Quote Originally Posted by hoverfrog View Post
That's probably a reason why I see the alignment system as a general guideline more than anything hard and fast. In my RL game my (14yo) son plays an evil cleric. He's obsessed with the idea of alignment but terrible at actually being evil. He'll help the old man who's been infected with ghoul fever rather than killing him or waiting for him to die and raise up so he can control the resulting ghoul.

Of course nothing says that an evil character cannot help others, form friendships, be nice to people and pay for his own beer but being nice to people just doesn't seem evil.
Savage Species had it as "Evil characters can be kind and respectful- to those they consider their peers or loved ones- while mistreating those they consider beneath them"

You can't be Evil and not be willing to mistreat somebody- but it's up to you what you categorise as "acceptable targets".

BoVD, surprisingly for it's "lack of subtlety" was happy to suggest that you could have Evil characters "motivated by love and compassion" (as well as rage and hatred) who "do good deeds" (but also use evil methods). Anti-heroes, in short- Elric of Melnibone was the cited example.