Dealing with evil party members o.O

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How do you all deal with them?   Our party is entirely good or unaligned with the warlock being the exception.   Im pretty sure my Chaladin is the worst of the normal party, with his unceasing complaints about being out in uncivilized areas ("Do you idiots have ANY idea how hard it is to maintain my hair this far from a bath?!)  I'd like to not have to kill a party member... but Im concerned it may be the only way to get the game back on track!  The DM has already banned future evil characters is why we are considering offing him :p
Well, we don't allow them in the first place.

The easy solution is for the GM to talk to the player, admit he made a mistake in allowing an evil PC, and give the player the option to either change characters without penalty, or change the way the present one acts so he's not a pain in the butt.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
Well, we don't allow them in the first place.

The easy solution is for the GM to talk to the player, admit he made a mistake in allowing an evil PC, and give the player the option to either change characters without penalty, or change the way the present one acts so he's not a pain in the butt.



Salla has a good recommendation here.  I like to establish "ground rules" before any RPG starts, and one of them concerns allowed character behavior.  This is a group decision, but nothing creates player tension quicker than one player running an evil character in a group of players who were expecting a good (or at worst neutral) party composition.  Before the game even begins, and character concepts are made this decision about the type of character behaviors allowed should be mutually decided.

Since your game has already started, and this wasn't done in advance, it is time to propose a meta-game discussion on this issue with your fellow players, and decide if evil characters in good parties should be permitted.  If the consensus is no, then the evil character either becomes an NPC, or changes to a good character.  The player of the character gets their choice of which happens, and the game moves forward without too many continuity issues.

Personally I don't mind as a player or DM if someone "retires" their character from the party, and starts a different concept.  It happened with another player's character in the game I'm playing in last night.  We got to Role Play the old character stepping out of the party to seek out less adventure, and then Role Play the party identifying a new member to flesh out their reduced numbers.  It worked just fine with no noticeable in game or meta-game issues.

I also don't mind playing morally ambiguous characters in parties as long as one of a different set of other ground rule is in place, "no in party treachery allowed" or "In party treachery expected".  As long as all the players understand and agree that one or the other condition is in place from the begining, then it shouldn't be an issue. 

This ground rule can include good characters "taking out" an evil one in a preemptive strike in the treachery permitted scenario, or an evil character getting along with the goals of the good party as long as they benefit in the no treachery scenario.  Remember, just because a character is evil, it dosn't mean they have no clue how society expects them to behave, just that they don't agree with the expectation.  An evil character isn't required to be a maniac or stupid about their evil.  Sometimes they just like cheating on their unfairly levied taxes.  Let the suckers pay.

I hope this helps.
Well if he's just being a jerk, I'd say talk to him about his asshatery, I mean, he could probably say

"My character, frustrated with the environment's detrimental impact on his once shining black locks, lashes out against his party for being here in the first place."

See if that takes the edge off a bit.

If your character is seriously contemplating offing a person, let alone a capible if annoying member of his party, to end the barrage of insults, then well perhaps you are the one with the problem. Just saying, not trying to be mean or anything, but its a possibility worth looking into.

Bottomline, see if there's a comprimise.
The essential theme song- Get a little bit a fluff da' fluff, get a little bit a fluff da' fluff! (ooh yeah) Repeat Unless noted otherwise every thing I post is my opinion, and probably should be taken as tongue in cheek any way.
It should be noted, because I get the feeling this might be the case, that Evil doesn't need to wholly mean crazy, homicidal, jerk or orphan burning, and this is often the failings of people who play Evil characters.

A good visualization of alignment is to think of them as domes. At the center is 'what benefits me' with rings extending out to include friends, family, tribe/city, nation, strangers, etc. A good character is likely to be far reaching with maybe almost a flat top as they care about everyone mostly equally. An evil character probably pretty narrow going outwards with a steep decline once it hits the edge. So an evil character is likely not a sociopath, and does have friends and loved ones they trust and care for. The Evil character will likely butt heads when the Good ones want to save the village at no gain to themselves, but that doesn't mean he's instantly in favor of supporting the raiding bandits over his companions.

So it can work in some situations, yes. It really depends on the feeling for the campaign the DM and the players want to set. Most people enter the game, as previously mentioned, with the mind set that it's a cooperative experience, so party in-fighting is not to be tolerated. Neither way is correct.

Ultimately my suggestion is also to sit down and talk with everyone involved that the evil character is making the game less fun for everyone else. As there was no rule set down before the game began, your act of offing the character is only pushing the same problem to the table. You're overriding another players fun with your own, just as this person sounds like they are.
How do you all deal with them?   Our party is entirely good or unaligned with the warlock being the exception.   Im pretty sure my Chaladin is the worst of the normal party, with his unceasing complaints about being out in uncivilized areas ("Do you idiots have ANY idea how hard it is to maintain my hair this far from a bath?!)  I'd like to not have to kill a party member... but Im concerned it may be the only way to get the game back on track!  The DM has already banned future evil characters is why we are considering offing him :p


Ask yourself this: is the problem that his character is evil, or is the problem that he's being disruptive and calling it "in-character"?

The answer to this question will get you a long way toward finding an answer to the problem.
Seriously, though, you should check out the PbP Haven. You might also like Real Adventures, IF you're cool.
Knights of W.T.F.- Silver Spur Winner
4enclave, a place where 4e fans can talk 4e in peace.
How do you all deal with them?   Our party is entirely good or unaligned with the warlock being the exception.   Im pretty sure my Chaladin is the worst of the normal party, with his unceasing complaints about being out in uncivilized areas ("Do you idiots have ANY idea how hard it is to maintain my hair this far from a bath?!)  I'd like to not have to kill a party member... but Im concerned it may be the only way to get the game back on track!  The DM has already banned future evil characters is why we are considering offing him :p


Ask yourself this: is the problem that his character is evil, or is the problem that he's being disruptive and calling it "in-character"?

The answer to this question will get you a long way toward finding an answer to the problem.



To Pashilak_Mons you must listen! Save you it can.

Evil isn't a problem in itself (in fact overly LG can be just as disruptive to a party) it is all about how the character is portrayed. In one game I played in that was supposed to be a good campaign every player ended up being evil except one yet, no one realized the others were evil until the effects of our DM notes started becoming obvious. (the wizard was experimenting on people, the thief robbing everyone, the fighter taking over the local mob, etc.)

In conclusion, evil is tough to play but can be done, the character and player just need to realize that he needs to be stealthy in his evil or face the consequences of the party (i.e. death) 
Characters currently: Abscense makes the heart grow fonder but the characters disappear.
When he's sleeping and you're on guard duty, walk up to him and coup de grace him with your biggest daily, you should be able to do his bloodied value in a single hit and end the miserable sod's disruption once and for all.  Then the player rolls up a non evil PC and the party moves on.  Playing evil characters mixed with good in DND is almost never a good idea, unless the campaign revolves around that concept.

Just my opinion of how to handle the issue.  I've never been a fan of "evil" pc's, I just found it to be dumb personally. 
Blah blah blah
When he's sleeping and you're on guard duty, walk up to him and coup de grace him with your biggest daily, you should be able to do his bloodied value in a single hit and end the miserable sod's disruption once and for all.  Then the player rolls up a non evil PC and the party moves on.  Playing evil characters mixed with good in DND is almost never a good idea, unless the campaign revolves around that concept.

Just my opinion of how to handle the issue.  I've never been a fan of "evil" pc's, I just found it to be dumb personally. 


I'm not down with this and here's why:

John: "Why'd you kill my character?"
You: "He was a dick."
John:"So are you!"

Alternately:
You: " John, you're being a dick, stop it."
John: "Ok, sorry."


Or:
You: "John, you're being a dick, stop it."
John: "No."
You: "Then **** you, get out of our game." 
Seriously, though, you should check out the PbP Haven. You might also like Real Adventures, IF you're cool.
Knights of W.T.F.- Silver Spur Winner
4enclave, a place where 4e fans can talk 4e in peace.
Having an evil PC in the party isn't inherently problematic - in our home group we have one evil PC, and everyone just watches their backs because we know that he will cooperate with us and play nice with the group as long as we don't stop being useful to him or get in his way. This situation is also mirrored in fantasy novels (the Erevis Cale trilogy immediately comes to mind) and in real life (the anti-Communist forces in 1940's China, for example, were not nice people, but the United States was able to work with them toward the mutual goal of defeating the reds). The situation really hinges on three situations, listed in my own opinion of order of requirement:

1. The DM creates a story situation in which it is *both* beneficial and/or necessary for the evil PC not to immediately stab his party in the back for personal gain *and* beneficial and/or necessary for the rest of the party not to disown the evil PC - I think this is the one that is most often ignored. In the home game I play in, one evil deity is out to destroy all the other deities, including the deity of the evil PC, so good and evil need to join forces to resolve the immediate threat.
2. The player of the evil PC is mature enough to recognize the DM's story as motivation for the PC's evil instead of an obstacle to the PC's evil. The player of the evil PC in our home group knows that it is futile to fight the party at this time, and even if he were to do so, there would be no benefit in wiping out the goody two-shoes only to be wiped out himself next.
3. The rest of the players are mature enough not to take evil actions of a character personally (as long as they aren't meant personally). Our evil PC manipulated the party into taking care of his deity's needs before the other needs of the party. Once it was revealed, the characters weren't too happy, but grudgingly accepted that they still needed the evil PC's assistance, especially now that he had something else they needed. The players, on the other hand, recognized the play as a good move and were highly entertained.

Essentially, much like everything else in D&D, playing with PCs of opposing alignments works best if all players *and the DM* (a component that seems to often be seen as that of mediator rather than participant when it comes to these types of conflicts) come to the table prepared and with mature interpersonal and social skills (mature senses of humor and other types of maturity not necessarily required).
John du Bois Living Forgotten Realms Writing Director, Netheril story area Follow me on The Twitter: @JohnduBois Follow my presence on The Intertubes: johncdubois.wordpress.com
Evil characters are fine... for reasonably mature players.

Evil characters shouldn't be cardboard, mustache-twirling caricatures.  They're simply people that are self-interested, and are willing to abuse others for their own advantage.  And even Evil people are nice to their friends.

So all you really need for an evil character is the simple recognition that you're surrounded by people that are as powerful as you are - if you betray them, their wrath will probably smite you on the head in a 3- or 4-on-one confrontation - but if you work with them, they can probably help you get whatever it is that you want.

Characters that just randomly harm people for no benefit aren't evil, they're psychotic.

The bigger problem comes when players are using the implied social contract (we won't kick you out of the group) to allow their character to perform actions (stealing from party members) and avoid the likely repercussions (getting kicked out of the party, turned in, or killed). 

The bigger problem comes when players are using the implied social contract (we won't kick you out of the group) to allow their character to perform actions (stealing from party members) and avoid the likely repercussions (getting kicked out of the party, turned in, or killed). 



This is where as a DM when a player wants to play an "evil" character in our game, I discuss the concept of having an evil character as part of the group with the entire set of players to make sure they are ok with the concept first (I don't advertise which player submitted the request).  If the players consensus decision is to say no, then that's it.  Their expectation is that they don't want to deal with what an evil character brings to our game and it is disallowed.

However, if they say sure, evil characters are ok in a primarilly good party campaign, then I will caution all the players.  If the party objects to their character's behavior, then by group consensus they can be kicked out of the party (evil character or not).  If their character is kicked out of the party, then that character automatically becomes an NPC under my control as DM.  The player will be allowed to introduce a new character to the party at the same exp level with comparable equipment.

This potential loss of a character points out that evil deeds can not be covered up or glossed over through this implied social contract among players.  This is usually sufficent to reign in most players by causing them to think twice about how "evil" they make their character behave.

I hope this helps.
The complaints about being in the wilderness have nothing to do with Alignment. It simply states that the character and possibly the player is irritating.

Selfish behaviour - something attributed to the evil alignment has nothing to do with it. An unaligned character can be equally selfish and annoying.

The question I have - are you annoyed that the player has opened a new dimension in the game by complaining in character?

That which does not kill me, makes me stranger.
In my experience:


  • A player who is a disruptive **** will continue to be a disruptive **** no matter the official alignment of his character, and will probably find even more annoying ways to be a disruptive **** if forced to roll up a new character.

  • A player who is not a disruptive **** should have no trouble at all playing an evil character in an otherwise good-aligned party (assuming none of the other players are disruptive ****s, of course).

"My flying carpet is full of elves."

In my experience:


  • A player who is a disruptive **** will continue to be a disruptive **** no matter the official alignment of his character, and will probably find even more annoying ways to be a disruptive **** if forced to roll up a new character.

  • A player who is not a disruptive **** should have no trouble at all playing an evil character in an otherwise good-aligned party (assuming none of the other players are disruptive ****s, of course).




This is very simple.  If you know the player (not the character concept) is a disruptive jerk.  If the group at large is fed up with the disruptions.  Then the simple response is to have the group as a unified front tell them that they will be asked to leave the group if they don't stop whatever is considered disruptive.  Put the final decision whether the behavior is worth the punishment back in their hands.

A couple problems exist:

1. The player of the evil character is part of a couple, and if 1 is asked to leave the group, both will go.
2. The guy is a dick naturally, but this is more or less offset by his humor and intelligence, and is 99% of the time tolerable.

The rest of the party isnt perfect, far from it.  My paladin for example, has no qualms over killing/interrogating prisoners or intimidating/bribing people to get what he wants.  But this evil warlock is generally disruptive.  Steals items that we are supposed to return, torturing beaten enemies, etc.  It's gotten out of hand a few times and the party has threatened him, which has kept the evil shenanigans to a minimum so far, although not for lack of trying on his part.

A couple problems exist:

1. The player of the evil character is part of a couple, and if 1 is asked to leave the group, both will go.
2. The guy is a dick naturally, but this is more or less offset by his humor and intelligence, and is 99% of the time tolerable.

The rest of the party isnt perfect, far from it.  My paladin for example, has no qualms over killing/interrogating prisoners or intimidating/bribing people to get what he wants.  But this evil warlock is generally disruptive.  Steals items that we are supposed to return, torturing beaten enemies, etc.  It's gotten out of hand a few times and the party has threatened him, which has kept the evil shenanigans to a minimum so far, although not for lack of trying on his part.



So tell him to knock it off.
Seriously, though, you should check out the PbP Haven. You might also like Real Adventures, IF you're cool.
Knights of W.T.F.- Silver Spur Winner
4enclave, a place where 4e fans can talk 4e in peace.
There are ways to play evil in a party properly to offer diversity without making it too worrisome for party dynamic.

Here's what I would suggest for further evil characters:

1) Just play out the "selfishness" that evil entails. That's pretty much all it is. When you start doing reckless things, killing npcs for no reason, trying to screw over the party etc. then you're playing chaotic evil. I consider evil more "unaligned" than anything. There are plenty of evil people in society- these are the ones that AREN'T in prison.

2) Play a character who has been evil (even chaotically so) in the past but is trying to repent for sins, and thus has not made his way into being good yet. This can be played as anywhere between unaligned to lawful good while being catagorically evil. He could slip and do reckless or selfish acts, but that's part of the 12 step process to alignment sobriety :D

3) (along with one of the above suggestions), don't pay much favoratism to party friendly spells. This may annoy some people, but I just think of it as "hit as many enemies possible with the most powerful spells possible. If allies happen to be in the fire... sucks for them." This can be segued into character development by picking up the War Wizardry feat or retraining out skills to make them progressively more friendly.

If the warlock at your table cant take one of these (or other) suggestions to a workable evil character... yeah, kill the bastard off.
Currently Playing: lvl 6 Pixie Skald in Home Campaign lvl 2 Human Bard in Forgotten Realms ---
I personally think an evil character, if played right, can help make the game more interesting. The point has already been made, if the evil character is being disruptive, talk to the player to work something out.

BUT, here's my point.

The first thing I think you should ask yourself is, "Is the player being disruptive? Or do I just not like the character they're playing?"
This is actually a problem when I play. I like to play a bad character sometimes, so I usually play unaligned (very rarely I'll choose evil). But the other people in my group don't like bad characters.
One time, I was alone in a tavern, so I wanted to raid the till, and what happens? One of the other characters just happens to turn up and apparently pulls me away...which the DM then allowed.

So if you answer "I just don't the character", stop and think about how you'de like it if someone decided they want to kill off your character, just because they didn't like them.
I think it's a really good step to disallow evil characters from an otherwise good party. However I don't think letting this one character remain is good for the game.

It sounds like he is into roleplaying (I liked the quote actually) so it might be nice to have him come up with a plan (together with the DM) to let his character "go out with a bang"? If the character is evil and arrogant he might so something that gets him killed spectacularly. Just make sure the player is on-board with that too. The character might still go from evil and arrogant to good and arrogant without changing him too much. Discuss with the player and get through it together.
It's entirely possible to have an evil PC, but it depends on how evil the PC is, and what exactly they do with being evil.

Our group has an evil PC who has no qualms about killing people but at the same time, she wont just run around slaughtering innocents.  But we also have ways to reign her in given to us by our DM, just incase.

But it also seems, the one example of him stealing items, doesn't place me as evil.  And just because his personality is that of a jerk, doesn't make him evil.  Now mind you I'm just going off what you've mentioned in the topic, so maybe there're more examples of his character actually being evil.  But stealing isn't really evil, I mean in the context of the game since characters, particularly rogues, do it all the time.  Stealing items the group needs for a quest yeah is bad, but it seems like the guy is just a jerk of a player.

Sorry, rambled on.  My point is maybe it would be a good idea for your whole group, DM included, to sit down and discuss things with him.  His character doesn't sound evil, just a jerk so maybe have your DM say he isn't evil, but simply an annoying unaligned warlock.  That's what happened when I played an evil pally in our same group, it soon became clear I couldn't really play him evil, so I stopped trying and it just became obvious he was unaligned instead.

But yeah just seems like the guy is a jerk, not that his character is necessarily evil so maybe chatting with him and pointing out how his antics aren't amusing to the group will get him to tone down.  I mean we've played a game where our rogue would sometimes try to keep gold we found, or lie to the group about much we recovered during some job or whatever, so she'd get more than the rest.  It happens, we didn't care because half the time we caught her at it, but it all just depends on if you talk to the guy I think.
A couple problems exist:

1. The player of the evil character is part of a couple, and if 1 is asked to leave the group, both will go.
2. The guy is a dick naturally, but this is more or less offset by his humor and intelligence, and is 99% of the time tolerable.

The rest of the party isnt perfect, far from it.  My paladin for example, has no qualms over killing/interrogating prisoners or intimidating/bribing people to get what he wants.  But this evil warlock is generally disruptive.  Steals items that we are supposed to return, torturing beaten enemies, etc.  It's gotten out of hand a few times and the party has threatened him, which has kept the evil shenanigans to a minimum so far, although not for lack of trying on his part.




If it really is 1% annoyance to 99% tolerable he sounds pretty average to me (actually a little better than average really).  Most people do have at least a few annoying qualities (except myself of course, I'm witty, charming, and delightful) {hrump, too much ego perhaps!}.  His is just a touch of dickishness.

When it gets to the point of being under 1 minute per hour of dickosity, then I think you are well withing acceptable tolerances for a D&D game.  I would suggest having a group discussion out of game about allowable character types, with a reminder the adventuring party is not forced to work with his warlock just because the player is in your group.  If the character's behavior earns him the boot from the party, then it's new character time, and thank you for that nifty NPC concept.

I hope this helps.
I Roleplayed out a Lawful Evil paladin of Erathis. He did not know he was evil. Not at all.
He viewed slavery and a viable way to create ordered society. He believed the ends always justified the means. He had a terrible ego. He once beat a Lord's gaurd to death with his sheild in front of said Lord to make a point about double crossing PCs (Why the guard? Because killing the noble without a plan would disrupt the threads of society, no one cares about guards right?)

And he died a much deserved death. No one was sad and everyone still talks about that chararter, some with more fondness then others.

The GM let my charater hang himself with his own rope and I loved it. No one in the group minded so long my theatrics primarily effected the Paladin.
The quote about it being difficult to keep one's hair in good order in the wilderness was mine actually, my paladin is a vain, arrogant, egotistical jerk with a very healthy dose of narcissism.  The warlock is just a dick.  We defeated a group of bandits, whose leader had attacked us before and been beaten and sent on his way naked...this time he cut the dude's thumbs off and incinerated them in front of him. ... ... That falls well out of the selfish evil and into being evil just to be evil.

Personally, I handle alignment differently from standard D&D. Everyone in the party is going to be Unaligned / Neutral - unless they want to go to some insane extreme to be either good or evil.  Out of a population of 1,000,000 mortal individuals only 100 or so are going to be either good or evil.  Even the bulk of my monsters are not evil.  I leave good and evil to planar beings which are manifestations of their respective alignments - such as demons and devils.


The reason I do this is because people tend to focus too much on their alignment status and not act as their character would normally act in a given situation.  Someone with an evil alignment might go:  "Ugh.  I would normally save the burning orphans, but that's a good act and I'm evil!"  Someone with a good alignment might go:  "Ugh.  I know this guy has the information I need to save the world, and that torture will force him to spill the beans - but torture is evil and I'm good!"


It's always been my preference that people should act as their characters would act and suffer the consequences for those actions.  If someone is randomly going around killing people for no reason, then they're going to end up wanted criminals - hunted mercilessly as a serial killer.  Likewise, if you want to go looking for treasure, learn of a local goblin tribe, and attack them - then you're going to have to figure out what to do with the goblin women, children, and elderly.  Are you going to put them all to the sword, seeing that they are monsters, are you going to try and have them raised in human society (thus earning you the ire of humans who hate monsters - pretty much everyone), or are you simply going to leave them to starve to death while you take the loot?


My method makes things pretty black and white when you encounter someone who is truly good or truly evil.  Someone who is truly evil is the moral equivalent of a devil / demon, and deserves death upon immediate detection - without trial, even.  Someone who is truly good can always be trusted and relied upon to do the right thing - no matter the cost to themselves or others.  In the other 99.99% of cases  there will be nothing but varying shades of gray between the two extremes.


I generally treat alignment on a bell curve:


IMAGE(http://img59.imageshack.us/img59/898/goodvsevilbellcurve.jpg)


Most people fall between the two extremes, and thus mark their alignment down as either Neutral / Unaligned.


You need to figure out if the player is having their character act in a certain way -BECAUSE- his alignment is evil, or if his character would normally act that way even if he were unaligned / neutral / whatever.


To focus on your specific problem, I don't know.  To be blunt, it sounds like you might be the problem.  It's hard to say for sure as I don't know the feelings / opinions of the other people in the group, but cutting off a bandit leaders thumbs, beating him, and then incinerating his thumbs isn't exactly a major problem in my book.  After all, D&D is a game that is practically built upon violence and murder.  Plus, he let the guy live, which means he's probably more lucky than his underlings.  It could even be twisted to be viewed as a pretty decent act, a form of harsh justice - he's successfully ensured that the bandit leader isn't going to harm anyone with a weapon again - ever.


Was his actions unnecessary?  Sure.  But I'm willing to bet you didn't knock those bandits unconscious, and didn't think twice that some of them might have had families and thats how they were providing for them.


Sure, I can see how your character would certainly have a problem with it, but you and your character are two different people.


You need to speak to your DM and find out what the DM thinks, and then your DM needs to speak to the other members of the group.  If it's collectively decided that the players characters actions are making people uncomfortable or are generally being annoying then the group needs to collectively discuss a way to handle the problem.


Ideally, you're playing in a mature group where everyone can handle a discussion like this without taking it personally.


That being said, I think it might be helpful to ask yourself some tough questions such as:  Why does this characters actions bother me?  Is it because they're graphic and disturbing and this makes me feel uncomfortable?  Is it because my character disapproves of such an action?  How would I feel if the majority of the group disagrees with me and finds no problem with the other character / player?  How would I handle this?


Answering these questions will help you discuss it with the rest of the group, but I would bring it up with your DM first privately.  Others might have already complained privately, or the DM may have already spoken with the player in question.  In either event, answering the questions will help you resolve the problem and discuss it with others.


As a general rule, if you come to the conclusion that you dislike / are bothered by the actions of the other character because YOUR character would disapprove... then I as a DM would encourage you to handle this in game and in character.  Stories are built on conflict and sometimes that conflict is within the party.  Again, ideally everyone is mature enough to separate themselves from their characters and thus don't take things personally.


All the above being said, everyone in the group needs to be comfortable with what is taking place.  It's a game, everyone should be having fun.  If someone isn't having fun there is a problem.

A couple problems exist:

1. The player of the evil character is part of a couple, and if 1 is asked to leave the group, both will go.
2. The guy is a dick naturally, but this is more or less offset by his humor and intelligence, and is 99% of the time tolerable.

The rest of the party isnt perfect, far from it.  My paladin for example, has no qualms over killing/interrogating prisoners or intimidating/bribing people to get what he wants.  But this evil warlock is generally disruptive.  Steals items that we are supposed to return, torturing beaten enemies, etc.  It's gotten out of hand a few times and the party has threatened him, which has kept the evil shenanigans to a minimum so far, although not for lack of trying on his part.




I skipped this part by accident.  I think the approach your group has had is correct.  Since your Paladin is the intimidating type, I'd encourage you to employ that intimidation on the evil character in the group.  Stealing would be something I don't imagine anyone would support.


Though, I have to caution, it totally depends on the type of group you play with.  If everyone are hardcore roleplayers (such as my groups generally are), and everyone can adequately separate themselves from their characters then this shouldn't be a problem.  In character problems should be handled in character, while out of character problems should be handled out of character - that's my general way of viewing things.


You don't ***HAVE*** to kill the evil character.  Beating him up, stringing him upside down, and leaving him outside in the cold - naked - over night to teach him a lesson is one way to get the point across that doesn't involve killing him.  If he keeps stealing, then that gives you license to cut off fingers.


Again, though, I caution - you have to understand what type of game everyone is looking for and everyone in the group has to be mature enough to separate themselves from their characters.


I think this type of conflict is great, though, provided no one takes it personally - conflict is the essence of a good story.

It seems like there are three things getting all confused together here.

1. Player is acting like a jerk.
2. Should evil characters be allowed in good parties?
3. What does alignment actually mean?

#2 and #3 are among the most time-honored debates in D&D, going back at least 30 years, and it is unlikely either of them will ever be resolved to everyone's satisfaction.

But the only real issue for the OP is #1. I concur with everyone who has said "If the player is being a jerk, talk to him and if he won't stop being a jerk, tell him to find another group to play with."

If the answer is "but then another player will go with him and we don't want that" that is unfortunate but it does not change the fundamental response which is "The purpose of the game is to have fun. If someone is destroying the fun, then you aren't fulfilling the purpose of the game."

It has been very rare in my experience that a player can't be reasoned with and asked to play nice. In the rare, rare situations where a player was simply incapable of playing nice, either they go or I do. Life is too short to schedule hours of my time socializing with a person who makes my game time unfun. I'd rather go fishing, or play golf, or play WoW or do any of a hundred other things that I also find to be fun.

Now, I would love to get into a long, thoughtful discussion of points #2 and #3, but truthfully I've done that many times and for some reason I can't seem to make everyone understand the plain and obvious truth of those matters. It's sad really.  
Also, I'd recommend reading the Order of the Stick - Belkar is a good example of how to play an Evil character within a (mostly) Good party.
Belkar carrying around that lead sheet to stop Detect Evil still cracks me up.
Having an evil PC in the party isn't inherently problematic - in our home group we have one evil PC, and everyone just watches their backs because we know that he will cooperate with us and play nice with the group as long as we don't stop being useful to him or get in his way. This situation is also mirrored in fantasy novels (the Erevis Cale trilogy immediately comes to mind) and in real life (the anti-Communist forces in 1940's China, for example, were not nice people, but the United States was able to work with them toward the mutual goal of defeating the reds). The situation really hinges on three situations, listed in my own opinion of order of requirement:

1. The DM creates a story situation in which it is *both* beneficial and/or necessary for the evil PC not to immediately stab his party in the back for personal gain *and* beneficial and/or necessary for the rest of the party not to disown the evil PC - I think this is the one that is most often ignored. In the home game I play in, one evil deity is out to destroy all the other deities, including the deity of the evil PC, so good and evil need to join forces to resolve the immediate threat.
2. The player of the evil PC is mature enough to recognize the DM's story as motivation for the PC's evil instead of an obstacle to the PC's evil. The player of the evil PC in our home group knows that it is futile to fight the party at this time, and even if he were to do so, there would be no benefit in wiping out the goody two-shoes only to be wiped out himself next.
3. The rest of the players are mature enough not to take evil actions of a character personally (as long as they aren't meant personally). Our evil PC manipulated the party into taking care of his deity's needs before the other needs of the party. Once it was revealed, the characters weren't too happy, but grudgingly accepted that they still needed the evil PC's assistance, especially now that he had something else they needed. The players, on the other hand, recognized the play as a good move and were highly entertained.

Essentially, much like everything else in D&D, playing with PCs of opposing alignments works best if all players *and the DM* (a component that seems to often be seen as that of mediator rather than participant when it comes to these types of conflicts) come to the table prepared and with mature interpersonal and social skills (mature senses of humor and other types of maturity not necessarily required).



I have an evil character in a mostly Good party right now and this pretty much how I play him. He's trying to save Azemodues and the Hells from being taken over by a powerful army of god-like beings trying to destroy the Old Gods (from PHB and the like) and he realizes that the party is a means to that end. Thus, he's already said to them (several times) as long as they can remain useful to them, they have no worries of him backstabbing them. Of course, things will change once these god-like beings are stopped, but we'll worry about that when we get there.

Of course, this still doesn't stop me from killing everything I percieve as an enemy, making puppet heads out of the severed heads of people from a destroied village or using my evilness to my full advantage against NPCs. It also helps that I have possession of a powerful magic item our group needs and if I die, they loose access to it.

Basically, the group is well aware of what I am and knows to watch their backs and try to keep me in check but they also know I'll work for the group's benefit 9/10 times rather than trying to impeed our progess at every turn.

This thread is giving me like, a million character ideas
The only advice I will give on playing an evil character in a good campaign is that well designed and well-played characters are not usually comic book caricatures or stereotypes. "Evil" characters are not compelled to **** and pillage the countryside. Nor are they compelled to steal from their party members. One of the great things about playing evil characters is that you can act good whenever you want to. Characters should also develop realistic relationships with other characters, and just the mutual respect developed in life-or-death battles with comrades should be enough to stop most evil characters from randomly backstabbing their party members.

 Sometimes it's fun to play a sneaky, backstabbing, pickpocketing character, but in my experience it's usually not fun for the rest of the gaming group. It creates potential conflict between the PLAYERS when an evil character is caught stealing from the party treasurer, or worse, when the evil character backstabs another character in their sleep. I have rarely seen those situations turn out well for the gaming group.

 My evil characters are complex, multi-layered personalities who develop relationships and build trust based on their experiences. My evil wizard once was forced to adventure with a chaotic good monk, and by the end of the campaign the two had built such a bond that either one would come to the aid of the other at a moments notice. They were friends, and friends don't typically steal from or backstab each other. This sort of relationship creates situations a good DM can play off of to create complex backstories and interesting conflict. 

It has been my experience that mixed party alignment requires experienced players to pull off smoothly. 
The only advice I will give on playing an evil character in a good campaign is that well designed and well-played characters are not usually comic book caricatures or stereotypes. "Evil" characters are not compelled to **** and pillage the countryside. Nor are they compelled to steal from their party members. One of the great things about playing evil characters is that you can act good whenever you want to. Characters should also develop realistic relationships with other characters, and just the mutual respect developed in life-or-death battles with comrades should be enough to stop most evil characters from randomly backstabbing their party members.

 Sometimes it's fun to play a sneaky, backstabbing, pickpocketing character, but in my experience it's usually not fun for the rest of the gaming group. It creates potential conflict between the PLAYERS when an evil character is caught stealing from the party treasurer, or worse, when the evil character backstabs another character in their sleep. I have rarely seen those situations turn out well for the gaming group.

 My evil characters are complex, multi-layered personalities who develop relationships and build trust based on their experiences. My evil wizard once was forced to adventure with a chaotic good monk, and by the end of the campaign the two had built such a bond that either one would come to the aid of the other at a moments notice. They were friends, and friends don't typically steal from or backstab each other. This sort of relationship creates situations a good DM can play off of to create complex backstories and interesting conflict. 

It has been my experience that mixed party alignment requires experienced players to pull off smoothly. 



I've been playing the unaligned "sneaky" character in my group for 6 months (Brinder is an Assassin).  The funny thing is that as a player I'm the one who keeps track of the party treasure for each adventure, and makes sure every player knows what shares their character has.  No one in my group has worried one bit that my character might rip their character off using my "bookkeeping" advantage.  That's my reputation as a straight forward player comming out I guess.

In character Brinder is a religious fanatic, and a unrepentant killer.  However, he is neither cruel or a thief.  Money just doesn't make his list of top ten personal motivations, and to him it is just another tool to be used to get his job done.

I hope this helps.
In character Brinder is a religious fanatic, and a unrepentant killer.  However, he is neither cruel or a thief.  Money just doesn't make his list of top ten personal motivations, and to him it is just another tool to be used to get his job done.



Heh, and this is why the alignment debate never ends. This doesn't sound "unaligned" to me. "Unrepentant killer?" I think there's a different alignment for that. But that's just me. Laughing
In character Brinder is a religious fanatic, and a unrepentant killer.  However, he is neither cruel or a thief.  Money just doesn't make his list of top ten personal motivations, and to him it is just another tool to be used to get his job done.



Heh, and this is why the alignment debate never ends. This doesn't sound "unaligned" to me. "Unrepentant killer?" I think there's a different alignment for that. But that's just me. 



The difference is the reason for killing.  Brinder doesn't feel bad about killing because much like with "good" characters Brinder kills to accomplish his mission objectives.  He does not kill for pleasure, and he will seek other methods of accomplish the mission before resorting to killing.  If it becomes necessary to kill, Brinder simply has no moral qualms about doing it.  Brinder as a devout worshiper of the White Raven (a Raven Queen analog) and a former resident of the Shadowfell views death differently than most average Prime Material dwellers.  For him it is part of the great cycle of existence. 

What makes him "unaligned" as opposed to "good" is that Brinder is not generally concerned with the "alignment" of his target.  He won't deliberately kill an innocent, but most real innocents would never end up on his radar as a mission target.  During combat if an opponent surrenders or flees (even a monster opponent) Brinder will honor the surrender/retreat and not attempt to slay them anyway.  I've seen plenty of supposedly "good" aligned characters who won't do as much.

Brinder won't kill children or other helpless beings (not even supposedly evil ones).  Brinder also won't kill anyone with which he is real friends.  However, he will pretend to like someone if that helps him get close to his target.

His current "base" mission in the Chaos Scar near Restwell Keep is to find those beings which have been corrupted by the influence of the Chaos Scar meteorite, and dispatch them.  To this end he has no problem working with a "good" party without conflict.  They are looking for loot, gear, and evil beings to beat up while Brinder is looking for several select corrupted beings to destroy.  One thing which sets him apart from the group is that he is more prone to kneel to say prayers for the spirits of their departed foes than even the "religious" members of the party.

Why isn't he good then?  Brinder isn't performing these missions out of a sense of altruism.  He's pretty much an indoctrinated "true believer" of a young man following his orders.  He's too young and inexperienced yet to question these orders, or consider their rightness.  I'm hoping this campaign runs long enough to adjust this somewhat as things progress.  As a player I don't plan to have Brinder swing toward evil, but I may have him gradually shift toward good.

I hope this helps.
zmortis, thanks for the description of Brinder's motivations. I was keying on the "unrepentant" part of the description, it implied to me a wanton killer,  but I see that Brinder has rules which seem quite reasonable and you just meant he views killing his targets as a necessary act which gives him no moral qualm. In that way he sounds a lot like my unaligned ranger, so I would be hypocritical to argue a different alignment after your description.
zmortis, thanks for the description of Brinder's motivations. I was keying on the "unrepentant" part of the description, it implied to me a wanton killer,  but I see that Brinder has rules which seem quite reasonable and you just meant he views killing his targets as a necessary act which gives him no moral qualm. In that way he sounds a lot like my unaligned ranger, so I would be hypocritical to argue a different alignment after your description.



I do try to carefully consider character motivation before I decide on the alignment of a character.  What keeps Binder firmly out of the "evil" side of the fence is his lack of pleasure or having any compelling desire to kill beyond making his mentors and goddess happy with his job performance.  If I can swing him around to being concerned about the target's alignment, and having an overall altruistic outlook (which should be very possible while hanging out with a "good" party), then his alignment will gradually shift toward good as the campaign progresses.  I'm starting Brinder at this point, so that I can gradually have him loose some of his calous nature and grow as a "human being" through the campaign story arc.

I hope this helps.
zmortis... your description of your planning and development of your character sounds quite similar to my own ways of dealing with characters. I do like them to grow. Some DMs have a problem with shifting alignment though. Hope you have a good DM. Wink
Cathartic events, deliberate role playing efforts and subtle behavior patterns are all acceptable ways to shift a character's alignment.

I recently had a shifter who had to assume the identity of a Master of Ceremonies for a cruel pitfighter owner. The whole identity. I was the only person in the party who could do it and it was imperative that I succeed at my efforts. Imagine my surprise when the DM put me in charge of a Slave event at a royal feast. I succeed at the event with flying colors, but my character is still bitter about some of what he did to do in order to succeed. (I passed out poisonous snakes to nobles to throw at slaves who were winning but would ruin their bets, heated the blades and handles of weapons to make the fight more interesting and exploited a fellow party member in a fight to add "danger" even though there was little chance of losing.) My character did all of this because the he felt that the persona he assumed would have AND failure was not an option. (It was of course, but Player knowledge is just that)

He was pretty close to becoming "good" but has slipped firmly back to neutral now.

He feels that to be good / responsible things so much greater then himself are a burden he will leave to the gods. And he is slowly burning out on the great nobility of sacrifice and is moving toward immortality as a form of self preservation (we are almost epic tier)
zmortis... your description of your planning and development of your character sounds quite similar to my own ways of dealing with characters. I do like them to grow. Some DMs have a problem with shifting alignment though. Hope you have a good DM. 



The DM for this campaign is one I've been playing with since 1980.  I've briefed him pretty well on my character concept, and he's generally pretty fine with where I'm taking it in context to his campaign planning.  Mainly the fact that I won't use my "character concept" as an excuse to screw with the other party members is what he is concerned with in terms of development.  I've deliberately build my character background such that his "mission targets" are assigned by DM controlled NPCs.

Playing this long together we've build a bond of trust that I won't blow up his campaign and I will keep my character useful to the overall party goals.

I hope this helps.
If you are interested in how I narratively develop the basis of a character background, then my character "origin" story is in this thread here: community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758....

I hope you like it.