation where he has to kill someone who is not evil, give them nightmares. Role-play one out 1 on 1. It'll be fun.

-- Alignment is absolute. Though this sounds contradictory, it means something different. Make it known that alignment reflects a character's outlook, soul, spirit, essence, whatever. 9 times out of 10 when a CG good character faces a certain situation, she will act a certain way.

-- Alignments are forceful. People are attracted, repelled, and influenced by the alignments around them, and your alignment can be changed magically. Make this known as well.

And finally, I call this the Platypus Rule, and it goes for DMing in general, not just alignments but:

-- All mistakes are final.

Killwatch
07-01-2009, 03:03 AM
I think palladium does a really good job of giving guidelines, and I think alignment is a characters core. But as stated it is not a binary program where your character either will or will not do something

The drama and anguish that comes from violating one's own personal beliefs can be great RP

A Paladin who for a moment loses faith and does something terrible and then goes on a pilgrimage for forgiveness from his god(s) and himself

Panthro82
07-01-2009, 04:16 PM
I have a hard time with a character acting out of alignment and losing all of their abilities within their class. If it involves spells than I can see that(the god no longer grants them that ability), but stuff that doesn't involve magic. Seriously you don't just forget how to flurry of blows if you act against the monks code of conduct.

TheRageOfGaia
07-02-2009, 01:25 AM
I agree Panthro.

That's why I give a bit of leeway, even to Paladins. Ethics, and thus behavior, are subjective. And alignment should be a guideline. If a character acts outside their alignment ONE TIME, there's no good reason to change their alignment. If they consistently act against it, i.e. if something in their life has changed (death of a loved one, for example) then a change in alignment is good, because it mirrors the change in the character.

Also, with the exception of characters who get their power from divine sources, I don't like to strip characters of their abilities. I forget which classes lose their stuff from alignment, but I could see religious bards, clerics, druids, religious monks, paladins, and religious rangers losing their abilities.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
07-02-2009, 01:38 AM
It's all about perspectives, not actions. 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, which makes things interesting. Once folks get over that realization, it begins to make sense.

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.

Before you say, no way, just think about it.

That's how I've always run alignment in my games. Whether you like it or not, you must admit that it completely does away with the whole alignment argument.

Thoth has left his mental signature.

TheRageOfGaia
07-02-2009, 02:45 AM
The key error in this whole discussion, my own posts included, seems to be the idea that alignment is a simple question of morality, ethics, and behavior.

The problem with this assumption is that morality is nebulous, ethics are elusive, and behavior is fairly unpredictable. How do you quantify these complexities with numbers, dice, and rulebooks?

The simple answer is, you can't. That's why the first paragraph in the alignment section says "Good and Evil are not philosophical forces in the D&D game. They are forces that define the cosmos."

So, if good, evil, chaos and law are quantifiable terms in D&D, in other words, if you can look at an action and say "that is evil" as the book suggests, who gets to choose what is what?

The DM.

The DM is the final arbiter of what is and what isn't good, evil, lawful, or chaotic, because ultimately, alignment is determined by a set of ideals presented in the player's handbook.

However, Thoth is still correct. Do villains go around claiming to be Lawful Evil? Not unless they're stupid. And as stated elsewhere in this thread, people justify their actions to try and make them fit into their alignment, and very few people believe that they are evil. Because evil people can justify ANY behavior? I donno.

Killwatch
07-02-2009, 05:18 AM
If as said the paladin goes on a killing spree what is the reason?
Is it lawful? probably not
is it good? again probably not
Over all good could be simply to kill everyone before they commit any evil acts and then kill himself
The key here is their god. What does their god approve of? I've never been one for strictly LG paladins. Why can't other gods of other alignments have paladins?

If the key to a cure rests within a very reluctant and refusing little girl and if he doesn't kill her hundreds or thousands might die. I can see him not killing her but die trying to find another route. i can see him killing her and agonizing over an impossible choice.

and no I am not convinced by your argument. you might as well have said all other religions are the work of satan as the great deciever. In which case JC would also be satan

Good will try any other avenue before taking the life of an innocent or acting out of cruelty and malice

Evil will consider it the first option and consider other routes as a either a waste of time or too much work for what could be done.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
07-02-2009, 10:20 AM
My argument is sound in that it eliminates the alignment argument. Problem with the alignment argument is that everyone is injecting their personal belief system into it. Do it my way, problem solved. It's a game, after all. And not about the DM's personal beliefs. It's a game.

You're telling me that you cant agree with that?

Also, feel free to allow other Gods, even of other alignments, to have their form of Paladin. Problem solved. If one's out-of-game beliefs don't agree with this, then change the name Paladin to something else.

As far as everything else you said, those are your personal beliefs. You're assuming though bias that your perspective is the correct one, a model for all to follow. Not true. My fix eliminates personal beliefs and puts all gamers on a level playing field with a common understanding.

Which is why, and let me repeat: My argument is sound in that it eliminates the alignment argument. Problem with the alignment argument is that everyone is injecting their personal belief system into it. Do it my way, problem solved. It's a game, after all. And not about the DM's personal beliefs. It's a game.

I'm just offering a logical fix to the old alignment argument. Accept it, or no. I care not.

Panthro82
07-02-2009, 10:55 AM
I think both Thoth and Killwatch are both right and wrong. Actions are arbitrary. Any character of any class can act any way at any given time. They can refuse to kill a child even though killing that child will save thousands. They can wipe out a village of innocents because they believe that it is for the greater good. You can't determine the actions of an individual until they are presented with the situation in real time. The road that leads up to the situation will ultimately determine how they will handle the situation

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
07-02-2009, 11:02 AM
I'm just not making any moral judgments, here. It's all about perspectives, not actions. 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, which makes things interesting. Once folks get over that realization, it begins to make sense. (I'm speaking in game terms, here)

On the moral issue? I care not. It's a game. There is no Allah, God, Satan, JC, Mohammad, catholic church, or whatever, in dnd, last i checked.

Again, My argument is sound in that it eliminates the alignment argument. Problem with the alignment argument is that everyone is injecting their personal belief system into it. Do it my way, problem solved. It's a game, after all. And not about the DM's personal beliefs. It's a game. It's just a game. It's only a game.

Panthro82
07-02-2009, 11:04 AM
true but I've almost never come across a DM who looked at it the same way you're describing, because virtually no DM can leave their own beliefs out of a game.