DMs, Do you allow your group(s) to play Evil PCs and/or parties, & why?

DMs, Do you allow your group(s) to play Evil PCs and/or parties, & why?

  • Yes - any alignment from the PHB is fair game.

    Votes: 42 36.8%
  • No - Only goodly aligned PCs are allowed.

    Votes: 5 4.4%
  • Shades of grey - Only goodly aligned & Neutral PCs are allowed

    Votes: 57 50.0%
  • Pitch Black - Only evil PCs are allowed.

    Votes: 1 0.9%
  • I don't use "Alignment" in my game

    Votes: 9 7.9%

IceBear

Explorer
I'm just of the belief that in order to properly play an "Evil" character you have to always be planning on turning everything to your advantage, no matter what the cost to the rest of the party. I wouldn't really have an issue with one or two evil PCs in my group (a la Raistlin) as it might lead to some interesting roleplay, but if you have an entire party of evil PCs I just can't see the group sticking together for more than a couple of adventures.

Why? Because the intelligent evil characters will always be plotting against each other. Why share the treasure with everyone else when you could just poison them all and keep it for yourself and then hire lots of guards to protect you.

If you're in the middle of a battle and one of the characters falls to negative hitpoints, and a couple of powerful foes stand nearby, I just can't see a party member sacrificing himself to bandage the fallen member. Sure, maybe the party (and thus the evil PC) has a better chance of surviving if all the members are up and running. But, if most of the opponents are now dead would this selfish evil person really take the chance of being killed just to help a fallen party member? I couldn't see it as a regular occurance. If it did happen a lot, then that player isn't playing his alignment properly. Thus, over the course of several adventures most of the PCs will have died off. Then the players start holding grudges against each other and things get ugly.

Anyway, I guess I'm of the camp that D&D is an heroic game and thus I would prefer my PCs being good or Neutral. If push came to shove, I might allow one evil PC into the group but not much more than that.

IceBear
 

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Mordax

First Post
I'm just of the belief that in order to properly play an "Evil" character you have to always be planning on turning everything to your advantage, no matter what the cost to the rest of the party. I wouldn't really have an issue with one or two evil PCs in my group (a la Raistlin) as it might lead to some interesting roleplay, but if you have an entire party of evil PCs I just can't see the group sticking together for more than a couple of adventures
That's a reasonable way to look at stuff, but it's not necessarily true.

1st possibility:
LE characters can work together for extended periods of time, as long as they have a common goal.

(You can say a lot of things about fascists, but they work well in groups...)

2nd possibility:
Sometimes, a game where everybody schemes against everybody is very interesting. As long as there's a good reason for them to *not* resort to murder, that is.

(I've played some very good games of Amber that involved plotting against all my friends. I'm sure it could work with D&D, under the right circumstances.)

In most campaigns, though, yeah...it's best to keep evil characters in the minority for group harmony.
 

IceBear

Explorer
Mordax said:

That's a reasonable way to look at stuff, but it's not necessarily true.

1st possibility:
LE characters can work together for extended periods of time, as long as they have a common goal.

(You can say a lot of things about fascists, but they work well in groups...)

2nd possibility:
Sometimes, a game where everybody schemes against everybody is very interesting. As long as there's a good reason for them to *not* resort to murder, that is.

(I've played some very good games of Amber that involved plotting against all my friends. I'm sure it could work with D&D, under the right circumstances.)

In most campaigns, though, yeah...it's best to keep evil characters in the minority for group harmony.

I pretty much agree with what you said, but as you say, if you want a long running campaign with the same PCs, you should have evil characters in the minority.

I'm pretty sure that a group of LE characters *could* work together for extended periods (if not, then there wouldn't be tribes of hobgoblins or drow for example). It's just that if something that comes up during an adventure that would work to the advantage of a PC he almost HAS to take it (like a Good character HAS to think of the party good). For example, PCs finish climbing out of the dungeon via rope and for some reason the most powerful PC is the last on rope. If I were the second-most powerful I'd be hard pressed to think of a reason to NOT cut the rope.

I guess I see a party of all LE characters as being like the alternate universe version of Kirk and Spock on Star Trek :)

IceBear
 

Lela

First Post
Shades of Gray

I find that Evil PCs tend to either avoid RPing too much or get too into it and betray the other characters. When the former happens it takes away a good amount of the fun and the latter can create too much friction between players in RL; possibly even ruin a friendship. It's not worth the risk.
 

Crawdaddy's Boy

First Post
I've always found that evil characters can easily participate in groups, if they're designed to. I myself almost always play lawful evil, because I find it the easiest to role play, especially when I'm playing a wizard. And my Gray Elf, Lawful Evil, Wizard and our group's Mountain Dwarf, Lawful Good, Cleric were the best of friends. Why? Because rather than getting caught up on the words good and evil, we looked at each other's motivations. We also didn't play the alignments too over the top. Just because you're evil doesn't mean you are entirely self serving. That's only CE. LE, especially, can get along well in groups because of the lawful. Have part of your law code be 'be loyal to those who are loyal to me', or something like that. Just because you're evil doesn't mean you have to treat everyone like dirt. It just means you have to be willing to do what would be deemed morally wrong by most other people. I didn't go around blasting everyone out of my way, but I would never sit back and take anything. There was one time that an npc insulted my wizard several times, and I set his hand on fire. The reasoning was "the burned hand teaches best. I'm an adventurer, and a wizard to boot. I demand respect." In most circles, burning off someone's hand is considered pretty evil to do, even if it was only his left hand, and while the cleric was very angry about it, he understood why I did it.

For any of your players who wants to try playing evil, or any other alignment they're not used to, just remind them not to go too far. It's the same with LG. Lawful good doesn't mean Lawful stupid. They don't have to charge off without thinking for any and every village woman with a sob story. The descriptions that most places have for the evil alignments are pretty extreme. They were written with DM's designing the villains in mind. A DM's first couple of villains are pretty cartoony, because that's what's easy. That's the way I did it, and it's the same for anyone else I've talked to. A character they're planning on playing for a full campaign needs to be far more complex than the villain you meet just before the final battle. Also, tell them to think, "how could I design my evil character to be motivated to cooperate in a group?," rather than leaving it up to you as the DM, or their fellow players to come up with.
 

S

Sunseeker

Guest
Typically I try to persuade people away from evil alignments, because most people do them poorly. They're either chaotic evil psychopath or a babykiller or some other extreme subject I'm not interested in having at the table. Historically I have enjoyed (both as DM and player) games without evil PCs for much longer. Evil PCs inevitably decides to do some horrible mutilation to someone, murder NPCs for no reason and so forth. If you can play evil and stay away from the piles of dead babies you're fine. Most often than not, I find people simply cannot restrain themselves. And so I don't usually have to disallow evil, as those people tend to end up not playing with me (or I stop playing with them, depending on how prevalent it is).

It's also worth noting that I tell people to keep their alignment secret. I also nerf "detect alignment" pretty heavily to that end.
 
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Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I allow any alignment to be played. However, I don't allow players to play a disruption of the game via alignment or any other reason. If one player wants to play a CE aligned PC in a party where everyone else is good and neutral, they need to come up with a reasonable way that it can happen, or it won't be allowed. Even CE people have desires and wants that will keep them from doing certain things. Negan from the Walking Dead and his dislike of killing women is a good example. He bends over backwards to keep from doing it.
 


Nagol

Unimportant
"I've always found that evil characters can easily participate in groups, if they're designed to." -- said the necromancer while instilling new energy into the 14-year old corpse of a survey.
 

MwaO

Adventurer
I only allow Evil parties when they're all made up of Zombies created by a snazzily dressed Necromancer(good threads!)
 

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