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#1 mkenaz

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Posted 09 October 2009 - 01:29 AM

So im starting my frist DnD session as dm, and all my players want to be different alignments, now i dont want to start off telling them no, so what would be a good story way to put the evil characters in line? i was thinking about just jailing them or having an "accident" but im not sure any suggestions>
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#2 Daniel

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Posted 09 October 2009 - 02:33 AM

I'd say, either put your foot down now, or let them have it their way.
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#3 BigJackBrass

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Posted 09 October 2009 - 10:27 AM

Alignments can be an absolute pain in the backside.

My suggestion is to either insist that everyone chooses the same alignment (or at least not be an "evil" alignment) or else go the route of Empire of the Petal Throne. In that game alignments actually make sense because they refer to the two types of god in the setting, on top of which your jewellery and clothing decoration declares what your alignment is. Being "evil" (called Change in later Tékumel works) doesn't mean that you're an anti-social murderous thieving lunatic, you have to follow the same rules as everyone else. Moreover, the gods themselves - and by extension their followers - have an uneasy truce in effect, the concordat, by which all must abide, at least in public. More information can be found at the official Tékumel site.

If some players insist on being evil / chaotic (I'm not sure which edition you're playing) you might want to ask them why and find out what they expect to get from it. Wanton evil ought to have consequences. The trouble is, if you're not careful your players will feel that you are penalising them unjustly.

It's a lot easier to just say "no evil." Ask Hal :twisted:
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#4 Vaeron

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Posted 09 October 2009 - 03:22 PM

I don't have much to offer in the way of advice, but I will say that the types of players who decide to be evil because it's cool tend to be problem players in general, in my experience. I can only recall, right off hand, one campaign where an evil-aligned character made a positive contribution to the game.

It's very difficult to motivate an evil, selfish PC to follow the plot. Artificial excuses have to be made up as to why they would help rescue so and so instead of selling out the rest of the party for a greater profit. Almost universally, evil characters are detrimental to a game like D&D far more so than in more storyteller-oriented gaming systems.

I would discourage it. At least make them pay the consequence for any evil acts they might commit and not take it easy on them (eg the town guard doesn't arrest them for some reason).
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#5 Ieqo

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Posted 09 October 2009 - 06:41 PM

I would ask the players in question why they would choose evil. If they answer (or if in your experience playing with them the answer is) "because I want to burn villages and eat dead, burnt bodies"... Well, that's when I'd be tempted to say, "Ya know, I really don't think that's going to fit with the story we're telling."

If on the other hand, the answer is, "because I want a character who is capable of ruthlessness, isn't afraid to say that the Evil Lord Chronic Halitosis needs to be assassinated, and isn't going to go all teary-eyed every time a unicorn gets a rock caught in its hoof"... Well, then that's an entirely different kettle of fish.

In short, if these players are mature enough to realize that just because it says, "lawful evil" on the sheet doesn't automatically mean that they are cannibals incapable of friendship, then why not let them? Han Solo was lawful evil, I don't care what George Lucas wants the next generation to believe. If they do not possess the requisite maturity then say no.
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#6 dualshock71

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Posted 09 October 2009 - 06:46 PM

I would ask the players in question why they would choose evil. If they answer (or if in your experience playing with them the answer is) "because I want to burn villages and eat dead, burnt bodies"... Well, that's when I'd be tempted to say, "Ya know, I really don't think that's going to fit with the story we're telling."

If on the other hand, the answer is, "because I want a character who is capable of ruthlessness, isn't afraid to say that the Evil Lord Chronic Halitosis needs to be assassinated, and isn't going to go all teary-eyed every time a unicorn gets a rock caught in its hoof"... Well, then that's an entirely different kettle of fish.

In short, if these players are mature enough to realize that just because it says, "lawful evil" on the sheet doesn't automatically mean that they are cannibals incapable of friendship, then why not let them? Han Solo was lawful evil, I don't care what George Lucas wants the next generation to believe. If they do not possess the requisite maturity then say no.


No, Darth Vader was Lawful Evil. Han was more Neutral Evil.

I'd say the same thing Ieqo said; if they're mature enough to realize that they're playing selfish bastards, as opposed to uncontrollable serial killing cannibals, then let them. If not, don't.
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#7 Telemergion

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Posted 09 October 2009 - 06:59 PM

There are two big problems I've found with allowing evil alignments in a mixed group. One is that it often times leads to actions which should (and in my games do) have severe consequences. The other is that it splits the party. As long as players are aware that wanton murder and mayhem might make them a little unpopular around town, the first one can sometimes be dealt with and occasionally used as a plot hook. I find the second one to be the worst of the two.

If you have charcaters and/or players who are comfortable with amoral behaviour, maybe it's not an issue. If you're rigidly focused on those two words which apparently denote your entire life's actions and reactions, then the pally and the rogue are likely going to have issues with one another. This, however, doesn't always have to end badly.

One of my favourite examples is the anime Hunter X Hunter. It's been years since I watched it, so forgive the lack of details, but one of the characters I would say is very certainly a kind of DnD evil. Not sure exactly which one, but I'll say Lawful. Now the main character is fairly solidly a Chaotic Good alignment, and the two of them are best friends. True, the evil one usually tries to keep his evil behaviour away from the hero, because he doesn't want to reveal that part of himself or expose his innocent friend tot hat world, but the fact remains that he not only gets to have his alignment that lets him murder people for his own reasons, but doesn't split up the party to do it.

As others have mentioned before, it all depends on what your players in question are intending to try and get away with. Whenever I have a player ask to be evil, one question I always ask is "So why is he going to stick with the party?" and if I don't feel comfortable letting that person in I don't allow the character.
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#8 weasel

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Posted 10 October 2009 - 04:01 AM

I'd say the same thing Ieqo said; if they're mature enough to realize that they're playing selfish bastards, as opposed to uncontrollable serial killing cannibals, then let them. If not, don't.


Or, let them all play uncontrollable serial killing cannibals :D

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#9 Balgin

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Posted 10 October 2009 - 07:32 AM

Which onflicting alignments do they want to play? Knowing that would make helping you easier.

An important thing to remember is that alignment is not personality. It's a guideline for the character's outlook upon society. And nothing more. A lawful character does not need to always behave in strict predictible ways. It simply means that they respect the laws and legal systems society uses "because they probably work out for the best". Now this might extend to blind trust in a corrupt system, but is more likely to lead to them oposing freedom fighters on the principle that "even this corrupt regime is better than the lawlessness that would follow it's collapse".

It is entirely possible to play a lawful character who is an unreliable mess. They drink, get robbed, lose things and trust the system to sort things out for them. Or even believe that they've found their place in the system and shouldn't complain really (even if it is a particularly poor place).

Chaotic characters are not whimsical, silly or irrational (unless you want them to be). They just don't trust "the system" to do things right. Even if it does. They'll mutter about police corruption, maybe even have conspiracy theories.

Now remember that Evil actively goes out of it's way to make other people's lives unpleasant. "I'm just out for myself and selfish and not interested in anyone else's wellbeing" is not evil. That's neutral. Not altruistic enough to be good and not malicious and sadistic enough to be evil.

And true neutral is not the average normal majority alignment. It's a massive minority (and people shouldn't just pick it for protection from all alignment based spelsl and expect to get away with it).
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#10 Nauthiz

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Posted 10 October 2009 - 12:50 PM

One of the important things that should always happen, even before character generation and such, is you guys should collectively decide what kind of game you want to play. I don't mean just deciding D&D or GURPS, but what elements you want to see.

Are people looking to just run from one dungeon crawl to another? Are they wanting some sort of epic quest against a world threatening evil? Do they want to be based in a city, and all be part of the guard?

Putting in some concrete elements helps not only define the players' expectations of you, but also what your and the group's expectations are of them.

Obviously if everyone's decided to play virtuous gallant heroes the backstabbing evil half lich with a penchant for mutilating the people he kills isn't going to work.

It's important to do this even if you're just running a module. If someone wants to be "evil" everyone should agree on what exactly that means and what sorts of consequences it could have on the game.

There's nothing worse than getting into a game with a bunch of completely random characters, trying to fit all of that random into a scenario and then having it fall apart because the game is being pulled in so many directions at once by all the different influences it can't go anywhere at all.
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#11 mkenaz

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Posted 11 October 2009 - 08:34 AM

Thank you all for the replys, what i think the major problem is, is that i let them go through my complete fighters handbook adnd second, and so I have a lawful good caviler, and a lawful good priest, then a chaotic evil swashbuckler, and undecided evil rouge, and its like talking to a wall asking them why they just didn't kill each other, i just can't see Sturm and Jack Sparrow, (yes they arn't very creative) not trying to cut each others throats, i can live with the thief i have many horrible traps in mind :twisted:. Its just i expect either of the two offending players to be party leader and im not sure which way its going to go
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#12 Nauthiz

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Posted 11 October 2009 - 01:09 PM

Well, best to see how it goes. It might not go to bad. As long as everyone at the table (including you) is having fun. Then so be it.

But, if the game dies horribly due to the inter-party conflict make sure the group has a good post-mortem and discusses exactly why the game failed and what can be done in future games to avoid it.
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#13 mkenaz

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Posted 11 October 2009 - 11:10 PM

Han solo? evil i dunno if that was the case would he not have bugged out and not saved luke? definatly chaotic but evil?
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#14 Mordion

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Posted 12 October 2009 - 03:09 PM

Han solo? evil i dunno if that was the case would he not have bugged out and not saved luke? definatly chaotic but evil?



Being evil doesn't mean you can't have friends, or even love people enough to take some risk for them. Or, at least it doesn't in my definition of evil, and personal definitions of evil are what's at issue here. I think Balgin's definition of evil is pretty different from the definitions that Ieqo or Dualshock would give.
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#15 Balgin

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Posted 12 October 2009 - 06:14 PM

Han solo? evil i dunno if that was the case would he not have bugged out and not saved luke? definatly chaotic but evil?


Nah, blatantly chaotic neutral. I don't know where that wally got neutral evil from.

I think Balgin's definition of evil is pretty different from the definitions that Ieqo or Dualshock would give.

However, it's also the one the alignment system udner discussion sues and as such, it works.
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#16 Ieqo

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Posted 12 October 2009 - 08:57 PM

Han solo? evil i dunno if that was the case would he not have bugged out and not saved luke? definatly chaotic but evil?


Only if you subscribe to the idea that all evil people are sociopaths that don't form or care about friendships. :-)

As for my evidence of his "evil"... Well, he did shoot Greedo first, he was trying to destroy the patrol fighter they encountered in the Alderaan System (despite the fact that it hadn't fired on them--so you can't even use the self-defense argument like you could with Greedo), and couldn't care less about rescuing the Princess until reward was mentioned (if you say that indifference is neutral rather than evil, thank you, now please tell that to every GM I've ever had who threatened bogus alignment punishments for us not caring about the NPCs--AND remind yourself to STFU next time you complain about big corporations). Don't even get me started on those evil, lying, manipulative, serial-maiming Jedi.
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#17 thranduul

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Posted 12 October 2009 - 09:21 PM

... (if you say that indifference is neutral rather than evil, thank you, now please tell that to every GM I've ever had who threatened bogus alignment punishments for us not caring about the NPCs--AND remind yourself to STFU next time you complain about big corporations). Don't even get me started on those evil, lying, manipulative, serial-maiming Jedi.


Hmmm, I sense much anger in you do I... :yoda:
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