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Particle_Man
2012-03-23, 04:02 PM
I am wondering if the 3.5 rules favour evil over good, or favour good over evil, or put them at the same level, power-wise.

I am thinking of little things like Dragonfire Adept's Bahamut vs. Tiamat invocations, or the Incarnate's incarnate radiance and incarnate avatar powers, or how yeah, you have a paladin, but there is not only the blackguard but also UA paladins of Tyranny and of Slaughter.

I mean, there is the vow of poverty, but most people hold that it actually reduces a pc's power.

So I am curious at to what people think. Is evil more powerful than good? Is good more powerful than evil? Are they close enough to equal that one could say they are equal?

I guess I will start by asking from the point of view of playing a character.

TheCountAlucard
2012-03-23, 04:08 PM
If this is about 3.5, shouldn't it be under the 3.5 board? :smallconfused:

Also, unless you're undead, you're way better off having a Good or Neutral cleric, for spontaneously channeling positive energy.

hamishspence
2012-03-23, 04:20 PM
I am wondering if the 3.5 rules favour evil over good, or favour good over evil, or put them at the same level, power-wise.

A case could be made that "Evil behaviour is more corrupting than Good is redeeming" (with the Corruption system in FC2 having you (if Lawful) condemned to Baator if your corruption is high enough- and the only way to lower it is through atoning (which isn't just the atonement spell) - just doing Good deeds won't do it.)

Or that Evil penalizes its followers for doing Good much less than Good penalizes its followers for doing Evil (paladins fall for one Evil act, but blackguards don't "rise" for committing Good acts).

Or that the Evil version of a given spell is much better than the Neutral one (Mindrape and Programmed Amnesia do the same thing, but Mindrape is much quicker and has no expensive material component).

Is that the sort of thing you had in mind?

For a non-3.5 example, in 4E's Book of Vile Darkness, it discusses the idea that Evil is an all-devouring invasive force, invading the universe and trying to destroy it- before this the universe had neither Evil nor Good- and Good is merely the universe's defensive reaction to the invasion of Evil- which the theorist calls "vile darkness".

Particle_Man
2012-03-23, 04:26 PM
If this is about 3.5, shouldn't it be under the 3.5 board? :smallconfused:

Actually, yes. How do I get it moved? I accidentally posted it here.

[edit: Nevermind, I reported myself as being in the wrong forum. I imagine this thread will be moved shortly].

Morithias
2012-03-23, 04:36 PM
Yes. VERY much so yes. The evil spells are more powerful, they get the brutally powerful sacrifice techniques (seriously I can make a level 3 expert who can summon a pit fiend by murdering someone), and their prestige classes are stronger as a whole. From the Disciple of Dispater and his 9-20 x4 crits, to the Deathstalker and it's brutally high save death attack.

Now I'm not saying you can't make a powerful good aligned character, but in the end evil is just easier to make brutally powerful.

hamishspence
2012-03-23, 04:36 PM
If you're looking for another example- there's more fallen celestials than risen fiends in the fluff. Fiendish Codex 2 has many of the archfiends being fallen angels, Baalzebul is a fallen archon, many erinyes are either fallen angels or descended from fallen angels- but risen fiends tend to be few and far between.

dsmiles
2012-03-23, 05:07 PM
Yes, a Jedi's strength flows from the Force. But beware of the dark side. Anger, fear, aggression; the dark side of the Force are they. Easily they flow, quick to join you in a fight. If once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny, consume you it will, as it did Obi-Wan's apprentice.

hamishspence
2012-03-23, 05:15 PM
"Is the Dark Side stronger?"

"No, no, noooo .... quicker, easier, more seductive."

navar100
2012-03-23, 05:32 PM
"Is the Dark Side stronger?"

"No, no, noooo .... quicker, easier, more seductive."

I was thinking of the same thing.

Jade Dragon
2012-03-23, 07:05 PM
Yes, a Jedi's strength flows from the Force. But beware of the dark side. Anger, fear, aggression; the dark side of the Force are they. Easily they flow, quick to join you in a fight. If once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny, consume you it will, as it did Obi-Wan's apprentice.

I can feel your anger... it gives you focus. Makes you stronger.

Only through me can you achieve a power greater than any Jedi. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3CFLEHyx0Mg&feature=g-like&context=G20fc7d9ALT2uNAQABAA#t=3m21s)

hamishspence
2012-03-23, 07:11 PM
"If you only knew the power of the dark side!" (Obi Wan never told you what happened to your father.)

dsmiles
2012-03-23, 07:19 PM
Good, I can feel your anger. I am defenseless. Take your weapon. Strike me down with all of your hatred and your journey towards the dark side will be complete!

hamishspence
2012-03-23, 07:35 PM
And finally:

"Only now, at the end, do you understand. Your feeble skills are no match for the power of the dark side! You have paid the price for your lack of vision! Now young Skywalker, you will die!"

Besides Star Wars quotes, are there any D&D ones about Evil being more powerful in a certain sense than Good?

I think there's something about the demons and devils being enough to overwhelm the Upper Planes, if it wasn't for their fighting the Blood War.

dsmiles
2012-03-23, 07:42 PM
I think there's something about the demons and devils being enough to overwhelm the Upper Planes, if it wasn't for their fighting the Blood War.That may have been in 2e Planescape, IIRC.

Dimers
2012-03-23, 08:59 PM
Large masses of more-or-less social people, such as humans, will favor Good and punish Evil, because they don't want Evil to happen to them. Another way to view that is that Neutral is more likely to side with Good. So while Evil individuals are more powerful taken one by one*, neither Good nor Evil has more power overall in most campaign worlds.

* Including because they have more options open to them, for which lesson we can thank Xykon in Start of Darkness.

Endarire
2012-03-23, 09:12 PM
An evil guy can become an Ur-Priest and attain L9 spells before a good guy can go Apostle of Peace and do the same.

Creatures who worship an Elder Evil get free bonus feats!

zlefin
2012-03-23, 09:13 PM
i'm most familiar with core. In core it feels pretty equal; healing is very nice to have, even if it's not as worth it in combat; whereas inflict; is just another damage spell. Poison is useful; but tends to stop being useful later on. Most hate spells are symmetrical. I wonder if it's splatbooks that have more powerful evil stuff, or if i'm just missing things. I also wonder why there'd be so many evil PrC given how few actual evil campaigns there are.
So, pretty equal mechanically as far as I can see in core.

Evil has to be more powerful than good (or good has far more restrictions on its ability to act), as a rule, so i think we can assume it to be the case. Evil is much more prone to infighting than good, even if they're willing to team up against good. So evil was weaker the good alliance just beats it up.

Unless you use a different metaphysic from typical d&d and evil is just a part of humanity. So it's a part of existence and can't be removed from the world.

bloodtide
2012-03-23, 09:34 PM
Evil is, and has always been and will always be, more powerful then good. (But the people that decide what good and evil are at least pretend to be good, so they are not exactly with no bias).

Evil is always seen as 'easy', but good is seen as 'hard' (but again this is the way the good people want things).

Take animate dead. An evil person can easily have a whole work force to do things. A couple of animated corpses and they can do a ton of work for you. But that is 'evil'. And there is no corresponding 'good' way to get free labor.

Coidzor
2012-03-23, 09:53 PM
Evil's more likely to be antagonists.

Vow of Poverty is designer error/stupidity.

Jade Dragon
2012-03-23, 09:57 PM
Vow of Poverty is designer error/stupidity.

Yep. At least good still has Vow of Nonviolence/Peace.

Morithias
2012-03-23, 10:49 PM
There is basically only one advantage Good has over Evil.

Plot armor.

Like it or hate it, Asmodeus will never succeed in killing off all the other gods in Faerun in canon. The abyss will never beat Baator and kill off all of creation in canon.

That's the ONE advantage good has over evil. The writers will never write in canon lore that Ao was killed by an elder evil and now the entire world in enslaved by a Lovecraft cult.

And it also works that way with MANY Dms. Compare your notes, how many of your campaigns have you succeed in stopping the evil overlord, versus how many times have you failed and his plan actually succeeded.

This is actually one of my core reasons for hating the good alignment. They always win regardless of the fact that evil has better spells, better builds, and overall would win in a high-op fight 90% of the time.

I mean, not to take a jab at Rich or anything, but raise your hand if you honestly think the snarl is going to get unleashed and delete all of creation in the comic. There's a trope for that, "Like you would really do it".

Let's face it. Asmodeus will always fail, Bane will always fail, and in the end I'm willing to give you 4 to 1 odds that Xykon and Redcloak will ultimately fail.

BUT, as I have said and many others have said.

Have a DM who ignores plot armor and is fulling willing to let the villain's win, and I promise you, you will find your win percentage will drop like a rock.

This is what I am ultimately getting at when I say I am willing to TPK my players, and have the villains win. I simply do not give the good guys plot armor. The fact you are a Paladin facing an evil mage in my setting means the following.

1. You have divine grace on your saves.
2. You have smite evil.
3. You have good bab, good fort, and good will.
4. The mage has bad bab, good will.
5. The mage has spells and a few minions.

There is no "You are going to win because you are a PC/Good guy" there. I do not fudge dice rolls, nor do I allow rerolls in my games you roll out in the open where everyone can see it, for both Dms and Players. If the dice fall the wrong way, or you simply make a bad choice, you are going to fail. (Although given the HUGE amount of adventurers in my setting chances are someone else will clean up your mess). No Deus Ex Machinas, or Dablios ex machinas either.

Seriously, think back to your old games. How many games would you have lost if the DM had played that 24 intelligence score as actually being that high. If his villains had been "Dangerously Genre Savvy", and had common sense.

How many games has good won simply because "Good is suppose to win".

Sith_Happens
2012-03-23, 10:55 PM
And finally:

"Only now, at the end, do you understand. Your feeble skills are no match for the power of the dark side! You have paid the price for your lack of vision! Now young Skywalker, you will die!"

Besides Star Wars quotes, are there any D&D ones about Evil being more powerful in a certain sense than Good?

I think there's something about the demons and devils being enough to overwhelm the Upper Planes, if it wasn't for their fighting the Blood War.

Better question: Do we need any quotes besides Star Wars quotes? :smallwink:

Particle_Man
2012-03-23, 10:59 PM
There is basically only one advantage Good has over Evil.

Plot armor.

This is actually one of my core reasons for hating the good alignment. They always win regardless of the fact that evil has better spells, better builds, and overall would win in a high-op fight 90% of the time.

Have a DM who ignores plot armor and is fulling willing to let the villain's win, and I promise you, you will find your win percentage will drop like a rock.

This is what I am ultimately getting at when I say I am willing to TPK my players, and have the villains win. I simply do not give the good guys plot armor. The fact you are a Paladin facing an evil mage in my setting means the following.

1. You have divine grace on your saves.
2. You have smite evil.
3. You have good bab, good fort, and good will.
4. The mage has bad bab, good will.
5. The mage has spells and a few minions.

There is no "You are going to win because you are a PC/Good guy" there. I do not fudge dice rolls, nor do I allow rerolls in my games you roll out in the open where everyone can see it, for both Dms and Players. If the dice fall the wrong way, or you simply make a bad choice, you are going to fail. (Although given the HUGE amount of adventurers in my setting chances are someone else will clean up your mess). No Deus Ex Machinas, or Dablios ex machinas either.

There seems to be a contradiction here, though. If evil is mechanically better than good, *and* you don't allow good to have plot armour (which you said was their one advantage) shouldn't your "Bad Guys" usually beat the PCs? Or do you not use the aforementioned mechanical advantages evil has over good in your campaigns to make up for taking away the PC plot armour?

Lysander
2012-03-23, 11:02 PM
Evil is more powerful, but good has better press. And don't underestimate the power of PR.

The main strength of good is that most people (in most settings) approve of it. Even most neutral people, and probably a lot of evil ones too are pro-good. Very few people are outright in favor of evil and harming others indiscriminately, unless they're some kind of insane cultist.

So the evil necromancer can raise an army of skeleton minions, but he'll quite possibly be an outcast from society. And a party of heroes will be sent on a quest to kill him.

Morithias
2012-03-23, 11:13 PM
There seems to be a contradiction here, though. If evil is mechanically better than good, *and* you don't allow good to have plot armour (which you said was their one advantage) shouldn't your "Bad Guys" usually beat the PCs? Or do you not use the aforementioned mechanical advantages evil has over good in your campaigns to make up for taking away the PC plot armour?

Actually we use a new alignment system where "Good" is now "Holy" "Evil" is now "Unholy", "Chaotic" is now "Primary" and "Lawful" is now "Secondary".

For example if you want to enter the Assassin prestige class you need an "Unholy" alignment (Dark is not evil, light is not good).

The Prince of Eternea is a noble figure who is good with money and wants to aid his people and the world at large. He is a disciple of Mammon (Yeah the Devils aren't evil anymore in my setting), and has an unholy alignment.

Princess Olivia was a tyrannical noble who had her court mage boyfriend create a plague to turn all of the north eastern continent into wights under her command so she could take over the world. She had the vow of peace, and a holy alignment.

So you can have optimization on both sides in this setting. You could in theory have a kind, caring, heroic ur-priest fighting an evil, murderous, psychopathic ur-priest.

So no. The bad guys don't usually beat the PC's, because the PC's have access to all the powerful evil aligned prestige classes, feats, and spells that the bad guys do.

Actually come to think of it, there is ONE other reason why good will beat evil.

Good can work together with other good, evil by its very nature conflicts with other evil.

Which I guess is why most of my campaigns end with a 3 on 1 fight against the final boss.

Coidzor
2012-03-23, 11:56 PM
Actually we use a new alignment system where "Good" is now "Holy" "Evil" is now "Unholy", "Chaotic" is now "Primary" and "Lawful" is now "Secondary".

For example if you want to enter the Assassin prestige class you need an "Unholy" alignment (Dark is not evil, light is not good).

Why did you change them to synonyms for good and evil instead of light and dark then?

Particle_Man
2012-03-24, 12:24 AM
The main strength of good is that most people (in most settings) approve of it. Even most neutral people, and probably a lot of evil ones too are pro-good. Very few people are outright in favor of evil and harming others indiscriminately, unless they're some kind of insane cultist.

So the evil necromancer can raise an army of skeleton minions, but he'll quite possibly be an outcast from society. And a party of heroes will be sent on a quest to kill him.

So while there are evil clerics, blackguards and evil incarnates and the like, they are outnumbered by good clerics, paladins, good incarnates and the like? Or at least outnumbered by the "non extremes" who would rather have a holier than thou paladin around than a baby-eating blackguard?

Morithias
2012-03-24, 01:05 AM
Why did you change them to synonyms for good and evil instead of light and dark then?

Because Holy magic is drawn from the deities, and unholy magic is drawn from the netherworlds. The creator knows that power corrupts, so he put the gods and devils in equal power in order to prevent either one from attempting to lord over the mortals. When the original archdevil fell from grace, the first goddess managed to seal him away with the help of the archdevil's second in command.

Calling it "light magic" and "dark magic" would be confusing when you consider that the darkness spell isn't an unholy spell, and the light spell isn't a holy spell.

Elfinor
2012-03-24, 05:23 AM
I'd say that if you simply 'add up the numbers' then evil would win on a cosmological level in Core 3.5 Settings. One of the primary reasons evil loses is because of 'evil vs. evil'. Chaotic Evil characters are especially prone to this, but even allegedly unified Lawful Evil conglomerates (the archetype being the Nine Hells) have a large amount of covert backstabbing within them. And all these evil organisations are not only suffering from internal warfare, but also fight against one another. Although good characters may disagree on methodology and goals, they rarely actively spend much time undermining other good people.

Although I'm really not a fan of the books, the Dragonlance Chronicles and Legends Trilogies (an official 3.5 setting) illustrate this in the most straightforward fashion I've seen. The head evil goddess actually did manage to have her followers take over the world, but only once she managed to quell the infighting. IIRC, she nearly killed the guy who suggested the organisational improvements out of spite:smalltongue:.

Evil vs. evil is also quite prevalent in Core D&D. The Blood War and THE UNDERDARK (Drow vs. Illithids vs. Abloeths vs. Duergar vs. etc.) are two major examples from there.

Forgotten Realms inherits the above from Core D&D, and also has much more active pantheons. Faiths & Pantheons even notes that Good and Neutral deities greatly outnumber the evil ones. Neutral deities usually ally themselves with good deities and oppose evil ones. And, of course, the evil deities still fight one another, notably Bane vs. Cyric and Tiamat vs. Gilgeam. And so they should, they all have different goals and are willing to employ the full evil arsenal to make them a reality.

I don't think it's as much of a thing on Eberron, but that campaign setting does try to distance itself (somewhat) from the good vs. evil dichotomy in general.

Morph Bark
2012-03-24, 05:36 AM
For a non-3.5 example, in 4E's Book of Vile Darkness, it discusses the idea that Evil is an all-devouring invasive force, invading the universe and trying to destroy it- before this the universe had neither Evil nor Good- and Good is merely the universe's defensive reaction to the invasion of Evil- which the theorist calls "vile darkness".

There is a 4E Book of Vile Darkness? When did this happen?!

dsmiles
2012-03-24, 05:48 AM
How many games has good won simply because "Good is suppose to win". Of mine? Zero. The characters rise and fall on their own merits.


There is a 4E Book of Vile Darkness? When did this happen?!Recently. I saw it in the "New Releases" section of my FLGS two weeks ago.

hamishspence
2012-03-24, 05:50 AM
About a couple of months ago. It's a set which contains two actual books- one more for the DM, one more for the player.

it's got a quite a few quotes from famous D&D NPCs and novel characters.

dsmiles
2012-03-24, 05:59 AM
Wow. My FLGS is really behind the times...:smallfrown:

Acanous
2012-03-24, 06:01 AM
I think Neutral actually has the most power.
Look at Planar shepard.
Neutral can employ any of the spells that good OR evil use, in moderation, so long as that spell doesn't have "Caster must be evil" in it's description somewhere.
in the war between Good and Evil, Neutral usually sides with Good. Good usually wins. This is the power of PR.

Maryring
2012-03-24, 07:05 AM
In the Monster manual, the strongest outsider is good, and the strongest dragon is good. Gold is a bit better than Red at pretty much everything, and the Solar casts spells as a level 20 cleric.

Particle_Man
2012-03-24, 10:04 AM
So the best good monsters are better than the best evil monsters, but the most optimized evil pcs are better than the most optimized good pcs?

ScionoftheVoid
2012-03-24, 11:15 AM
So the best good monsters are better than the best evil monsters, but the most optimized evil pcs are better than the most optimized good pcs?

Perhaps, but many of the best Evil PrCs were for monsters, and were probably not intended for PC use. See: Illithid Savant and Beholder Mage, among others.

Coidzor
2012-03-24, 11:37 AM
The best TO character is Pun-Pun who is a Lawful Good Kobold.

Morithias
2012-03-24, 12:14 PM
The best TO character is Pun-Pun who is a Lawful Good Kobold.

Yeah, but to be fair that's like two people comparing rifles and then I come along and argue that the hydrogen bomb would work better.

Also wasn't the whole point of Pun-pun that he turned chaotic evil via wishes to gain his power?

Coidzor
2012-03-24, 12:16 PM
Yeah, but to be fair that's like two people comparing rifles and then I come along and argue that the hydrogen bomb would work better.

Also wasn't the whole point of Pun-pun that he turned chaotic evil via wishes to gain his power?

Nope. He's a paladin so he doesn't experience side effects for the 1st one and that's all he needs.

Maryring
2012-03-24, 01:45 PM
Well, of course most things are designed for evil characters, but that's because evil is more commonly the adversary. Most games are Good Vs Evil or Evil vs Evil or non-denominational-alignment vs Evil. Playing against Good is rare, and therefore there is less stuff about them.

And keeping in mind that the powerful, evil-only PrCs shouldn't really occur narratively outside of a few specific monsters, it's a bit weird to judge evil more powerful in general just because of that. Especially since many powerful PrCs aren't alignment-restricted. And of course, BoED have some really borked good aligned spells.

I have heard it said that Good is about Quality and Evil about Quantity. That does sound somewhat right to me.

Lysander
2012-03-24, 02:18 PM
So while there are evil clerics, blackguards and evil incarnates and the like, they are outnumbered by good clerics, paladins, good incarnates and the like? Or at least outnumbered by the "non extremes" who would rather have a holier than thou paladin around than a baby-eating blackguard?

Exactly. Think of the real world. Most people aren't hero firemen or doctors or charity workers. But those paragons of good are respected and admired by everyone else. Meanwhile rapists, thieves, and murderers are despised.

Very few people are in favor of evil. Even evil people usually don't see themselves as evil, and consider their evil actions justified, and oppose evil for evil's sake. So those who champion evil are not only opposed by the good and neutral, most evil people oppose them too.

It gets a little more complicated in D&D world, since there are beings of pure evil who give magic powers to their cultists. But the same principles often apply.

Tengu_temp
2012-03-24, 02:36 PM
Evil gets more powerful toys because it's intended to be the antagonist, and playing a game where the big bad guy is not more powerful than you just wouldn't be as fun.

Bit Fiend
2012-03-24, 03:23 PM
I think it's actually a good thing in a setting when it's easier to be evil than to be good. The logical conclusion would be that Evil will take over the universe, it's only a matter of time. The epic part comes in when the defenders of Good are aware of that fact but fight nonetheless because they still think it's the right thing to do.

boomwolf
2012-03-24, 03:48 PM
Evil is stronger, but it doesn't get along with other evil very well.

Hazzardevil
2012-03-25, 01:11 PM
If you're looking for another example- there's more fallen celestials than risen fiends in the fluff. Fiendish Codex 2 has many of the archfiends being fallen angels, Baalzebul is a fallen archon, many erinyes are either fallen angels or descended from fallen angels- but risen fiends tend to be few and far between.

The fallen angels mostly didn't fall of their own free will. They were forced to fall with Asmodeus when he started ruling the nine hells. Given the choice, I expect that most of the Erythines would rise again given the chance.

hamishspence
2012-03-25, 01:30 PM
The fallen angels mostly didn't fall of their own free will. They were forced to fall with Asmodeus when he started ruling the nine hells.

I wonder exactly how it worked out. When Asmodeus was arraigned from "crimes" (all that torturing in the Upper Planes) were the erinyes the torturers?

And when he was cast down- were they cast down with him because they chose to side with his arguments?

Fallen angels falling who'd "done nothing wrong" seems silly, but "doing wrong then refusing to seek forgiveness" seems much more plausible.

Especially since it seems to imply that Asmodeus and company had become severely physically corrupted by their actions before they were "cast down to Baator"

Coidzor
2012-03-25, 01:54 PM
Calling it "light magic" and "dark magic" would be confusing when you consider that the darkness spell isn't an unholy spell, and the light spell isn't a holy spell.

That's your justification? Pretty weak, mate.

GRM13
2012-03-25, 02:41 PM
well I'll direct you to my justification supported by the beloved TvTropes.

Light is Not Good (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/LightIsNotGood)


Dark is Not Evil (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/DarkIsNotEvil)

Hazzardevil
2012-03-25, 02:57 PM
I wonder exactly how it worked out. When Asmodeus was arraigned from "crimes" (all that torturing in the Upper Planes) were the erinyes the torturers?

And when he was cast down- were they cast down with him because they chose to side with his arguments?

Fallen angels falling who'd "done nothing wrong" seems silly, but "doing wrong then refusing to seek forgiveness" seems much more plausible.

Especially since it seems to imply that Asmodeus and company had become severely physically corrupted by their actions before they were "cast down to Baator"

I don't think it was that they sided with him, I think it was simply that they were his subordinates and couldn't leave him.

Jack_Simth
2012-03-25, 02:59 PM
I am wondering if the 3.5 rules favour evil over good, or favour good over evil, or put them at the same level, power-wise.Depends on how you want to measure it.

If you look at Core monsters, the Solar (strongest Angel) is CR 23, the Pit Fiend (strongest Devil) is CR 20, and the Balor (strongest Demon) is CR 20. Solar's ahead in terms of CR.

If you look at player character options (Feats, PrC's, et cetera) that are specifically 'good', or specifically 'evil', then yes, Evil options are generally going to be 'better' in terms of mechanical power (generally).

If you look at the Planes... Good and Evil both have infinite planes that are populated by outsiders of their alignment. How do you compare infinities when the books don't really specify the type of infinity?

Toliudar
2012-03-25, 03:15 PM
The inability of evil to cooperate effectively in the long term is not just an abstraction. Lots of evil-PC campaigns start on this board. In my experience, they're the ones most likely to devolve into PvP and chaotic-stupid behaviour in the first in-game day. I'm sure that there are a few campaigns out there in which evil characters manage to exercise restraint and demonstrate mutual self-interest, but does anyone disagree that they're in the minority?

Extrapolate out from that. The majority of most game worlds have vast populations of good/neutral humanoids that more or less get along. At the very least, they don't kill each other on sight. Then there are many much smaller enclaves of of evil races that don't, by and large, play well with others. Even if one or two individuals manage to rise to prominence, perhaps using the admittedly more powerful Evil spells etc, they're still fighting a vast disadvantage in overall numbers, added to the fact that they have to spend dispropotionately more energy dealing with possible sabotage and deceit from their own subordinates.

GRM13
2012-03-25, 03:34 PM
Also helps that Evil and Good tend to deal with each other in different ways.

Evil:

A bunch of dogooders causing annoyancees in my plans? summon the mooks to deal with them.

Good:

a Bunch of goblins are attacking the peasant side? Send the wizard, the barbarian and the paladin to deal with them.

hamishspence
2012-03-25, 03:41 PM
I don't think it was that they sided with him, I think it was simply that they were his subordinates and couldn't leave him.

Seems to subvert the whole "free will" thing.

The idea of them and him being corrupted by their deeds before the Fall may work, though.

Coidzor
2012-03-25, 03:42 PM
If you look at player character options (Feats, PrC's, et cetera) that are specifically 'good', or specifically 'evil', then yes, Evil options are generally going to be 'better' in terms of mechanical power (generally).

The best options are open to either though, last I checked, so it's kind of a disingenuous argument without first establishing that Evil is superior to the universally available options.

Which, AFAIK, is never actually done in these sorts of threads.

Jack_Simth
2012-03-25, 03:52 PM
The best options are open to either though, last I checked, so it's kind of a disingenuous argument without first establishing that Evil is superior to the universally available options.

Well, the lowest-level pun-pun method is evil (involves a Lord of Evil), and the Ur-Priest gets 9th level spells ahead of basically everyone else. Neutral characters don't have an equivalent of Liquid Pain or Ambrosia.

But yes, there is a reason I specifically called out that I was referring to the ones that are specifically of one alignment or another.


Which, AFAIK, is never actually done in these sorts of threads.
Usually isn't, yes.

Jade Dragon
2012-03-25, 03:57 PM
Evil:

A bunch of dogooders causing annoyancees in my plans? summon the mooks to deal with them.

What I don't get is why the heck the opposition always sends out their minions in progressing order from weakest to strongest? If they manage to beat my basic mooks, I wouldn't send out a couple of elites along with trained soldiers, I would send out a couple of elite wizards, a couple of elite clerics, a couple of elite warriors (crusader tanks), and a couple of elite troubleshooters (factotums), that all fight at once rather than in encounters of one or two.

Coidzor
2012-03-25, 03:58 PM
Well, the lowest-level pun-pun method is evil (involves a Lord of Evil)

Paradoxically, it relies on Pun-Pun being a Lawful Good Paladin, so I'd say that's a wash there. :smalltongue:


and the Ur-Priest gets 9th level spells ahead of basically everyone else.

By a couple of levels, yeah. And last I checked they were neutral and evil.


Neutral characters don't have an equivalent of Liquid Pain or Ambrosia.

But even evil characters want Ambrosia, that's why they use the masochism ring and distilled joy. :smalltongue:



But yes, there is a reason I specifically called out that I was referring to the ones that are specifically of one alignment or another.

Yeah, but that's not really very meaningful in and of itself as I pointed out, and you're not the only one who was doing so or worse.


What I don't get is why the heck the opposition always sends out their minions in progressing order from weakest to strongest? If they manage to beat my basic mooks, I wouldn't send out a couple of elites along with trained soldiers, I would send out a couple of elite wizards, a couple of elite clerics, a couple of elite warriors (crusader tanks), and a couple of elite troubleshooters (factotums), that all fight at once rather than in encounters of one or two.

Well, generally those things have better stuff to do that get rid of some schlubs that took out some of your schlubbs and you don't have an actually unlimited supply of them as appear in JRPGs and the like.

And then the rest is usually taken as an allegory for how the lieutenants don't want to share glory or power so they're overconfident and cocky until it turns out that they're not actually schlubbs anymore, but legitimate enemy heroes.

Hazzardevil
2012-03-25, 04:10 PM
Paradoxically, it relies on Pun-Pun being a Lawful Good Paladin, so I'd say that's a wash there. :smalltongue:



By a couple of levels, yeah. And last I checked they were neutral and evil.



But even evil characters want Ambrosia, that's why they use the masochism ring and distilled joy. :smalltongue:




Yeah, but that's not really very meaningful in and of itself as I pointed out, and you're not the only one who was doing so or worse.

There's not much point arguing with Coidzor, he can pick holes in any point you make.

ScionoftheVoid
2012-03-25, 04:16 PM
The best options are open to either though, last I checked, so it's kind of a disingenuous argument without first establishing that Evil is superior to the universally available options.

Which, AFAIK, is never actually done in these sorts of threads.

Taint mechanics are generally considered completely ludicrous, and are Evil-only. Illithid Savant is powerful because it steals abilities, so it's pretty much better than the alignment-neutral options by virtue of mixing and matching them easier (IIRC, haven't read Savage Species for a while now). Beholder Mage is possibly the most powerful PrC there is. Planar Shepherd is another competitor, and is alignment-neutral unless the plane it uses to get multiple rounds for every other creature's one makes it evil (I think I read that plane itself is in some way evil, but have no idea how that reflects on the PrC, not having read the class myself). Cancer Mage can easily achieve nigh-infinite Strength (and therefore bonus spells via Illumian), and may be evil-only (haven't read it myself, but D&D tends to put anything 'icky' under Evil). IIRC, there's a build known as the HIVE which uses a BoVD prestige class to absurd purposes, but it's been ages since I read up on that and I don't have the book anyway. Ur Priest gets 9th level spells in as many levels of divine casting advancement, making it one of the best options for Theurge-ing.

Alignment neutral options that may compare: Incantatrix, Initiate of the Sevenfold Veil and Shadowcraft Mage, off the top of my head. Pun-Pun and the Omnisceifer. Probably quite a few more things, to be honest, but I can't think of them.

Emperor Tippy
2012-03-25, 04:52 PM
Nah, Illithid Savant beats Beholder Mage because anything the BM can do, the IS can do as well by stealing the BM's abilities.

As for the OP, Evil isn't exactly more powerful; what it is is more versatile and more uninhibited. An evil characters wants to get something done and the most effective way to do so is to start up a charity to benefit homeless puppies? He can do so without any problem. A good character wants to get something done and the most effective way to do so is to assassinate a lawful good saint? He can't do so.

hamishspence
2012-03-25, 05:09 PM
Nah, Illithid Savant beats Beholder Mage because anything the BM can do, the IS can do as well by stealing the BM's abilities.

In a world where the Illithid Savant exists but the Beholder Mage doesn't, how powerful is the Savant?

And in a world where the Beholder Mage exists but the Illithid Savant doesn't, how powerful is the Beholder Mage?

olthar
2012-03-25, 05:10 PM
It makes sense for evil to be more powerful than good on an individual basis. One of evil's defining characteristics is its inability to work together and one of good's defining characteristics is its ability to work together. That's why the blood war exists etc.

So, if "good" was as powerful as evil on an individual basis, and good characters/creatures worked well together while evil didn't, then why wouldn't good have destroyed all of evil already?

The answer is that evil, on an individual level, is stronger and so there is a relative balance.

Eldan
2012-03-25, 05:42 PM
I'd call this a fluff/rules difference and leave it at that.

Technically, Archons should be roughly as good as devils and demons, as should Eladrin, accounting a bit for different methods. But MM1 left out the strongest good outsiders. There's no Eladrin lords, no leonals, no tome archons.
Then we get into splat books. Good has the BoED. Evil has the Fiendish Codices, Elder Evils and the Book of Vile Darkness. Planescape was similar, with equal sections in Planes of X, but then also including Hellbound and Faces of Evil along with half the adventures being set in the lower planes.

Basically: evil is stronger because the designers paid more attention to it. They never wrote up a lot of the top tier good stuff, because, apparently, most player characters are good and therefore never have to fight them.

Emperor Tippy
2012-03-25, 05:45 PM
In a world where the Illithid Savant exists but the Beholder Mage doesn't, how powerful is the Savant?
Still hideously powerful.


And in a world where the Beholder Mage exists but the Illithid Savant doesn't, how powerful is the Beholder Mage?
Still hideously powerful.

BM just adds a bit of power onto IS, but it doesn't really change the level that IS operates on.

absolmorph
2012-03-25, 05:46 PM
In a world where the Illithid Savant exists but the Beholder Mage doesn't, how powerful is the Savant?

And in a world where the Beholder Mage exists but the Illithid Savant doesn't, how powerful is the Beholder Mage?
The Illithid Savant's power ceiling is the sum of everything else.

Beholder mage is a wizard+.

Red_Dog
2012-03-25, 05:49 PM
I apologies for potentially TLDRing here but, I ctr-F'ed the thread and did not see the response I was going to give. Again, sry if someone responded with his already. Anyways =>


Like it or hate it, Asmodeus will never succeed in killing off all the other gods in Faerun in canon. The abyss will never beat Baator and kill off all of creation in canon.

Well, technically speaking Evil HAS won in D&D :smallwink:

Lords of Madness, p.70-71 Section "The Whispering Shadow"

If this is considered Cannon, than Illithids already won the game(and everyone lost it. Hehe just jesting! ^^). The mysterious force they fought and were loosing, for all we know, was another evil. But the main fact remains, -> The most malevolent of all creatures(yes, more so than devils, daemons and etc.) has won the Universe long enough to be uncontested rules for some long time.

So yes, this small section in a splat book, does state Evil triumphing.

That being said of course, the same note says that because of the time-travel, and destiny not being pre-determined, they are not guarantied another win. So the writers bring the balance in "up to the interpretation" once again ^^.

Eldan
2012-03-25, 06:04 PM
Gith brought them down once, she might do it again. Technically, we don't know if she's really dead, she might just hang out with Tiamat.

Soranar
2012-03-25, 06:06 PM
Everyone knows Nuffle *hails Nuffle* is the Elder Evil that won the DnD universe. Why do you think we play with dice

Coidzor
2012-03-25, 06:08 PM
It requires taking a view of time travel that's pear shaped when you could go with apple, donut, or rutabaga as well.

dsmiles
2012-03-25, 06:11 PM
It requires taking a view of time travel that's pear shaped when you could go with apple, donut, or rutabaga as well.
People assume that time is a strict progression of cause-and-effect...but actually, from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint, it's more like a big ball of wibbly-wobbly...timey-wimey...stuff. :smallwink:

Red_Dog
2012-03-25, 06:15 PM
Gith brought them down once, she might do it again. Technically, we don't know if she's really dead, she might just hang out with Tiamat.

I am not saying you are wrong, but you going to have to source this.

Here is the direct quote [took some time to type of a book heh ^^]


This account is basically true in its outline but is flawed in one astounding respect. While the rebellion of the gith did indeed take place in the past—about two thousand years ago, to be precise—their mind flayer masters had themselves just arrived in that era from the unimaginable future. At the very end of time, the mind flayers faced extinction at the hands of some unknown adversary.

That is what I was talking about. They now have to re-do this mistake in order to not get crushed again. Now however they have to deal with Gith and etc. so that is why I said it is "open to interpretation". ^^

Eldan
2012-03-25, 06:22 PM
Hm. Direct quotes.... I'd have to go dig around. Probably somewhere between the Unbroken Circle, Guide to the Astral Plane and the Monstrous Compendium Appendices.

Red_Dog
2012-03-25, 06:23 PM
Hm. Direct quotes.... I'd have to go dig around. Probably somewhere between the Unbroken Circle, Guide to the Astral Plane and the Monstrous Compendium Appendices.

are those 3.0?O_o I must say I've heard never of these and I though I read most of 3.5 material lol. (names of books sound interesting ^^)

Havelock
2012-03-25, 07:14 PM
The main thing the forces of good has going for them is that they:
1. Have no problems unifying when they must.
2. Are willing to die so that others may live.

We don't really know how powerful the forces of the upper planes are. We know that the demons are far more numerous than the devils, and presumably the angels, too. But it's a war of attrition where no side manages to get the upper hand, organization vs numbers.

When it comes to individual monsters, it's hard to say, a Solar beats up pretty much everything non-unique out there. But how many Solars are there compared to Balors and Pit Fiends?

The disposition of the world at large also play a factor. Most people are more inclined towards good, the majority is neutral, but most neutrals will be willing to help good and hinder evil. Which also reflects in the alignment of adventurers, which helps tilt the balance quite a bit.

Also consider the narrative fundamentals, D&D is set in a world where there are heroes, and where the heroes tends to defeat the villains. If this was a world such as Westeros, evil would win, hands down. But it isn't, it's a world where a group of heroes comes along to deny evil victory at the last moment, every, single, time.

danzibr
2012-03-25, 08:41 PM
risen fiends tend to be few and far between.
Can anyone give some examples of these? Not that I doubt their existence, but I can't think of a single one.

Pokonic
2012-03-25, 09:04 PM
Also, think about how the main power-players of evil work.

Say that the forces of good kill a small army of CR 1 mook LE creatures, along with there leaders who probably have a few class levels each. The creatures souls, if no god realy claims them, end up in the Nine Hells. the vast majority of them are turned into larva and consumed, presumably by a bored duke overseeing his array of tasteful flower arangemets.

The more powerful among them, however, might be promoted upwords in the ranks, and those with class ranks in things like Blackguard might even skip the lesser ranks entirely and might be able to go straight into actual devilhood. Hence, even if the former creature is unaware of it's past, the hells have a new pawn for a spellcaster to use in ruining orphans lives or something.

If the forces of evil kill a small army of good creatures, there souls, if not claimed by a deity, are sent to the approprite afterlives, where only a very few are going to continue to be active against the forces of evil.:smallannoyed:

kardar233
2012-03-26, 01:39 AM
Also, think about how the main power-players of evil work.

Say that the forces of good kill a small army of CR 1 mook LE creatures, along with there leaders who probably have a few class levels each. The creatures souls, if no god realy claims them, end up in the Nine Hells. the vast majority of them are turned into larva and consumed, presumably by a bored duke overseeing his array of tasteful flower arangemets.

The more powerful among them, however, might be promoted upwords in the ranks, and those with class ranks in things like Blackguard might even skip the lesser ranks entirely and might be able to go straight into actual devilhood. Hence, even if the former creature is unaware of it's past, the hells have a new pawn for a spellcaster to use in ruining orphans lives or something.

If the forces of evil kill a small army of good creatures, there souls, if not claimed by a deity, are sent to the approprite afterlives, where only a very few are going to continue to be active against the forces of evil.:smallannoyed:

This is true even moreso with the Abyss, as Tanar'ri are explicitly formed from CE souls who start as dretches and work their way up the demonic ranks, and Obyriths who coalesce out of the CE nature of the plane. Killing CE enemies is thus somewhat counterproductive, as for every hundred 2nd-level Paladins of Slaughter or whatever you kill a few of them will make Balor rank eventually.

kulosle
2012-03-26, 02:21 AM
So I feel like answering this specifically because I have played a campaign where the material plane was almost completely evil free. The gods had some kind of war were all the evil gods were killed, and most of the good ones. Mystra then locked the plane so that no one could travel in or out of it (couldn't even summon outsiders). Then, slowly, good started killing off evil. The party of 5 level 30s (not the highest level in the setting) was the only evil left. Some order of good spontaneously sprung up over night and and killed off every one even suspected of being evil in every town in one night. Good was pretty sure that there was no evil creatures left because we hadn't shown our faces in decades, all of us were immortal for one reason or another. So an entire generation has been raised to be lawful good. We were laying low trying to find every evil person that would join us. We found eachother and 3 other people who eventually we had to kill because they were being reckless and going to get us caught. Eventually we destroyed the organization and got everyone to disown the idea that pure good is ideal. We even managed to unlock the plane. That campaign definitely taught me that evil is stronger but good has more people and more organization on their side.

Yora
2012-03-26, 02:28 AM
Can anyone give some examples of these? Not that I doubt their existence, but I can't think of a single one.

The ironically named Fall-From-Grace.

kardar233
2012-03-26, 02:32 AM
The ironically named Fall-From-Grace.

Ah. Haven't played PS:T yet, so I wouldn't know.

Yora
2012-03-26, 02:39 AM
I think one Planescape book shows an Osyluth being welcomed to Celestia. And the Book of Exalted Deeds also mentiones some.

dsmiles
2012-03-26, 04:42 AM
I think one Planescape book shows an Osyluth being welcomed to Celestia. And the Book of Exalted Deeds also mentiones some.Don't forget about the Succubus Paladin. I forget what book she came from.

sonofzeal
2012-03-26, 05:12 AM
The notion that there aren't risen fiends is preetty bunk. BoED has good-aligned mindflayers. And if that doesn't do you, then there's an entire template that exists purely to redeem things that shouldn't otherwise be redeemable.

Also, IIRC there's a celestial who stacks up pretty well against Asmodeus. I remember a thread last year trying to figure out which would win in a fight, and it was pretty close.



Oh, and if anyone cares - in Greyhawk, counting only GREATER Deities, there's 6 for good, four for neutral, and six for evil. So... pretty balanced, I'd have to say.

Alleran
2012-03-26, 05:21 AM
Also, IIRC there's a celestial who stacks up pretty well against Asmodeus. I remember a thread last year trying to figure out which would win in a fight, and it was pretty close.
Zaphkiel? Morwel?

hamishspence
2012-03-26, 06:18 AM
Don't forget about the Succubus Paladin. I forget what book she came from.

Not technically a book, but the WoTC site:

Eludecia the Succubus paladin (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/fc/20050824a)

CTrees
2012-03-26, 06:38 AM
Pretty sure it was Zaphkiel v. Asmodeus.

Also, I kinda love using redeemed devils/demons. Just get a kick out of them. This was likely started by fall-from-grace.

kardar233
2012-03-26, 09:13 AM
And if that doesn't do you, then there's an entire template that exists purely to redeem things that shouldn't otherwise be redeemable.

As I recall, the primary way of getting that template is to trap an Evil person in a gem and slowly mindrape them into being Good. Somehow, that strikes me as dipping into the deeper end of the alignment pool.

Steward
2012-03-26, 09:23 AM
a. Evil seems stronger than good because the game supplies more resources to the evil side, because it’s often assumed by the game designers that the usual way a game will be run is “heroes (PCs) against villains (the Dungeon Master). The game focuses on creating more resources for the Dungeon Master to use in creating compelling bad guys. It’s why you have like, a half a dozen books devoted solely to the forces of evil – the Book of Vile Darkness, the Fiend Folio, two Fiendish Codices, Exemplars of Evil, Elder Evils – and only one book that contains only “good guys”. Because the players (in theory) are responsible for making the ‘good guys’ themselves while the DM uses resources from the book to construct a horde of bad guys for the good guys to fight.
(I’m not denigrating this playstyle or the opposite playstyle, with the PCs controlling evil-aligned characters, but it’s clear that the game features far fewer good-aligned monsters and other resources (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0194.html) than evil ones.

Cwymbran-San
2012-03-26, 09:39 AM
From a rules perspective, i think there were a lot of fitting arguments that evil achieves power more easily. This might be the reason for risen fiends being so few.
From a roleplaying view, evil can never be more powerful. As Elmisnter stated once:
Evil can only cause death and destruction, and carries within itself the seed to destroy itself. Evil can never create.

If you look (and play along) the alignment restrictions of evil characters, you see the truth in that. Regardless of L, N or C, every E character is bound to become at least slightly paranoid and will come down on every threat to his/her position in force.

sonofzeal
2012-03-26, 11:00 AM
Zaphkiel? Morwel?
Zaphkiel, that's the one.


As I recall, the primary way of getting that template is to trap an Evil person in a gem and slowly mindrape them into being Good. Somehow, that strikes me as dipping into the deeper end of the alignment pool.
To be fair, the one time that spell got mentioned in an actual campaign I was in, it was in the context of a willing offer. One character believed his soul was doomed to Baator for various reasons (not least of which being that he was massively evil and had a strong Fiendish heritage), and Sanctify the Wicked was offered as a way out. He still would have been trapped in a gem for a year and whatnot, but it would have been of his own free choice.

Also note that the Atonement spell has an option to move the recipient's alignment closer to the caster's. This got used on another character in the same campaign to turn them from Evil to Good, entirely voluntarily again.



....anyway, point is that the options exist, and while they could be used in ethically thorny ways, there's also more straightforwardly good uses as well. Everything can be redeemed in D&D, just like anything can fall-from-grace.

Pokonic
2012-03-26, 02:37 PM
This is true even moreso with the Abyss, as Tanar'ri are explicitly formed from CE souls who start as dretches and work their way up the demonic ranks, and Obyriths who coalesce out of the CE nature of the plane. Killing CE enemies is thus somewhat counterproductive, as for every hundred 2nd-level Paladins of Slaughter or whatever you kill a few of them will make Balor rank eventually.

Even better/worse, is it not true that a slain demon on the mortal plane eventualy reforms in the Abyss? Lets face it, those two planes (cant say much about Abbaddon) are the perfect soul-grabbers.

kardar233
2012-03-26, 02:44 PM
Even better/worse, is it not true that a slain demon on the mortal plane eventualy reforms in the Abyss? Lets face it, those two planes (cant say much about Abbaddon) are the perfect soul-grabbers.

Depends on the source. I've seen Called beings (ones that are actually, physically there) die when they're killed, be banished, slowly reform and a number of other variations.

Steward
2012-03-26, 03:03 PM
Even better/worse, is it not true that a slain demon on the mortal plane eventualy reforms in the Abyss? Lets face it, those two planes (cant say much about Abbaddon) are the perfect soul-grabbers.

I know that's how devils work:

In Fiendish Codex 2, it says:


A devil slain in the Nine Hells stays dead. A devil slain outside Baator devolves into a puddle of foamy, stinking ooze over a period of 3 to 9 minutes. This residual soul essence registers as both magical and evil. Any mortal ingesting it must make a successful DC 20 Fortitude save or become sickened for 2d4 hours.

Whether or not its residue is disturbed, a slain devil returns to Baator 99 years later, in its original form, at full hit points. This method of transport leaves behind any physical possessions the devil might have carried, including magic items and treasure, even if they originated in Baator.

(Don't ask me why they felt the need to point out that eating the filthy, stinking ooze left behind after a slain devil dissolves is "sickening").

Pokonic
2012-03-26, 03:12 PM
Depends on the source. I've seen Called beings (ones that are actually, physically there) die when they're killed, be banished, slowly reform and a number of other variations.

I always heard that Demons slowly reform, while devils are banned from the Prime for such-and-such amount of time.

Doug Lampert
2012-03-26, 05:13 PM
There is basically only one advantage Good has over Evil.

Plot armor.

Not true. Good is COOPERATIVE, evil is not.

Evil is just as happy to fight and oppress other evil as it is to oppose good.

This really means that evil CAN NOT WIN. The closer evil comes to dominating the cosmos the less likelihood that any given evil character's opponents are good and the greater the chance that they're fighting other evil characters.

Asymtotically if good were vanishingly rare no one would bother to hunt good, but there'd still be evil working to undermine other evil and thus evil would stagnate while good slowly gained strength in the background as no one opposed it.


The inability of evil to cooperate effectively in the long term is not just an abstraction. Lots of evil-PC campaigns start on this board. In my experience, they're the ones most likely to devolve into PvP and chaotic-stupid behaviour in the first in-game day. I'm sure that there are a few campaigns out there in which evil characters manage to exercise restraint and demonstrate mutual self-interest, but does anyone disagree that they're in the minority?

My current long running campaign is evil, no really major problems with intraparty cooperation (other PCs are the major cause of non-resurectable PC death, but it's not common in terms of game time, we've been going for years with only about three such deaths).

The main campaign enemy is Lolth.

I've got at least one drow PC planning to replace her after they kill her. This is not a problem good deities have to worry about with good followers.


Basically: evil is stronger because the designers paid more attention to it. They never wrote up a lot of the top tier good stuff, because, apparently, most player characters are good and therefore never have to fight them.

And even if playing evil, you still have plenty of well detailed opposition. Because evil is not one big happy family (neither is good, but when good fights good its likely to be a missunderstanding or fluke, when evil fights evil it can easily be because they hate each other's guts).

DougL

jedipilot24
2012-04-18, 01:17 PM
"Is the Dark Side stronger?"

"No, no, noooo .... quicker, easier, more seductive."

This.

The Dark Side is not stronger than the Light Side; it only seems that way because the good guys have rules and the bad guys don't.

Morithias
2012-04-18, 01:59 PM
Not true. Good is COOPERATIVE, evil is not.

Evil is just as happy to fight and oppress other evil as it is to oppose good.

This really means that evil CAN NOT WIN. The closer evil comes to dominating the cosmos the less likelihood that any given evil character's opponents are good and the greater the chance that they're fighting other evil characters.

Asymtotically if good were vanishingly rare no one would bother to hunt good, but there'd still be evil working to undermine other evil and thus evil would stagnate while good slowly gained strength in the background as no one opposed it.

I dunno. Co-operation always struck me as a "lawful" thing not a "good" thing. You do have a point though.

In the latest evil campaign run by my friend, we're all basically going to vow not to fight each other. The queen (my player) is basically going to sit them all down, point out what you said to them, and tell them "Work together and rule the material plane, or fight amongst ourselves and fail, your pick."

I'll tell you how that pans out.