Evil Gameing

Discuss Mongoose RPGs here, such as the OGL rulebooks, Jeremiah, Armageddon 2089 and Macho Women with Guns
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Evil Gameing

Postby Malcadon » Sat Mar 31, 2007 11:28 pm

I was wondering about players experience with evil player characters (and Im not taking about testy evil players :wink: ). From the old days of AD&D we haved played evil aint-heroes, villains, warlords, mass-merders, rapists, and damon-worshipers off-and-on over the years, and it was always fun :twisted:.

NOTE: Im NOT an evil person, but any good actor will tell you that there is no better part then the one that makes everyone HATE you (exeped for bed screen with a fine actress :wink:)!
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Postby Evil_Trevor » Sun Apr 01, 2007 1:08 am

I don't think we have 'good' and 'evil' as the same concepts in Conan as there is in A.D. and D the characters are often quite 'dark' as was Conan himself in that sense. The setting is grim and violent and most characters have a harsh, violent life.
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Postby emirikol » Mon Apr 02, 2007 7:18 pm

We still play Conan D&D (with some house rules) and have eliminated alignment. It seems evil is a relative term, however acts of kindness and good are rare too.

Selfish neutral seems to be the standard ;)

I've run "evil" games before. Theyre not that great and definately not worth the hassle.

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Postby Malcadon » Mon Apr 02, 2007 8:34 pm

Im not talking about PCs with "something/Evil" noted there sheet. I never used alignment, even in D&D (it is a stupid, b&w system).

Im talking about PCs that are vary ruthless, nasty, vicious and bloodthirsty :twisted:! Like a player that plays her PC as Tascela, who kills young women for her own youth (with the Immortality spells), or a PC that is alot like Jeffrey Dahmer that is loved by people (humm, tasty, tasty people! :D).
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Postby Hervé » Tue Apr 03, 2007 8:29 am

It's your game and you're free to do what you want with your campaign. Anyway, if you want to stay close to REH, your stories should emphasize heroic deeds, in the Pulp flavor of the original stories. Even though Good and Evil are relative terms in Hyboria, Howardian characters are generally heroic, tending to protect the weak and rescue helpless girls, rather than sacrificing them on the altar of some dark god. I really think Conan campaigns should reflect this or you'll not be playing Conan RPG anymore, but just another fantasy game.

I've been gaming for something like thirty years and there's one thing I can tell: evil characters suck. They can be fun for one shot adventures that last a session or two, but never fail to get boring on the long term. Howard characters are by no way goody-goody elves, they may be killers, reavers and thieves but aren't evil in the rigid D&D sense.
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Postby SnowDog » Tue Apr 03, 2007 1:00 pm

I have played evil characters in old AD&D (all PCs were evil in that campaign) but I didn't like it too much. Especially Lawful Evil was a pretty hard to play. Chaotic Neutral or true Neutral are my choices. I suppose this is more or less what "good" guys in original Conan stories were. How you run your games is up to you but personally I like more gray scaled characters and not totally dark ones. True evil is the domain of NPCs and even then that should be rare, at least in my games...
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Postby Hurbold » Tue Apr 03, 2007 10:30 pm

In my experience, players of evil characters rarely do much to further the development of the campaign, instead performing distracting acts that often seem only to serve as a showcase for their supposed evilness.

I think many players are incapable of actually playing realistic truly evil characters, as they themselves are not evil, and are thus incapable of exploring the mindset fully.
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Postby Harlock » Wed Apr 04, 2007 5:13 am

I think the conan mythos itself deals mainly in shades of neutral. That is Conan himself and those around him have done some "evil" acts, but then turn and do much more heroic acts. I guess many characters could be nailed down as "neutral self centered". I think the Conan rpg's handling of this does the job rather neatly. That is a balance with their own code of honour and "whats in it for me?"
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Postby Krushnak » Wed Apr 04, 2007 8:43 am

i find it is as much the gm as the players that make evil games or campaigns near impossible. there is lots of nervous laughter at the table as 1 or more of the people are uncomfortable dealing directly with evil but have no problem murdering hordes of orcs and goblins, but if it was reversed very few rp'ers would be comfortable murdering hordes of humans and elves. i myself have problem playing evil and dealing with all the stuff that comes with it, it's nice to have a reak from all the supposed good heroic games. nothing says evil doers cant be heroic.

in the game im running the pc's have a pact with a sorcerous/demonic entity called Anfauglir(the 'red maw', used the name from the silmarilion) which has the pcs walking in the darker shades of grey, forcing them to sometimes perform some despicable acts but at others allowing them to be heroic and honourable when they want to. such is the beauty of not having an alignment system.

my worst experience with evil was the dark side in star wars d20. the supposed quick way to power was actually the quick way to a gimped character. they even stated in the dark side source book that they gimped dark siders as pc's horrendously because they dont want them playing the dark side. that for me and the other players in our group was the final straw with that game. hopefully the attitude they take with the new starwars edition will be better but i certainly dont have high hopes.
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Postby Netherek » Wed Apr 04, 2007 9:14 am

I never gimped my player's for playing the Dark Side. I found it somewhat lame to do so. As far as people playing evil, I think most go for show case evil, which a gm should put the smack down so hard they really think twice about their actions.

I have played many an evil character in D&D, with the lawful evil being the most group playable as they tend to be mafia types. Evil is fun, but should be dealt with in a realistic manner with all it's consequences that come with those actions.
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Postby Kyorou » Wed Apr 04, 2007 10:02 am

From my experience as GM, I don't forbid my players to play evil characters, but I think it takes a mature player to do so.

Too often I saw an evil character played as a 5-years-old burning ants with a magnifier and lacking any personnality traits besides being evil and power-driven.
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Postby bjorntfh » Sun Apr 08, 2007 8:47 pm

Personally, playing Evil characters is easy, heck both my PCs are Evil in the current Conan campaign. I'm running a Lawful Evil assassin who follows a code of honor, is respectful, kind and completely ruthless and amoral. He's killed NPCs and tortured those who antagonize and mock him, but he shows complete respect for everyone else. His code is "Life is valuable and it's going to take a lap full of silver to justify me killing that guy over there." He's never stolen from anyone (ever!), he keeps his contracts, and he goes out of his way to uphold his code regardless of how things work against him. Heck, if he's forced to initiate combat he'll go subdual until someone actually hurts him.

OTOH my other PC is the stereotypical Conan mad sorceress. Magic focusing on elements/forces (Raven's rules) and feats and skills focused (obsessively) on building up science and technology. She's Neutral Evil and self centered, but the trick is you don't play that as stupid. She doesn't go out and burn villages for fun, she doesn't sacrifice random people, she makes plans, works on them and doesn't really notice if people happen to get ground in the gears.

The trick to doing Evil right is that all Evil isn't puppy eating. Some people are simply Evil by sociopathic mindset (both of my current PCs) where people are things. You don't have to go our raping every child you see to be Evil, you just have to not care about anyone who doesn't prove themselves valuable enough to you to make your effort worth assisting them. Basically, if they benefit you, you help them, if not, oh well. Heck, I've let major NPCs die because they weren't worth the effort to stabilize and I've spent Fate Points to make major NPCs "Left for Dead" because it benefited me in the long run.

Making you Evil PCs "Chaotic Stupid" is a sign of players who thing that empty orc mooks represent what an alignment is supposed to be. Orcs are an excuse to let PCs run rampant and butcher things without any morals, not a standard to define an alignment.
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