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View Full Version : DM Help How viable is for an Evil cult to gain money by butting into banking?



Pinjata
2016-02-15, 04:40 AM
So, we have an Evil cult, a rather powerful net of cult cells with some divine powers at their hand. In their past they have just looted settlements (were unable to really score any big jobs since powerful banks are well protected by adventurers), but what if they tried to push into trading guilds, caravan protection business and banking? I'm wondering if Evil god would be happy with his cultists switching to money hoarding (albeit for a very evil cause)? Also, would such work (under guise of Change shape, use of doppelgangers, etc ...) even "ping" on the detectors of adventurers/good guys?

What do you think of this as an alternative to looting villages? How would the "attacked" entities react?

Gallade
2016-02-15, 04:42 AM
Money can give you the power to bribe, recruit, blackmail and otherwise topple any opponent that you can't face head-on. It does give a new spin to the usual "Blah, we're evil, let's kill everyone" MO.

And unless the adventurers have someone with good connections (or were following one of their victims) it would be hard for them to tell there's something foul until they are specifically hired to investigate or some such.

TeChameleon
2016-02-15, 04:58 AM
... so, they're basically just making the transition from banditry to organized crime? Hah. For historical-in-joke-points, you should call them the Black Coast Raiders...

As to the evil god, it really kinda depends on the evil god in question; Khorne would probably get a bit pissy, given that "Hey, nice shop you have here; be a real shame if something happened to it..." really doesn't have the same ring as "Blood for the blood god! Skulls for the skull throne!", while Vecna might kinda dig it, since the Famiglias tend to have rather more trade in secrets than bandits do.

Pinjata
2016-02-15, 05:11 AM
And unless the adventurers have someone with good connections (or were following one of their victims) it would be hard for them to tell there's something foul until they are specifically hired to investigate or some such.
I was in fact thinking of Cultists to hire adventurers as caravan protection/etc.

Gastronomie
2016-02-15, 05:50 AM
Very simple.

If it's Chaotic Evil, no.

If it's Lawful Evil, yes. Pure yes.

I can easily imagine a cult of Asmodeus being like the Italian mafia or Japanese yakuza, administrating banks, restaurants and such in various cities and towns, while using the money gained to distribute drugs, prepare evil rituals, corrupt aristocrats/politicians, and lead people to worshipping the devils.

That said, I have an idea of these "magical drugs" - basically, it's normal saltwater, except turned into drugs by some vile magic. And when someone tries to examine it, or when some time passes, it turns back into normal saltwater. This should make an interesting way for evil cults to gain easy money. And maybe, this could work with a Chaotic Evil god too - especially if it's something like the God of Madness or something.
(Well, actually this idea is ripped off from the light novel "The Shameless Purple Haze" based off the manga series "Jojo's Bizzare Adventures". But since almost no one in your campaign would ever know it...)

Madbox
2016-02-15, 05:56 AM
Sounds great! As a matter of fact, did any other groups think of this first? And what do those groups think of you? The wet-behind-the-ears mafia versus the illuminati could make an interesting spin on the usual heroes versus the illuminati.

Pinjata
2016-02-15, 07:05 AM
Very simple.
If it's Chaotic Evil, no.

http://memesvault.com/wp-content/uploads/Sad-Frog-Meme-Gun-18.png
tfw my BBEG is CE.

Looting and stupidity it is.

hamishspence
2016-02-15, 07:07 AM
I could see some Demon Princes (perhaps a "Prince of Greed"?) being willing to delve into this kind of methodology.

CE varies considerably, after all.

Ashtagon
2016-02-15, 07:52 AM
So, basically, allow merchants to set up bank accounts, charge interest on loans, offer mortgages, and maybe even deal in speculative investment banking?

Yep, sounds quite evil to me.

Gallade
2016-02-15, 08:08 AM
tfw my BBEG is CE.

Looting and stupidity it is.

Why do so many people associate Chaotic Evil with looting, killing and pillaging? Chaotic Evil characters CAN be scheming, dastardly, behind-the-scenes villains.

Chaos is the tendency to act dishonorably, using lies and deceit to achieve your goal with no respect for authority. Just because you can't use "Lawful" schemes doesn't mean you have to mindlessly consume everything like locusts. I can just imagine, for instance, a Chaotic Evil villain kidnapping children and brainwashing them into their cult, then pretend to give them back to their families and using them as sleeper agents, for instance.

Âmesang
2016-02-15, 11:26 AM
What alignment would it be to just kill the kids, animate 'em into skeletons/zombies, and have 'em kill their former families? :smalltongue: Actually, you know what? Craft playing cards that'll summon actual monsters and hand 'em out to kids! :smallbiggrin:

This reminds me… apparently in Marvel's version of G. I. Joe Cobra Commander got his start swindling people with pyramid schemes.

AMFV
2016-02-15, 12:19 PM
So, we have an Evil cult, a rather powerful net of cult cells with some divine powers at their hand. In their past they have just looted settlements (were unable to really score any big jobs since powerful banks are well protected by adventurers), but what if they tried to push into trading guilds, caravan protection business and banking? I'm wondering if Evil god would be happy with his cultists switching to money hoarding (albeit for a very evil cause)? Also, would such work (under guise of Change shape, use of doppelgangers, etc ...) even "ping" on the detectors of adventurers/good guys?

What do you think of this as an alternative to looting villages? How would the "attacked" entities react?

Actually there was a really awesome post about this sort of thing in the Homebrew World forum:

http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showsinglepost.php?p=20424829&postcount=255

I'm not sure how useful that would be, and I don't know enough about banks to say much. But that would be a really interesting plan.

As far as pinging evil goes, in most systems (D&D ones at least) that's not action dependent, but rather dependent on inherent characteristics, so unless they tried to hide it they would still register as evil. But they would appear to be evil bankers (probably fairly common) as opposed to evil cultists, and so would probably have legal defenses against just being killed.

Heck, you might want to drop the cult altogether, just make your enemies evil bankers, an evil bank that has it's own legal defenses, and is ruthlessly taking advantage of people. Maybe your heroes are hired by a rival good bank. You've got pretty much the plot of It's a Wonderful Life, right there, except with more murder, and dragons. That could be truly epic.

Slipperychicken
2016-02-16, 10:27 AM
Do you have any more information about the cultists' religion, beside "They're Evil"? That could help a lot.

Segev
2016-02-16, 11:20 AM
A CE cult will tend to attract thugs more than brainiacs, but only because the lower levels will have thugs who only don't beat up fellow cultists because they're afraid of reprisal. And the more strictures you put on your minions, the less "C" you are.

That said, any system (This sounds like D&D?) which has int-based spellcasting will have direct personal power in the hands of the smarty-pantses of the group, so picking on them becomes less viable.

Now that we can have some brains at multiple levels of the operation, the CE cult can definitely get into banking. The trick is that they're going to be more than happy to lie, cheat, and steal, only caring about appearances to the point that they keep people trusting them with their money.

LE will run a bank with ruthless efficiency, and seek legal ways to transfer wealth from those who have it to the bank's ownership, through hidden fees, trap investments, contingencies and insurances which don't pay out due to loopholes, and any legal shenanigans and fine print they can manage.

CE will run a bank with a façade of legitimacy, but which will not actually care that the money they're moving around is being misappropriated. They won't bother with legal fictions or loopholes; they'll just doctor up papers. Their Ponzi schemes will be backed by lies and deceits rather than carefully-reported facts, and they'll happily empty the coffers of their investors while tricking the investors into thinking the money's there.

The CE banking cult will be more vulnerable to runs on the bank, but more willing to resort to intimidation and "accidents" to silence anybody who is getting suspicious before they start making full-withdrawl requests. The LE bank would, instead, have rules in place that simply prevented them from being able to get all that money at once, but would also have money available up to the full amount they're required to be able to produce.

CE banks will never be "caught" in a legal loophole against themselves, and can't be forced by rules to do anything. They'll just break them, and your kneecaps if you complain. They may well lie and try to smooth it over, but they won't hesitate to ignore any rules at all to get their way. LE banks are more vulnerable to clever application of the rules, and can be leveraged into defaulting if somebody is clever enough.

So it's quite possible to have a CE collection of cultists run a bank, and do it successfully. They will be in flagrant violation of laws they don't like, substituting intimidation and brutal enforcement to keep them from being found out for the LE group's willingness to be occasionally compelled under the law but using totally legal (but highly immoral) means to hide behind the law while still taking all that they can get their grubby little mitts on.

sktarq
2016-02-17, 04:00 PM
It can be done with CE. Just depends on how you look at CE. If BBEG (cult head-assuming human/demihuman) thinks controlling banking will build the power of the cult then he may well give orders to do that to all the local leaders. Probably hasn't told them exactly HOW to take banking over and various cells use various tactics. And cell to cell co-operation is based on who-is-friends-with-who-in-next-town-over rather than plans from above. Which means different styles and successful ideas spreading laterally instead of vertically in the heirarchy. Also expect local leaders to have more freedom to run their cells how they choose and for leadership to have fewer prerequisites (one guy might just be a friend of BBEG while another got lucky on a couple of missions while others are bastions of success. Expect more Charisma based skills rather than Int or Wis skills for example.

VoxRationis
2016-02-17, 04:35 PM
I mean, it's banking. Any god that doesn't demand the evil come from highly specific means would be pleased.

Segev
2016-02-17, 04:44 PM
I mean, it's banking. Any god that doesn't demand the evil come from highly specific means would be pleased.

Tut, tut. Banking isn't evil; the Templars invented it. And they're archetypal paladins.

Like any tool, it's only as evil as the use to which you put it.

Sporeegg
2016-02-17, 05:00 PM
Tut, tut. Banking isn't evil; the Templars invented it. And they're archetypal paladins.

Like any tool, it's only as evil as the use to which you put it.

And yet, SOMEHOW your new avatar looks like a 14 y/o banker laughing while showering in green banknotes and gold coins. :3

Banking according to the rules isn't CE sadly. Banking with forged contracts (nono, we never said you had three YEARS to pay us back, we said three MONTHS, see that paper?), killing the customers (oh, I guess we HAVE to keep the money since her entire lineage somehow burned down with her house) and bullying people into having to use your services (your farm burned down AGAIN? such a pity.).

LE banking is being evil with contracts, getting on the good side of influential people. Bribing the right guys, making watertight contracts, even establishing a reputation amongst the populace. An LE banker would adjust the contract just right so the farmer runs out of money before the last instalments are paid.

CE banking is switching off the money at the most dire of moments, changing contract details on the fly, extortion and murder. Let me emphasize this: Murder is in planned serial killer murders. Not murder as in killing spree. An CE banker would want the rest of his money half way in.

Beleriphon
2016-02-17, 07:08 PM
AHeck, you might want to drop the cult altogether, just make your enemies evil bankers, an evil bank that has it's own legal defenses, and is ruthlessly taking advantage of people. Maybe your heroes are hired by a rival good bank. You've got pretty much the plot of It's a Wonderful Life, right there, except with more murder, and dragons. That could be truly epic.

"Evil bank" taking advantage of people? You mean like a normal bank?

Really, all you need for evil cults to be evil banks is make all the stuff about The Templars be true. They really were worshipping a demon named Baphoment that provided them the insight to secure their power. What does Baphomet get? Know idea, it doesn't even really matter that much since the answer is just needs to be the demon saying I got what I wanted from this whole arrangement and leaving it at that.

AMFV
2016-02-17, 08:21 PM
"Evil bank" taking advantage of people? You mean like a normal bank?


Well, certainly many banks are unpleasant. I think it'd be fun to contrast evil and good banks. That's pretty much the premise of "It's A Wonderful Life", except with more swordplay.



Really, all you need for evil cults to be evil banks is make all the stuff about The Templars be true. They really were worshipping a demon named Baphoment that provided them the insight to secure their power. What does Baphomet get? Know idea, it doesn't even really matter that much since the answer is just needs to be the demon saying I got what I wanted from this whole arrangement and leaving it at that.

Baphomet gets to watch as people become more greedy and rich. They become more chaotic, since spending and stock markets are inherently so. I think that stocks and that sort of thing represents the Chaotic side of finances (although my own knowledge of that is rather shaky) but it's the unpredictable and more aggressive end. He can corrupt people (demons are as into that as Devils), without appearing to be directly involved. After all what has caused more wars than money? What could cause more despair and corruption than financial inequity?

Segev
2016-02-17, 11:26 PM
And yet, SOMEHOW your new avatar looks like a 14 y/o banker laughing while showering in green banknotes and gold coins. :3


14? Huh. Not what I saw, but okay!

And it's actually ghosts rising all around him, wailing. ^^;

o/~ Come, my minions, rise for your master! o/~ (At least, that's what I think when I see it.)

daremetoidareyo
2016-02-17, 11:50 PM
If there are other banking industries nearby, a successful CE bank would push their standards to be more lax and cutthroat...to a tipping point. At which regulatory forces overreact. Smart CE has a contingency plan or two for when that happens.

veti
2016-02-17, 11:55 PM
Lawful Evil could be really good at banking. But not necessarily.

Making money at banking isn't automatic, it's hard work. Ask a banker. LE would have advantages in that they'd be willing to do... things to collect the money they're owed, which is often a sticking point for the more scrupulous types, but that doesn't automatically translate into an ability to judge credit risk and spot good opportunities.

goto124
2016-02-18, 02:25 AM
The whole time I kept thinking:

"Why has no one mentioned 'Neutral Evil' yet?"

TheYell
2016-02-18, 02:48 AM
oh I dunno. CASINO was about a mob run casino (LE) where the bosses would steal about a million in cash off the top off the books (CE) . You could have a CE boss with an LE front.

Maryring
2016-02-18, 03:19 AM
Regarding how an evil bank would actually function, one thing to keep in mind is that if you want a bank to be successful, you need a lot of potential customers. You'd have to be able to set up shop in a metropolis. From there you could expand, but your actions would be primarily confined to the larger cities. So if your cult is hiding in the wilderness near national outskirts, then the scheme wouldn't work, even if their god approves. Assuming location isn't a problem... once you open a back you step out into the foreground. The best thing about banking is that the city guard can't come down on you for most evil things you'd do because they're entirely legal and any annoying do-gooder who tries to interfere will get the city guard breathing down their neck. The worst part is that your movements will be scrutinized, and you put yourself up as a target for street-bandits and thieves.

This is where the value of divine help comes in. Specifically, do they have enough divine help to always have some divinations at hand? You'll have to first build up a positive reputation and the best way to do this is with clever investments. And since economical theory isn't a skill in DnD last I checked, the best way to ensure clever investments is through the use of divinations. Scrying, mind-reading, future sight. Use those divinations, and encourage a growth in the local economy. It'll give you more money, and a better reputation.

Once you've solidified the reputation, you'll have a strong safety-net to protect your operation from the scrutiny of do-gooder Paladins. Your cult members will still ping as evil for any random paladin, but the evil of not caring that you're foreclosing on some poor widow's home isn't a smiteable offense, and if the paladin smites one of your cultists anyway, he'll be charged with murder and you should be able to weave popular opinion against whatever paladin-order the fool was a part of.

Depending on the cult size and the make-up of the members, you've different options of investment available. If you've got a lot of brutes, use them to attack caravans that you have not invested in. This will reduce the amount of competition your investments face, increasing your returns, and you could always sell the goods you've salvaged on the side. If you don't have the manpower for this, then you should invest in infrastructure and the locals, getting as many of them under your thumb as possible. Once you've got debt-slaves, you'll have access to a ton of emergency "cultists".

Finally, the "attacked" entities... how they react depends a whole lot on how you play the game. You're practically guaranteed to get a lot of scrutiny, especially initially, so you'll have to play it safe. But your primary competition will in all honesty come from other banks. If a merchant takes a loan with your cult, then "unfortunately" gets everything stolen by bandits, then he will probably suspect you. But, and here's the important thing. He can't do anything about it. Milk that simple fact for all that it's worth. As long as you've got your tail covered by legalese, then any action he takes against you will make him the bad guy.

Steampunkette
2016-02-18, 04:15 AM
Chaotic Evil people can run banks and schemes and any other course you like.

What you want or like and what you do are often two different things.

Maybe I'm evil and love my personal freedom, but I'll still gladly take people's money from them and put it into an IRA or sell a little old lady a reverse mortgage, give her $2,000, and then have someone kill her so I can take possession of her $80,000 house, legally, if it means I get the money I need.

And if here and there I can up charge someone ATM fees to access their own money without the cops hassling me for highway robbery, horray!

Just because they're evil and hate the law doesn't mean they won't follow it when it suits them. They'll just b re AK it when it doesn't.

veti
2016-02-18, 05:38 AM
Chaotic Evil people can run banks and schemes and any other course you like.

Sure, a chaotic evil person can function at any level in a bank, right up to chair of the board.

But we're talking (as I understand it) about a whole bunch of evil people forming their own bank, as a way for the whole cult to get rich. That implies working together. And banking is very much about contracts, rules, penalties, procedures, and above all, meticulous record-keeping.

While you might find CE people who were willing to take an interest in any or all of those things for a while, I certainly wouldn't want to trust them not to lose that interest, strike out and do their own thing, at any moment. And that - is not how banks work. The job requires a lot of trust, most especially in your own employees. It seems to me a much more Lawful than Chaotic milieu.

Eldan
2016-02-18, 07:21 AM
Hmm. I like the idea of a chaotic evil bank, really. I'm just thinking that where Lawful Evil would build up their influence over decades until they have their hands in everything, chaotic evil would probably have a bit of a problem with restraint. I mean, not necessarily, there's millennial planners in CE just like anywhere else. But I can't shake the feeling that CE would have a tendency to go for "Give us your money for 10% interest per month, NO SCAM!" or 17th/18th century bank shennanigans à la South Seas Company or French lottery cheating.

TheTeaMustFlow
2016-02-18, 07:57 AM
Hmm. I like the idea of a chaotic evil bank, really. I'm just thinking that where Lawful Evil would build up their influence over decades until they have their hands in everything, chaotic evil would probably have a bit of a problem with restraint. I mean, not necessarily, there's millennial planners in CE just like anywhere else. But I can't shake the feeling that CE would have a tendency to go for "Give us your money for 10% interest per month, NO SCAM!" or 17th/18th century bank shennanigans à la South Seas Company or French lottery cheating.

Yeah, this sort of thing. CE finance is basically pop-up ads and the occasional cricket bat.

TheYell
2016-02-18, 07:57 AM
One way it could work, in a highly urban setting, is evil network marketing. The cult branch is run by a Hand of five members. They offer loansharking, neighborhood guild (protection racket), overpriced vaults (only ones safe from cult burgulars), and company scrip in lieu of coppers (at unfair exchange rate) and ripoff pawn shops. The players are urged by the Hand through one of its Claws to find new business and worthy cult members in new territory to further a Secret Purpose and win admission to the Inner Temple. Once in the Inner Temple they are told the Purpose is to make the Hand rich enough to split up five ways and they have a chance to buy in by organizing new territory for the cult. Problem is there are no boundaries drawn between Inner Temple members - disputes are settled with violence but not so as to disrupt the Hand's business. eg a planned hit is tolerated but not a riot. Players in the Inner Temple then try to enrich themselves while keeping the bosses rich, holding their own against other Inner Temple figures while keeping their Outer Temple recruits busy on the street hustling.

Segev
2016-02-18, 10:10 AM
Lawful Evil is the "traditional" alignment for "evil banker." They write unfair, deceptive contracts that nonetheless do spell out everything...if you know how to read them. They have loopholes they can exploit while working to make sure none exist for others to have. If they slip up, if a loophole lets a client out of a bad deal (or put one over on the evil bank), so be it. They will, like any bank, try to keep their big, powerful customers happy, but will apply their rules to those customers even if it displeases them, because, well, Lawful.

Neutral Evil is willing to bend and break the rules, but will look a lot like LE most of the time when running a bank. They will maintain contracts, they will love their loopholes, and they will do all in their power to appear to be totally within the letter of the law. However, they're not above resorting to...extra-legal means of preventing loopholes being used against them. LE would never murder the heir listed in a will who showed up 1 day before the bank could have legally claimed the property for themselves; they'd seek every means to delegitimize the heir, to buy him off for less than the property's worth, to even spook him (as long as they didn't have to break the law to do it), but they'd not actually harm him. An NE bank would send the thugs if they thought they could get away with it, but only after trying legal means. Breaking the law is worth it, but not something you want to do with your Legitimate Banking Operation. Likewise, though, the NE bank will toss out the rules if they would upset a large client who is more profitable to keep happy, even if it means simply pretending a rule that works against them doesn't exist.

Chaotic Evil doesn't care about the rules except insofar as the rules actively serve their interests. Running a bank, they want the APPEARANCE of legitimacy, but more importantly, they want their big, important customers to be happy. They will rewrite or ignore any rules that will keep their big investors coming back, except for rule #1: "We need to be making money." They will also simply arrange an accident for that heir mentioned in the NE entry as their first recourse, preferably before he even meets with their lawyers and anybody knows he exists. They will forge documents, alter contracts after the fact, and embezzle funds with huge Ponzi schemes and other shenanigans that don't have to be legal or even marginally fiscally sound...as long as they can maintain the appearance of fiscal solidity and keep the confidence of their customers. And to do that, they'll resort to any underhanded tactics they must to silence those who might expose the house of cards.

VoxRationis
2016-02-18, 03:33 PM
The best thing about banking is that the city guard can't come down on you for most evil things you'd do because they're entirely legal and any annoying do-gooder who tries to interfere will get the city guard breathing down their neck. The worst part is that your movements will be scrutinized, and you put yourself up as a target for street-bandits and thieves.
...

Once you've solidified the reputation, you'll have a strong safety-net to protect your operation from the scrutiny of do-gooder Paladins. Your cult members will still ping as evil for any random paladin, but the evil of not caring that you're foreclosing on some poor widow's home isn't a smiteable offense, and if the paladin smites one of your cultists anyway, he'll be charged with murder and you should be able to weave popular opinion against whatever paladin-order the fool was a part of.
...

Finally, the "attacked" entities... how they react depends a whole lot on how you play the game. You're practically guaranteed to get a lot of scrutiny, especially initially, so you'll have to play it safe. But your primary competition will in all honesty come from other banks. If a merchant takes a loan with your cult, then "unfortunately" gets everything stolen by bandits, then he will probably suspect you. But, and here's the important thing. He can't do anything about it. Milk that simple fact for all that it's worth. As long as you've got your tail covered by legalese, then any action he takes against you will make him the bad guy.

This all depends on a particular social and legal setup, one similar to medieval or post-medieval Europe. This plan works less well in say, feudal Japan, where the paladin-equivalents can cut you down at a moment's notice just because they "don't like the look of things." Similarly, non-legalistic societies, or societies suffering from a lack of central control, will suffer banks less gladly.

Segev
2016-02-18, 03:38 PM
Similarly, non-legalistic societies, or societies suffering from a lack of central control, will suffer banks less gladly.

Actually, the CE bank will do better than the LE one in this setting: the CE bank makes its money off of agreements it keeps often enough to keep the big money coming back, and it ignores laws other than its own (as well as its own, when convenient) that get in its way. Thugs and bandits? They meet the CE cult's own thugs and violence-loving priests, who treat the bandits as "donors" to their "sacrifice fund." And make examples of them. So that bandits would rather let this next one go than dare anger the cult-bank.

Steampunkette
2016-02-18, 05:17 PM
I disagree that CE people can't or won't work in a bank for an extended period of time.

So long as you've got a powerful authority figure who can keep them in line at the top of the pile, forcing them to work together, they'll do it.

Also worth noting: Just because the leader of a group is CE doesn't mean -everyone- in that group is CE, any more than LG or TN mean the whole group follows that alignment. Maybe there's a pile of N people in the cult trying to fit in and/or avoid getting stabbed by cultists by blending in.

Plus once you've got a banking system running you can hire a bunch of LN Beancounters to do the main work while still making money hand over fist.

Heck, once you've got to the point where people think you're "Legitimate" you can disassociate the Cult from the Church and have your CE and NE thugs attack people and rob them in different places to make it safer to put their money in a bank than have it on their person or in their home, too!

sktarq
2016-02-19, 02:21 AM
Chaotic people will get into just about anything - individually. A chaotic person working in a bank-sure. I'm less sure that a cult of a bunch of chaotic evil people would infiltrate in any kind of organized way.

So all the techniques mentioned above would probably see use. Just by different cells. One would be all about spying and using spells to gain an information advantage. Another uses blackmail and violence to secure good deals and to make sure that their loans will be paid back-sometimes by going after the customers and other times going after their competition. Another will use charms and aid to win the good graces of the owners of profitable businesses/powerful roles and give them loans that they can't afford and use that over them to foreclose on things they want or rulings they favor-especially if they can extract the money back by getting the target hooked of demonic drugs or something. Others will simply show up and "partner" with a business that didn't ask for it....and woe to those that refuse their services in managing labor and the local powers that sign off. In another town prominent members may be competing to take over different different finance groups.

Just keep each scheme locally focused and every adventure that the PC's meet the cult different in style of attack and personality and they will accept the idea of a chaotic cult just fine.

Mastikator
2016-02-19, 08:04 AM
A chaotic evil banker would basically be a loan shark. A person can't pay their debts? Kill them and send their debts to their friends. Their friends didn't agree? Stomp on their knees until they agree.
Oh you have enough money to pay your debt? LOL I just added a 25% fee for you being uppity with me right now.

Also wouldn't it be easier for the cult to take over the local government and levy a religion tax? With higher tax and lower citizen status for non-adherents of the cult.