Evil Campaign Inter-player Relations

16 posts / 0 new
Last post
So, we just started our first Evil campaign, and immediately we ran into a snag. 
My character is a kleptomaniac, one is a bloodthirsty sadist, one is a con artist trying to screw everyone out of their money with extraordinarily high bluff  and diplomacy skills, and another is a manipulator.

We all immediately were trying to screw each other over, non-stop, every chance that was available. Obviously, this can't work as a team dynamic. Any suggestions? 
There needs to be ground rules between players for an evil campaign to work.

The best way is that the killers and thieves must work together to reach a common gaol to begin with. It takes team work to pull of the heist, reach the goal or find the target.

Once you have reached that point all bests are off. During the team work period characters plot and plan their final move. At this point you find out which character is the most cunning and who gets away with the goods.

It is best to play this games as if it were like that TV show Survivor. You may form sub alliances within the group and plot and plan to over throw the others. At which point the sub team turns on one another again.

As I said, you need to agree to some basic rules of play, constantly talk with the DM so they know what your true motives are and be willing to see your character die and watch the game from the side line.

An evil campaign can be a lot of fun once you work out the details.
Just in case I failed to mention; I am playing D&D 3.5e.
Evil does not have to equal sociopaths who can't control themelves even three seconds.
Evil does not have to equal sociopaths who can't control themelves even three seconds.

This is something that people overlook when they think "evil."

First of all, evil is a matter of perspective.  At least to a sociologist.  Evil means something opposed to established norms, essentially.  In DnD it is kinda like that too.  An established norm being "it is considered rude to enslave our village and sacrifice us to the giant flaming murder-dragon."

Think of the addage "One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter."  Your characters could be evil interlopers in a village but are serving the will of a foreign monarch. 

Here's an example of something close to evil I did.  In my Dark Sun Campaign I had the players take a break from their normal characters to play a group of mercenaries in service to the sorceror king Nibenay.  Their task was to gather a large number of people to be sacrificed to the Dragon of Tyr. 

This was an exercise in two things. One, that in Dark Sun there really isn't good or evil.  There's just survival.  But people inside the world have different perspectives on it nonetheless.  Sorceror Kings in Dark Sun regularly make sacrificial offerings to the Dragon of Tyr.  These sacrifices are made to sate the madness of the Dragon, so that he doesn't descend upon one of the city states and raze them to the ground.  It can be evil in a way, sacrificing people is wrong, however the sorceror kings do it to protect themselves as well as the people that they rule over.

The players played from a different perspective of theirs, where their players work to save every life they can, (well, from time to time), their temporary roles as these mercenaries were spent with a disregard for life as long as it meant preserving their own.  But the mercs were bonded to each other from their experiences.  Because being evil doesn't mean the inability to form connections.

Remember, in DnD, there's Evil.  And Chaotic Evil.  There's Lex Luthor, and The Joker.  (Really a whole rainbow of good and evil.)

Too many people do evil campaigns as psychotics, then wonder what they're doing wrong.
Evil can still band together to take out a common force.  The literary world is full of evil working together on common grounds.
Just find a reason for each character to need the others...  
I know it's cliché, but... Nazis, evil? Yes. Work together? Yes.
My first DM ran an evil campaign that lasted for three years.

I ran one that lasted for about two years.

What everybody says above is pretty spot on.  I can give some advice but you, your fellow players and your DM need to take a step back to work on this.

First you need to decide what kind of game you're playing, and why the group is together.

Also you either need a leader that can hold the group together in some way or an NPC that can.

A group like Magneto's Brotherhood is a great example.

If the group are playing a bunch of solo bad guys that just want to do as the please I suggest you all leave the gaming table and buy City of Villains instead.

An RPG is an group experience.  You can plot and even turn in each other but if you DM doesn't have a handle on it the game will fall apart.

Don't think of evil as sadistic, monsters, thing of evil as a different way of thinking. 

Consider yourselves Wolves among sheep.  Most of the Wolves keep sheep in power (heroes).  You on the other hand beleive such power should belong to those who truly deserve it.

This book could also help the players and DM I highly recommend it (it is designed for 3e though):


Good luck
We all immediately were trying to screw each other over, non-stop, every chance that was available. Obviously, this can't work as a team dynamic. Any suggestions? 

Stop that.

Seriously thats the solution. Don't run PCs that don't get along. An evil game can work fine, just have them all work towards a common goal and respect one another. Evil doesn't mean "Everyone hates me and I have no friends". I'd look to supervillian groups from comic books as your example. They may not get along, but there is always the tough guy who says something like "If I didn't need you to pick locks I'd have killed you long ago". The lockpick meanwhile relies on the strong guy to beat up any guards he can't stealth past. They have a smart guy who makes all the plans and designs death rays. One of these three is often the face, but sometimes its a 4th person who casually explains everything to the reader/bystanders/good guys.

"In a way, you are worse than Krusk"                               " As usual, Krusk comments with assuredness, but lacks the clarity and awareness of what he's talking about"

"Can't say enough how much I agree with Krusk"        "Wow, thank you very much"

"Your advice is the worst"                                                  "I'd recommend no one listed to Krusk's opinions about what games to play"

What everyone else said.  Evil doesn't mean stupid or short sighted.  

Think of some believable fictional evil characters and how they work together: The Sopranos backstab each other occasionally, but most of the time they put greed, family, and a twisted sense of honor first even though they are a group that as whole is willing to kill and steal from innocents and has no respect for the law.  The Brotherhood of Evil Mutants all have a common goal of global mutant domination and are willing to kill non-mutants to get there and generally are willing to follow a strong leader, but they don't steal each other wallets every five minutes.

I have run an evil campaign as a DM and been in several as a player.  PCs need a common bond and all the players need to be on the same page for it to work.  Examples of common bonds: family, raical or  or clan ties, servant of strong leader of some sort, members of some society like a religious group or criminal gang, or all wanting to destroy some rival group or nation.

Some PC bickering/backstabbing is fine if everyone (all players and the DM) is fine with keeping it character.  But if it gets stupid it won't work unless everyone is fine with a stupid/silly campaign.
Reading post like this always makes me think of one of my favorite chars. She was a drow assassin with a soutern belle accent and was the sweetest girl to everyone she met, donated money to the poor, help the needly and the like, and at night, a ruthless killer for the highest bidder. The rest of the party started getting blamed as a string of murders lead to the same trail the adventuring party was on. Half the group was bent on the fact a murderer was following us or somehow framing us. It look a long time before they found out it was my sweet as can be drow. Which lead to what I think is a pretty funny quote.

Player1: Dude your not evil you cant even be the assassin class.
Me: Oh so Im not evil because Im not stealing off the other PCs all the time, slaughter random people, burning taverns, and treating everyone like crap?
Player1: Well, yeah.

But agree with the other post, you can make a great all evil group and avoid the generic sterotypes that you three seem to be hitting right on the nose.
Before you read this, I have a saying for you: 'Nobody ever thinks of themselves as evil.  They see it as a label others might put on them, but it's ALWAYS for gain.'

She was a drow assassin with a soutern belle accent and was the sweetest girl to everyone she met, donated money to the poor, help the needly and the like, and at night, a ruthless killer for the highest bidder. The rest of the party started getting blamed as a string of murders lead to the same trail the adventuring party was on. Half the group was bent on the fact a murderer was following us or somehow framing us.

That...is one of the things that makes this game so great.

It reminds me of D'Jaze(which is a situation related to the op).  D'Jaze was a logical elf mystic theurge.  Rarely showed emotion, but had just about every knowledge skill I could think of.  He was run true neutral.  At first.  I had him gradually become lawful evil with the party.  He killed those the helpless monsters and blamed it on others.  He ran the party funds and took more than his fair share.  He took control over the construction of the party base(knowledge skills).  He got away with so much.  It was done over the coarse of four years of gaming with the group.  They never once suspected anything.  Only me and the gm knew my plans.  So the day finally came along where it was our last game.  The GM told us he had a special adventure for it.  They all got ready, the party left the tower.  D'Jaze stayed back to give his apprentice some instructions.
Then spells flew from the tower and bombarded the party.  D'Jaze had 6 followers of a usefull level, and they specialized in attacking from a distance.  The party finally broke though the front door of what they found out as a wizard's tower.  They never went into the higher areas because they thought they knew what was up there(storage, libraries, and the like).  They found power focuses for the ley lines, they found a necromantic battery.  Two of them got to the top.  One died from the pit sliding trap that shunted people out of the top floor of the 30 story tower.  The last one fell under the strength of D'Jaze's combo spell attacks(couple wall spells with two delayed fireballs and a pulsing forceball attack drawing them into the center of the area).
When the players left for that day(satisfied), I was never allowed to use a wizard again. 

Anyways, what I'm trying to get at was that even though D'Jaze was evil through a lot of that game, the party never had want for anything.  He let them borrow from his share if they needed some extra cash.  He helped fill in gaps for strategies they devised.  He helped the party out so much that a few of them even thought he was good aligned.  So evil characters can work with a group for a greater gain.
I normally do not allow evil alligned characters in my campaigns but I made an exception this last time.  Neutral evil rogue.  She played it very self-serving.

- information gathering she would devulge what she thought was the minimum required to get the party moving.

- in combat if she could not get the drop on enemies she would just hide until the battle was over.

- with regard to money and treasure, she accepted her share.

Interestingly, the LN cleric of St Cuthbert cast Detect Evil once and found her out, but he did not reveal her true nature to anyone...he just started casting detect chaos to find enemies .



Are you really "entitled to your opinion"?
RedSiegfried wrote:
The cool thing is, you don't even NEED a reason to say yes.  Just stop looking for a reason to say no.
I onc ehad a character that was supposed to be based off what my real-life stats would be, though had an excuse to play completely differently later(who would be the same after getting half their soul torn out, turning into a horrible demon monster, getting torn apart by the same energy that made them into said demon monster, then getting forcibly yanked back to the world of the living as a Tiefling, still missing half a soul?). As a way to get power, I made a hell of a bargain with Asmodeus. Give me the power to look for a way back to my world, and I'll gladly use whateve rmethod it was to tear open a portal for him his army to invade and steal the billions of souls I promised him.

Unfortunatly, I came to find the villain that we thought had pulled us here didn't have the ritual used to bring us here, but pointed out where I might find it. Then killed me and I was most likely tortured afterwards to get the info on where the ritual might be found. Could be an interesting plot point for another game.

SO yeah..evill planning on backstabbing the party, but never was Stupid Evil.
We all immediately were trying to screw each other over, non-stop, every chance that was available. Obviously, this can't work as a team dynamic. Any suggestions? 

Step 1: "For some reason you're not actively screwing over your compatriots.  Why is that?  Explain."

There's really only one step in this plan.

You can still eventually screw over your compatriots, but for some reason, right now, that's not what you're doing primarily.  The players (and not the DM, although he'll probably want to help) are responsible for coming up with this reason.
Watch Blake's7. Or, as Terry Nation sold it to the BBC "The Dirty half-dozen in space."
Shuttle can't make orbit because of sabotage--so they start throwing anything not essential overboard to lighten the ship.
"How much more weight?"
"70 kilos"
"Only 70 kilos? Damn, what weighs 70 kilos?"
"Vila weighs 73 kilos."
"Vila? Oh Vila? I need your help..."

"This is Cally. I'll introduce her more formally later. This is Vila. I'll introduce him now--he's at his best when he's unconscious."

"Blake would have been proud."
"Yes, but then he never was that bright."

"Space pilots are a dime-a-dozen. But a truly talented thief..."

"I've had my head adjusted by the best in the business. But it just won't stay adjusted."

"There is a saying among my people: He who trusts can never be betrayed--only mistaken."
"Life expectancy must be fairly short amung your people."

Do evil in the village, and the rest of the villagers hate you. Do evil to the next village, and villagers will cheer you and make you heroes.
Evil parties that squabble amonst themselves end up getting pulped. Together is the way to play, if alive you want to stay.

Instead of petty evil, aim higher. Go for big evil.
There was an old mod where the party is supposed to find the kidnapped prince so that he can claim his now-dead father's throne. We found the fortress where he was being held. Broke in. Found the regent who was trying to take over, and asked for work as his new security guards (seeing as we had slipped into the fort undetected and killed half of his force. We told him who had hired us, and offered to take care of the meddlesom nuisance before he could hire any more mercenaries to rescue the prince. Then we had a patron. We killed anyone who looked like they might become a rival to our influence at court, while slowly working our way up to titles and property. Eventually, we killed the king, re-animated him, and sent him at the head of an army to attack the neighbors. Then we swooped in to rescue the neighbors from the lich king who had murdered their royal bloodlines. As the only candidates available, we offered our services. The Wizard became the King of that neighbor, while the Fighter got the first one. The bard arranged for us to work together to stage a war between two other neighbors, with a third attempting to negotiate peace. When their armies were down, our PeaceKeeping forces moved in and took over both kingdoms. Sadly, their ruling families fled to parts unknown (They were killed out of sight of the locals), so we had to set up administrators... Then 3rd Edition came out.
Sign In to post comments