View Full Version : Does this seem overly harsh? (evil campaign)

2008-08-14, 04:31 AM
As the title says, I have been in an evil campaign. It's a low-magic setting, evil action is highly rewarded, and the DM was straight up about it being fast and loose with the rules. If it's fun and brazen it just might work as long as it's not completely moronic. Players are as follows:

1. Kinta. Female Tiefling wizard. That's me.
2. Fala. Female Aasimar bard.
3. Male Half-troll barbarian who hasn't actually bothered telling us his name. Not kidding--even though he's actually quite a social character. Considering, at least.
4. Zaha. The problem. Male human paladin. Evil variant, thanks to Fax_Celestis.
5. Male Elven monk. His player has only made it to one session and actually has been separated from the party the rest of the time. Bummer.

Lot of explanation up ahead. If you want, cut to the chase by reading only the bold.

So, magic is rare, but my character has learned that she can conjure fire by the drawing of a special rune. So far, she's also been treated as immune to fire, but has only JUST gotten to the point where use of this power is not also a wardrobe malfunction.

I knew that magic would be hard to come by, so I did my best to have other utility. I'm very much the brains of the group, though my character has had to come to grips with the fact that, while smart, she is not the leader. She has the Able Learner feat and ranks in open locks, alchemy, poisonmaking, blacksmithing, and profession: Chef. The last in particular has endeared her to the troll.

Also, none of the races know much about any OTHER races.

Early on, we came to a city that was held in obviously tyrannical rule. While the rest of us started forming a plan, Zaha went ahead and tried to bluff that the civilians we had killed earlier--whose skulls he had taken and polished and replaced some of their canines with bear claws--were actually vampires, and he should be given an audience with the king (who he knows literally nothing about - not even his name or what the name of the city is) to warn him about an assassination attempt.

He winds up being arrested and sentenced to death in the arena. The rest of us (sans monk, who really doesn't factor into the rest of the story and was included only for completeness) bluffed our way in by pretending to be mercenaries.

Zaha got lucky and wound up being given a mission from the king--one that called for someone expendable, as he had managed to make himself look like quite a fool. He also was severely beaten up by this and several other events, and was kicked out of town with most of the group on the night my character discovered her fire powers (by burning down half of the nobles' district...yes, deliberately).

Zaha and Troll decided that the best way to heal him up quickly (he was still level 1 or 2) was a nice hot cup of troll blood. In full view of the peasant who was graciously giving them shelter for the night, Zaha drank a cup of troll blood. (DM called for fort save. Natural 20. He still passed out.)

A lynch mob formed to kill this obvious vampire, and in the resulting chaos, Zaha slipped off into the night to begin the party's mission, ditching everyone else. Fortunately, the king was intrigued by the woman who was immune to fire (and, at the time, burning constantly, consuming anything she touched) and sent me on the same mission, which he had just given to a (in DM's words) "dupe".

So I gather the rest of the party and we start going up the road, with a cart, supplies and a map provided by the king. Zaha has directions there but decides to go a roundabout way.

Due to a lucky spot check, on the way there I did note a battle site, which happened to have been one that he fought at. He has a habit of stealing shirts, so I made an intelligence check to realize that it had been him fighting there. I also noted a rune--but not the rune of fire that I had begun using. This rune, I could not get to function.

So we meet up at the destination and the first thing he does is pickpocket me for specific items that I didn't have when he saw me last (a crystal ball I swiped off the only other real magic user I've encountered). Since I didn't notice that he stole from me, I--having made the checks needed to do so--reveal that I've figured out that the other rune I've seen is his. And whereas I'm fire, he's earth. He then uses the rune to smash a boulder that's in our way, triggering a fight with a bunch of guardian statues.

Compared to the juggernauts of the half-troll and buffed out paladin, my squishy wizard is in for some crap. I wind up unconscious after the fight; the party forges on and goes through another fight, dragging me along with.

After the fight is when it happened. Fala and Kinta were both unconscious. So Zaha decides to steal their shirts. Troll is apathetic about this.

Zaha then decides to cut off one of Kinta's fingers. I still don't know why. However, Troll realizes that his chef is about to get hurt and growls at him.

"Stop that."
"You can't tell me what to do!"

They both go for their weapons. Fight ends with paladin at -2 and stable; bard just woke up shirtless and got her clothing back. Session ended then...but next week's going to be a doozy.

Fala plans to kill Zaha. He took her shirt. He's never been a help to her and she now considers him as having molested her while she was out cold. Her character is definitely fickle and this would be pretty easy.

My character has still not regained consciousness, but should wake up before Zaha does. Fala's player has told me that she plans to ask Kinta to kill him.

Note: The following is evil stuff and may be particularly disturbing.
Kinta will probably respond by carving her fire runes into his flesh and salting the wounds, ensuring that they will scar. The runes only trigger when she sets them on fire; this would provide him with--basically--a killswitch. Fala plans to kill him right off the bat. We don't know what the DM will do but I know him and doubt that he'll consider us unreasonable.

I know that I tend to be too easygoing with people. Have I tolerated enough already?

2008-08-14, 04:34 AM
You have a paladin in an evil campaign? Is the player an idiot for pulling something like that, or is the DM a d*ck for not letting that player know it will be an evil group?

Anyway, killing off player characters that are only distracting and purposely spoil everyone's fun seems like the way to go in an evil group.

2008-08-14, 04:41 AM
Sorry, forgot to mention. Fax_celestis's paladin variant. He is indeed an evil paladin.

2008-08-14, 04:46 AM
Sounds like a paladin of slaughter to me... one thats acting immaturely however. Discuss it with the GM and have the GM talk with the player.

2008-08-14, 04:56 AM
Wait, what? I did a double take when reading the cast list. A paladin in an evil campaign? Some people can't even play paladin properly in a good campaign.

Are he supposed to be... you know, the reverse belkar or something? I just don't get it.

edit: oh, that explain some things. But double ninja-ed, damn.

2008-08-14, 05:07 AM
Must be one of these idiots who feels screwing over the party will end well for him and not them.

Kiara LeSabre
2008-08-14, 05:19 AM
Overly harsh? Why? You're evil, and it wouldn't even necessarily take an evil person to be thinking homicidal thoughts at this point.

All I see is a choice between using the runes trick to turn him into your slave or killing him. Pick whichever you prefer and run with it.

2008-08-14, 05:31 AM
From a player stand point, I say no.

From the stand point of my characters, they'd inform you that not only is not not harsh enough, but then proceed to tell you how to properly do it.:smallbiggrin:

2008-08-14, 05:42 AM
I you kill him in the most creative and horrifying manner you can think of. He's obviously far too much of an idiot to be a useful servant.

2008-08-14, 05:59 AM
Since it is an "evil campaign" and "evil actions are highly rewarded", there are hardly any in character reasons for you to go easy on him.

What you should consider though are the two major issues of every evil campaign:

The first concern is the question: "Can you all keep the hostility in character or will it spill over into the real world and become an out of character problem?". You should only play an evil campaign if you can keep things strictly in the game.

The second concern in such a campaign is the constantly threatened stability of the party. Evil groups often build up internal animosity (as it has happened here) up to the point where open hostilities arise and the whole campaign goes out in a blaze of PvP-combat.

I canīt say anything about the first point, that is for you to judge.

About point number two...
Installing the "killswitch" would be more productive (offers new roleplaying possibilities), stabilizing for the party (limits his erratic actions and forces him to stay with you), and "more evil" than simply killing him (which would also set up a precedent leading to more PvP in the future).

An evil party will always have internal hostilities and even without that some members would often kill others for personal gain. The trick is to introduce external factors (a common goal maybe?) which keep them from slitting each others throats. The other party members always have to be more useful in their living state than they would be as corpses. As long as such a balance is maintained an evil campaign can go on for quite some time.

2008-08-14, 06:07 AM
I really don't see a problem. Depending on what motivates your wizard, mony, power, vice, all three, add more. I would think your wizard, who is evil, would respond to a request to kill some one with the fallowing. How much? What will you do for me in return? To himself is the paladin a liability to me? What do I gaine by killing the paladin other than a payment of loot, hard cash, or a favor from the bard?

Also keep in mind that just because your character is "evil" that does not meen that he will condone any barbaric act. That said if the player of the paladin insists that he abused the bard in a sexual man....lets just call it rape. Is that some thing that your wizard would find exeptable? If not just how much contempt would your wizard have for the paladin? Enough to kill him?

To thoughs up in arms about a paladin in an evil party.

Its perfectly fine to play a paladin, or other lawful good character in a party with evil characters. You dont have to automaticly jump to the most extream interpritation of alinment, the paladins code of behavior, and the hand wave group fiat of we must all be nice to each other (IC) because its the only way we can have fun.

My friend ran a game with a group that went evil. In very colorful, dastardly, and vile ways. This party also had a Lawful Good Cleric of Tyr. Yes, the shining becon of justice and order. This worked for two reasons. The first is, they where friends, they wanted to have fun. The second is after putting up with the horror of being in this evil party, the cleric was given a devine mission from Tyr. Redeem them. It didn't work. The cleric left to go sit in solitude some whare. In the end it worked because evry one was fallowing what is the motto of the game I'm running now. Because it's funny.

I'm in a game right now whare the parties moral compas was slightly bent to begin with. After the horror of the last adventure and some parts that happened befor it. The moral compas has not only been smashed, but tossed over board. It up in the air on ware individuals will be by the end of the campain.

There is going to be conflict in an evil party. There may even be a fight that results in the death of a party member. Whats the worst that will happen? Gary Gygax rising from the dead to personaly ban you from playing D&D? Some one getting so upset that they actualy throw a fit? No. The worst thing that would happen is having to make a new character.

Tempest Fennac
2008-08-14, 06:33 AM
Did you ask Zaha's player why he cut off one of your character's fingers? Also, did it have any effect on spells with somantic componants at all? I agree with Eldran' points about playing this sort of game. (Did you expect the other people to enguage in PvP activities when it first started?)

2008-08-14, 06:41 AM
Did you ask Zaha's player why he cut off one of your character's fingers? Also, did it have any effect on spells with somantic componants at all?

By my reading, the half-troll stopped him before he actually cut anything off.

Killing someone for taking your shirt while you're sleeping is disproportionate, though possibly in-character. Hitting him with an "I can end your life if you annoy me" option seems like the better choice, for the reasons Eldran described. However, I would second the recommendation to talk to the player. It sounds like the rest of you are playing reasonably fleshed-out characters, whereas he's coming off as just out for mayhem.

Tempest Fennac
2008-08-14, 06:43 AM
Sorry about misreading that bit. I'd agree that the brand would probably be the most proportionet way to punish him in that case.

2008-08-14, 08:09 AM
Well after reading the story my first thoughts were "Hell hath no fury.." :smallamused:

I agree with Eldran's assessment of the rune, it's nicely evil without going over the top, ie resulting in death.

2008-08-14, 10:20 AM
It's an "Evil Campaign" the party is bound to kill each other then burn the world. That's what happens. Just go with whatever feels entertaining/in character. But try not to let character hate spill into personal greivances.

2008-08-14, 10:42 AM
Seems justified, and fine for an evil campaign. I would also suggest putting a second rune somewhere south of his forehead. :belkar:

2008-08-14, 11:26 AM
runes ahoy! he'll have a nice shiney set of tattoos when he regains conscience!

it might be worth talking to the player though - he might object to to prospect of "being bullied" and prefer to snuff it. As long as you make it clear to them in advance its all just in-game stuff and having fun and to let you know when he stops having fun with it then you can accomadate each other. Communication FTW!!! Yes, it borders on meta-gaming a bit, but if it keeps the party running smooth i doubt your DM will care, and it will save him a tonne of hassle keeping things together later down the line.

But as i said - it all boils down to whether the player can hack the amount of animosity his PC will face in game from now on.

2008-08-14, 11:39 AM
I think I see a problem with your "kill switch": it has no dead-man's-trigger.
That is to say, if this guy decides he doesn't want you holding his leash, he just slits your throat (OK, everybody's throats, I guess) while you sleep and walks away with no worse consequences than a sinister-looking scar (which he might think is actually pretty cool).

2008-08-14, 11:48 AM
I make him a paladin candle! MAWAHAHAHA!

2008-08-14, 11:51 AM
I like the Killswitch idea, just remember to steal his shirt. Poetic and a great reminder of what you can do to him. Consider prohibiting him from obtaining a shirt at any time in the future.

2008-08-14, 12:56 PM
Let me get this straight, The Paladin goes and tries to get an audience with the king by himself without you guys with a stupid plan, nearly gets himself executed in the process, starts a lynch mob on you all, ditches you at first, steals items using OOC knowledge, and when the two of you are asleep he not only steals your shirts but then attempts to MUTILATE the wizards hands? And your asking if carving fire runes is a bit much huh?

Personally I'd ask if the Half-troll was interested in eating Roast Paladin cause I'd let the sucker burn horribly from a character point of view.

From a Players...you might seriously want to talk with that guy and ask what the heck is up with him. The shirt stealing is fine...kinda funny to if you think about it ("Huh, wha-...where the hell are our shirts?" Paladin: "Umm...evil moths came and attacked...yea...thats what happened") but mutilation of your allies, ditching of said allies, things like that? Not cool...and not particularly smart either.

2008-08-14, 01:05 PM
If Fala wants to kill him, then let her kill him. You should stand out of the way. This prevents Zaha's player from hating you for killing his character and from feeling that the group ganged up against him. He might keep playing, in which case his out of character ire (and there will almost certainly be some) won't be directed at you.

Plus, he's dead anyway then.

If you burn a rune on him, then you're essentially painting a bull's eye on yourself. Zaha is then *very* motivated to find ways to kill you and end your threat to himself. He will do this at every turn, forcing you to split hairs endlessly. He'll want you to go first, he'll encourage enemies to attack you, he'll give you false information ("No, there's nothing dangerous in there"), etc. You will be in more danger than he is, because you've already shown you had no balls by not killing him when you had the chance. He'll know that he's safe as long as he doesn't get carried away. All he has to do is put you in danger enough times and you'll get killed off without ever having a chance to trigger the rune.

Nah, I'd let Fala kill him while you sit there and look sad for Zaha's plight. Then befriend his next character in that character's crusade against Fala. If you're lucky, they'll kill each other off and you can loot their bodies with the troll (who is the only one who seems to have any sense in the group).

2008-08-14, 01:26 PM
Valid points by Gamebird. Use the fire rune thing as leverage to get Zaha to hand over the Earth rune to increase your collection, find out the second rune was stolen IC as the matter comes up, and use that as an IC reason to let Fala kill him anyway.

2008-08-14, 01:43 PM
Sounds like you've put up with enough crap. Why not just help Fala skin the bastard and leave his corpse to hang from a nearby tree? Then at least you can get a nice cloak out of the deal. :smallamused:

@V: How about tieing him down and carving a lot of runes in his flesh? Then you can have a nice bonfire.

Honestly, I don't know why you bothered to save him from the arena, Talanic. I would have left him to be carved up.

2008-08-14, 01:46 PM
Sounds like you've put up with enough crap. Why not just help Fala skin the bastard and leave his corpse to hang from a nearby tree? Then at least you can get a nice cloak out of the deal. :smallamused:

The only flaw in this plan is that it doesn't involve setting things on fire.

Can you set the tree on fire, maybe?