RPGs Have you ever played "Join me in the dark side" type of campaigns?





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  1. #1
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    Have you ever played "Join me in the dark side" type of campaigns?

    Have you ever played campaigns where the players were meant to be heroes but were corrupted by outside influences? Evil campaigns where everyone starts from the "dark side" don't count.

    IME these sort of games are rare. During my 10 years of gaming I haven't played in any so I decided to have this in my D&D-campaign. The results were a bit mixed.

    Two of the PCs were masterless squires. Both were of Neutral Good alignment.
    Their Order assigned a knight to test them to see if they were worthy of an accolade. It was very nice that the players were really in to this and the stakes were high: Failing the test would have basically meant that these PCs had nowhere to go within the Order.

    After they had successfully passed the test the knight revealed that he had boosted his powers by forming a symbiosis with a parasite called "Gutworm" (Fiend Folio). In his opinion the knights needed to have strong weapons if they wanted to defeat their enemies and the demon parasite inside his body was such weapon. Neglecting his own power might've one day cost him his brothers' lives. Having a Gutworm was a small price for having the power to fight for his comrades and to fulfil his duties.

    We had the longest in-game dialogues which were pure gold. In the end the squires turned on each another and the one who had fell to the lure was killed. Fortunately, no off-game drama occurred. What was interesting was that they were still both Neutral Good; The one that fell still believed that he was doing the right thing by allying himself with a demonic parasite since it helped him to become stronger and to defend the weak.

    Even though a perfectly good PC died in a PvP fight, we still had one of the brightest moments of dialogue in my gaming history.
    My humour is sometimes in poor taste but I mean no disrespect. I ask you not to be offended, please.

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    I'd say both were perilously close to, if not past the point, of an alignment change.

    Claiming that "end justifies the means" and conveniently ignoring the possibility a demonic parasite might possess or otherwise manipulate him, the squire who took the lure probably died neutral at best.

    Likewise, killing an ally over a disagreement of means (which don't involve harming others) doesnt fit the "neutral good" alignment. Though the particulars of the parasite's functioning may have made this more (or less) clear.

    Its cool that your players responded well! What happens next?

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    One of my long standing table rules as a DM and a player is that this does not happen.

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    Does it count if the players are trying to corrupt the DM?
    "Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can't Lose"

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    Every game I run set in the Dark Times of the Star Wars universe is like this. I have yet to get anyone to actually fall...though not for want of trying.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Quickleaf View Post

    Its cool that your players responded well! What happens next?
    One of the players made a Chaotic Neutral Barbarian. In his (the PC's) first and last battle he got everyone killed, including the surviving squire, by rushing in gung-ho and the party was split in a hopeless battle against relatively easy opponents. The player had worked really hard to make his squire a knight and his character died a miserable death just two weeks before the accolade. No resurrection was possible since his character was eaten.
    My humour is sometimes in poor taste but I mean no disrespect. I ask you not to be offended, please.

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    Not quite what you're asking for, but in the old module "Temple of Death" (X2) the big final fight is against Hosadus the Master. In the module, the baddie offers the PCs a chance to throw in with him instead of fighting him. When I ran X2 three of the (nominally Good) player characters had committed questionable acts in the course of the adventure, so I almost thought that some might join him - but they didn't.

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    Grandfather of Assassins (Lvl 19)

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    I've had this happen in a Vampire game, does that count?

    Characters started as neonates trying to run a vampire-friendly night club in New Orleans. After the local Prince tried one to many times to use the club to his advantage (and an attempt by Sabbat to burn the place down because the Sabbat hoped to take out the Prince's private meeting), the group decided they could do a better job than the current "simpering artefact" and decided on a plot to diablorize the Prince, destroy several prominent established vampires and join the Sabbat.

    (Of course, the players had no idea that the near-powerless Prince was in charge of the Sabbat in the first place, and the attempt to burn down the bar had been an attempt to fake his own death so he could freely reinvent himself as Sabbat and destabilize the existing vampire hiearchy)....
    "If it has stats, we can kill it." - T.G. Jackson, intro to 3rd ed Hackmaster

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    I once played a chaotic neutral martial artist. We were supposed to be the heroes of the campaign, but the DM was very grey on the good-and-evil stuff, and was attempting to switch our game to a sandbox-ier style. After stopping an evil something from completing a ritual at the very last second, my character decided to complete the ritual so that he could wield the power himself. The DM ruled that this changed my alignment from neutral to evil.

    Whether the DM encouraged my (relatively short) fall to evil or was simply complacent in watching it happen is debatable. Either way, my (accurately roleplayed) chaotic evil character drove the game off the rails. After that happened we lost focus on all of the existing adventure hooks we had, didn't fit in with any of the established settings, and basically failed to be adventurers. In my defense, the game was already teetering because the sandbox style really didn't work with the group, and my character turning evil was really more of the straw that broke the camel's back. This experience eventually led to a personal gaming rule that I still believe in today:

    If you're going to play a campaign with evil characters, they better be lawful evil characters.
    We're sorry, we are unable to Cthulhu.boat. Please migraine the cattle prod when the fat guitar makes wallpaper. If the sun is too long, take five ducks and melt them on a post. Thank you for your Volkswagon. -SJ

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