How do you handle evil?

Well how do you handle it?

  • I'm okay with players choosing any alignment.

    Votes: 30 42.9%
  • I think players who choose an evil alignment are edgelords/wangrods.

    Votes: 11 15.7%
  • I don't understand how a player can make an evil character with in my campaign.

    Votes: 8 11.4%
  • Evil? I think evil is so fun I've made evil campaigns set in mostly evil worlds.

    Votes: 8 11.4%
  • I throw up my hands at alignment because the players are all murderhobos anyways.

    Votes: 6 8.6%
  • I just don't find evil all that fun.

    Votes: 38 54.3%

Scruffy nerf herder

Toaster Loving AdMech Boi
Of course there are neutral acts - they're things you do that don't have a moral component. A lot of them are pretty routine. Getting your chores done, selling your surplus at the market, using the chamber pot.... all things you do without significant moral character or implication.


Why would that not be evil? Does evil really have to be done to innocent people for it to truly be "evil"? Evil can't prey on other evil?

Naturally you should feel free to correct me if I have this wrong, but you're assigning neutral actions this constraint of "it must not have moral implications".

The problem for that assumption is: one can choose not to act, not to support the proponents or agents of either side of an issue/cause/group/conflict. One can also have ethical ideas that don't conform to notions like "good" and "bad". E.g. a vassal can be loyal to his retainer out of a sense of believing in the law, his society, etc. regardless of whether that society itself is very good or evil. His motivations are neutral but they don't exist in a vacuum, the same person is still considering all of the same ethical issues and questions about good and evil as anyone else around him, he/she is a person after all.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Chris Currie

Explorer
I typically use the Law/Chaos only axis of alignment as presented in Original D&D (1974), so it isn't usually an issue for me. On the rare occasions that I use the all out alignment spectrum, I usually only restrict characters from choosing Chaotic Evil as an alignment (because in 20+ years of playing D&D, I've never seen anybody choose that alignment not turn out to be a total jerk).
I love that despite not having an alignment called Evil, they still had Detect, Protection from, and Dispel Evil spells.
 


jdrakeh

Front Range Warlock
I love that despite not having an alignment called Evil, they still had Detect, Protection from, and Dispel Evil spells.

It's important to note that Law and Chaos are literal cosmic forces in the implied game world of OD&D, with "alignment" indicating which a character is aligned with (hence the term "alignment" as it turns out). Good and evil, on the other hand, are just behavioral hallmarks. In later editions, of course, all alignments became behavioral hallmarks and the idea of using them to represent allegiances to literal cosmic powers pretty much disappeared.
 

dytrrnikl

Explorer
I could care less. I just make any players aware that depending on what they do, it’s probably going to cause friction with the group and lead to consequences within the game. Beyond that, have at.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
How do GMs handle evil.

Don't ask me.

I told you why you're wrong; you just won't stop and grasp it.

I have. I don't take you seriously because you can't, or won't, accept simple facts.

You're welcome.
Time to leave the thread. That's two days in a row you've gotten warnings for insulting other members.
 

aramis erak

Legend
When discussing this subject in different places, I've heard all kinds of responses. But the weirdest of the common responses is that playing evil characters is bad, and if you want to play an evil character you are a bad player.
And yet, you left out, "Playing evil is bad, but doesn't make one a bad person."

If playing evil does make one a bad person, then most GMs are axiomatically bad people.

I don't want players playing inherently evil personality characters in games I run. Not because I think it makes them a bad person, but because so few do it right.
 


nevin

Hero
You don't. You're free to assess the fake Hollywood punisher all you want, including calling a serial murderer neutral instead of the evil that he is. You just aren't assessing The Punisher.
I could justify all of the punishers actions using any Lawful Alignment. What does a paladin do when the people running the lawful world turn out to be evil politicians?
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I could justify all of the punishers actions using any Lawful Alignment. What does a paladin do when the people running the lawful world turn out to be evil politicians?
Lawful works with his code, but then he ends up LE. We aren't discussing that axis here, though. We're talking about whether his actions are evil or not.
 


mythago

Adventurer
It's important to note that Law and Chaos are literal cosmic forces in the implied game world of OD&D, with "alignment" indicating which a character is aligned with (hence the term "alignment" as it turns out). Good and evil, on the other hand, are just behavioral hallmarks. In later editions, of course, all alignments became behavioral hallmarks and the idea of using them to represent allegiances to literal cosmic powers pretty much disappeared.

This. Law and Chaos were taken straight from the Melniboné novels, where they are opposed, literal cosmic forces. Neither one is "good" or "evil", and really they're portrayed as leaning evil/destructive because Moorcock was doing grimdark before grimdark was the new hotness.

On playing evil characters, I dunno, how are you playing them?
 

aramis erak

Legend
Legality is a culture concept. Its on the Law/Chaos axis. I cant speak for Maxperson, but I agree that murder is always immoral. There are certain contexts in which, as a society, we accept the immoral action as legal. That doesn't make it good, its just not punished due to the context within where the action lies.
Murder is a loaded term.
Not all homicide is murder. Not even all of it rises to manslaughter (which usually includes the lack of intent to harm).

THe question then becomes, where does one draw the lines inside the area of "Homicide."
 

I don't use alignment or believe it is an useful way to describe morality, so I don't know how to answer in the poll.

But I'm fine with characters not being morally perfect. They just need to be able to work together and not so horrible that the game becomes distasteful to the participants. Though I generally feel that games are easier to run if the characters have at least some vaguely altruistic motivations, though those don't need to be their sole or even main motivations.

I also don't find characters that are pretty much devoid of redeeming features particularly appealing. I like characters with darkness and edge, but it is more interesting if it is contested with some noble goals or very deeply buried heart of gold. Antiheroes and villains with understandable motivations are far more interesting than outright monsters.
 


I find it weird that people think ‘evil characters just want to kill/steal from the party’

ive played in a few games where the whole party was shady to evil. The players agreed to build characters that could depend on each other and trusted each other. Just because you’re ‘evil’ doesn’t mean you can’t have allies or friends.

the games, generally, centred around organized crime, building armies and accruing power. It was a serious game and we weren’t playing silly characters except that I found it difficult to go against my natural tendency (as a person) to ‘help’ people rather than manipulate or use them. It was a neat thought experiment but I prefer heroic PCs.

it works best if all the players on on board to prevent too many in-party conflicts.

speaking of silly evil. This is probably the best kind:

 

This is a strange thread. Although it's in the "General" forum, the language of the poll is couched entirely in terms of D&D, so it seems appropriate to approach the question in those terms.

"Evil" - in the sense of alignment - is a label which we attach to our characters at creation, which is either demonstrated or refuted (?) during the course of play. The reason that I add the (?) after "refuted" is that evil may act as potential - always on the threshold of manifestation - and the great literary reveals of evil are in those moments when it is suddenly made clear that that which you thought was wholesome and good, is, in fact, corrupt and abominable.

This momentary reveal - in terms of a story's arc - would seem, to me, very hard to maintain in the sense of a character's subsequent behaviour; unless he or she can in insert themselves into a new group or scenario which is oblivious to their previous wickedness, and which can then be the target of their next betrayal. Perhaps evil characters are best suited to solo games - something Cugel-esque, maybe. Otherwise, you are inevitably left with a kind of pastiche or caricature: the final episode of The Black Adder - The Black Seal - springs to mind, where Edmund recruits the "six most evil men in England."

In the alternative scenario, where characters engage in what we - inhabiting modernity - might describe as psychopathic behaviour, we can't avoid asking the question of why the player would want to represent themselves in this way. I think that player issues around ineffectualness or powerlessness seems a reasonable conclusion.
 

Level Up!

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top