I'm a new DM and we are starting ToEE soon. Up until today we only had 3 players in our group, but I just picked up a 4th. The problem is he want's to play a CE cleric. To be honest I really don't want to allow it - I just see a ton of headaches with it. What experiences do you have with players wanting to play evil characters? I want everyone to have fun, but I just don't see how a party could work with a CE elements. Thanks!
[EDIT] Problem solved - I put the kibosh on CE characters and the player chose a Paly! Thanks for all the feedback! _________________ No place is safe, only safer.
Last edited by nerdcav on Wed Jun 06, 2012 6:20 pm; edited 2 times in total
I think there's a separate posting further down this listing in the General Discussion board that addresses this topic. Or you can do a "Search the Forums" and find it that way.
Bottom line, dude. It's your game. If you don't want to deal with the headache, don't. Besides, your other players, especially if they are playing paladins, rangers, or staunchly 'good' guys, will end up slaying your CE player if he/she does something malevolent or purely vile and it will destabilize your party. I would.
Also, it's your FIRST maiden voyage, right? I think you want as smooth sailing as possible, and this may crash your ship upon the rocks of discord and chaos.
I hear you Lanthorn. I think I'm going to just make a hard rule - no evil characters. I just confuses the issue to much. And I saw there was a post on CN characters, but I didn't see one for CE. _________________ No place is safe, only safer.
I would allow a CE character if you were running an Evil party (and some folks on this board would shudder at the thought), or if you were a more veteran DM with experience on that matter. I've dabbled in infusing Evil characters in some games here and there, but as NPCs only.
The only time a player ran an Evil character was in another gaming format (Vampire: the Masquerade, if you must know), and he was a traitor on a short-lived, one shot kind've campaign. Everyone enjoyed the excitement, without any rancor or ill will, primarily b/c it was not a long-term, on-going game where folks were really emotionally invested in their characters.
I told my player no CE characters unless he could somehow convince me that he would magically work well with others. He laughed and conceded. His second choice? A paladin... ;) _________________ No place is safe, only safer.
I always forbid evil PCs simply because it would be no fun for me to DM a storyline where the players run around doing evil things. Who wants to DM a group that rapes, pillages, murders peasants, sacrifices infants, etc.? Besides MasterArminas, I mean.
Tell them no evil PCs if you don't want it in your group and explain why. Then, stick to your decision if it's what you want to do. Don't give in and allow it just because one player demands it.
If the CE PC from a cleric of a god who wasn't Iuz or Zuggtmoy, then why wouldn't he want to co-operate with an otherwise good party to bring down the TOEE? Some very interesting roleplay there. A CE alignment doesn't mean the PC just has to do random, stupid things. A cleric of Lolth might really want to throw a wrench in the TOEE works and would behave herself to get the job done.
If the CE PC from a cleric of a god who wasn't Iuz or Zuggtmoy, then why wouldn't he want to co-operate with an otherwise good party to bring down the TOEE? Some very interesting roleplay there.
I agree with this statement, but only for a veteran group of mature role players.
A CE alignment doesn't mean the PC just has to do random, stupid things.
This, I do not agree with. Being Evil means that you enjoy doing mean things and can only restrain yourself from being a jerk with difficulty over a lengthy period of time. Being Chaotic means that a PC lacks the self-discipline to restrain themselves from behaving impulsively so a Chaotic Evil PC will impulsively behave in a random evil manner quite frequently. You'd have a better argument if you were referring to a LE or NE PC.
A cleric of Lolth might really want to throw a wrench in the TOEE works and would behave herself to get the job done.
True, but if she was Chaotic Evil, she wouldn't be able to control her hatred for her Good companions and would eventually sabotage her own efforts at cooperation with them because of her alignment.
There was a good article on alignment that help me put in into perspective. Think of Ledger's Joker from The Dark Knight and reflect on his interactions with the mob. Chaotic evil is embodied by extreme selfishness - it is the anathema of compromise and cooperation. Stupid? No. Self-destructive? Yes.
The real problem is the mix of alignments in the party. For your first campaign its probably a loosing proposition as others have mentioned.
CE is not a player character impossibility though. I think the fantasy setting allows for what a sane person would view as self-destruction to be merely transformation for the CE.
Some CE characters may indeed want to burn the world, because they may end up as fire-creatures themselves. (Perhaps a hope of the ToEE fire cult). Other CE characters want to see everything dead and attempt to become undead through lichdom, mummification, or acquiring vampirism.
Such transformations can be the reward promised by a deity for service or could be achieved through character advancement (3rd ed. had more of the latter options set out - master elementalists became elementals, Libris Mortis had the rules for running undead PCs, etc. For 1st ed., you have some work to do).
Not to say CE characters remain fixed to a set of goals, but self-destruction, and appearing to be self-destructive depends on the character's alignment. Especially the chaotics who could be categorized as moral relativists on some level. What is really necessary is for the DM to demand the player come up with a genuine set of motivations that justify the character being CE.
This, I do not agree with. Being Evil means that you enjoy doing mean things and can only restrain yourself from being a jerk with difficulty over a lengthy period of time. Being Chaotic means that a PC lacks the self-discipline to restrain themselves from behaving impulsively so a Chaotic Evil PC will impulsively behave in a random evil manner quite frequently. ..
-FWIW, I disagree with that. For an evil charchter, evil means that they come first, and they don't care if they have to hurt innocent people along the way. It does not neccessarily mean that they enjoy it. Heinrich Himmler supposedly visited a concentration camp and threw up on his jackboots at what he saw. That doesn't mean that was he up for a paladinhood.
As for self-discipline, that is mostly a function of wisdom. A chaotic might have self-discipline, but doesn't particularly prize it as a quality (philosophically speaking), just as a lawful character might have little self-discipline, but prize it very highly as a quality and try to act in a disciplined way.
The real problem is the mix of alignments in the party. For your first campaign its probably a loosing proposition as others have mentioned...
-Any chance the PC could find a way to conceal their identity?
I told my player no CE characters unless he could somehow convince me that he would magically work well with others. He laughed and conceded. His second choice? A paladin... ;)
I love talking about alignment and its gaming implications. So here we go!
Chaotic Evil as an alignment, based on my views of CN (in that CN thread) would have this player be selfish, destructive, abuse power for personal gain at every opportunity and basically anathema to a party of mixed alignment, particularly if any of the other characters are good. Chaotic in my mind just refers to the notion that the character views laws as unnecessary when their goal/objective/desire runs counter to said law. Their freedom to act, whether through greed, hate or just self-preservation is paramount. That's not to say they're going to run around Greyhawk City in broad daylight trying to kill everyone on a whim because they also understand that they'll be caught/killed. Now if they could get away with it....
Now as for whether they could be in your adventuring group. There are a couple of answers to this but they all start with the word "depends".
- If it's an all evil / neutral party, it's definitely within the realm of possibility, this includes both a one-off adventure and a sustained campaign of many years
- if it's a mixed party with good players, as yours sounds, then I would say you could have a one-off adventure which I'll give some thoughts below on. However, the good-aligned players would likely either kill or chase off that character.
A couple of suggestions
- You could allow the player to be CE but really make them play the alignment to the hilt. They'll probably find out pretty quick that it sucks to be killed off by your own group (again, assuming you have good-aligned characters)
- You could allow the CE player to join for a one-off adventure, posing as a CG, just so they get the treasure. Then they betray everyone at a key time. Whether they get away with it or not is up to you.
- Or maybe you have them join as a CN or CG and over time they start drifting towards CE. Maybe they're suffering from a family curse, or maybe a magic item pushes them in that direction, or something else. You inform the character of the change and have them start acting accordingly. In all likelihood the rest of the party will react aggressively to set things right. Maybe the player attacks someone in the group, is caught and has a choice, work with the group to remove the curse/hex/change in alignment or suffer the consequences. This way, the player gets a taste of the CE life, it gives the party a reason to rally around (or kill off a character / create an arch enemy NPC) and you are seen as a brilliant DM.
In any case, if you're busy and don't want to deal. Just don't allow them and work with the players.[/b]
Nerdcav, what did you and your player decide on this issue? Did you end up with the paladin after all?
I told him no evil characters and let him know why. He understood completely and quickly settled on a Paladin, which I'm grateful for. The party could use the extra damage AND healing. It's a perfect fit. We even spent a good bit of time going over his Code, clearing up the ins and outs of his dos and don'ts. It's a great turn of events. Thanks for all the feedback! _________________ No place is safe, only safer.
Not a good idea for the first time as DM, but later you could always have your CE character pose as someone else (i.e. an assassin acting as thief or fighter). Unless someone detects evil there is always a little fun in the unknown. Especially when treasured items go missing or retainers are found with their throats cut in the morning. Some of the best games we had were as CE characters, like when we resupplied at the TOEE in order to burn and pillage the village of Hommlet.
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