A.k.a. Give me a break - You seriously want to do that?
This is a continuation from the first episode of D4rkVision. In the first episode we discussed the initial introduction to playing an Evil PC. Part two here will discuss how to deal with players who go too far with their alignment, specifically related to Lawful Good and Evil PC's. DM's have all had that player who play the Lawful Good Paladin who wants to kill evildoers before they even do anything. I've been a player on the end of a paladin's blade because of the Paladin's detect evil ability. My main argument, I haven't done anything evil near you. This changed the way my DM at the time thought on Evil characters(PC's specifically).
This was a quite annoying thing to have happen to me and this was back when I played in 3rd edition(3/3.5), when paladins were restricted to a single alignment. In the current edition any class can be any alignment, most people however stick with Lawful Good, Good and Unaligned with the reasoning that the books only support that. I allow my players(when I have them) to play any alignment they want, even the Evil and Chaotic Evil pair. Chaotic Evil characters tend to be the more destructive of characters, from setting buildings on fire to cutting random people apart, DM's have an easy time justifying playing this alignment on their end.
Do players have just as easy of a time? Not really, though its not entirely because they don't know how to play the Chaotic Evil alignment. Its more because players of chaotic evil characters rarely know where the line should be drawn, tending toward flying overboard. What happens? Most often the game becomes less fun and the players of the non-evil characters get upset.
How does the DM know when the Evil PC is going overboard? First clues usually start subtly, maybe a bit of in-fighting among the PC's, an accusation laid against another PC. It becomes more obvious when the in-fighting results in PC vs. PC. The trick is to keep the PC's on track, guiding them away from the growing disruptive behavior. At the end of the session(or even on a break in the game), take the player of that evil PC, or in some cases the good/lawful aligned PC, and discuss their in game actions with them. Explain how those actions are affecting the overall game fun.
Going back a little to the first of this series, there is a second question the DM should be asking. Though this question is one that the DM has to determine the answer. Is this player mature and responsible enough to handle an evil pc? This is a judgement call on the DM's part, if you(as DM) feel that the player will not be able to handle the evil, then that player should be advised against playing an Evil character.
It is quite often that an Evil PC gets played by less than prime candidate and the play gets disrupted. How to handle this? Simple, set down some rules before you begin, and stick to them. This goes both for full groups of Evil characters as well as for an individual within a group of good/unaligned characters. Yes this even applies for those of you who DM earlier editions.
Next time: Driving the Motives & Sharing the spotlight with evil PC's and NPC's.