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By "Evil Campaign" I mean playing d&d as you normally would on a regular basis, except most of the PCs are evil, and they are serving evil ends. Not everyone has to be evil, but it definitely would not be a group "good" people would hang out with.
My gaming circle has been talking about this for years. We've tried it a couple times, and it felt very much like your regular good guy campaign, just waving a different colored flag.
In any case, I was wondering if anyone here as made an attempt at this so-called "Evil Campaign". Tell your story even if it was a failure. If you've had an idea for such a campaign, feel free to share. In fact, anything related to seriously playing evil characters, post!
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I suppose you could say my current D&D campaign is "almost evil". By which I mean that two out of four PCs are very selfish and tend to fall into trouble on a regular basis and the others are mostly fine with it. Only one of the characters has is Evil by alignment, though.
Really, an evil campaign isn't as different from a good or neutral one as people seem to think.
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Our group had a go at one a few months back, just before I left for China. It started as a one-off, with the DM pre-genning the characters. There was a vampire spawn, a bugbear, a duergar, a tiefling, a kobold, and a wererat (me).
The session was dominated by the following events:
The bugbear murdering a shopkeeper because he thought he was being overcharged by 5 gold pieces on winter clothing, leading to the rest of the party being chased out of the village by an angry mob.
The duergar and kobold being unable to outrun the angry mob due to their 20 foot movement speed. The rest of the party left them behind. They hid in the bushes and the DM elected to ignore their crappy Hide rolls and let them get away.
The reunited party encountering a Good-aligned adventuring group after the same MacGuffin, and the vampire backstabbing the tiefling in an attempt to convince the other group that we were allies. (It didn't work.)
My character cleaning his nails during the ensuing battle as the evil PCs fought the good NPCs. When I got asked why I wasn't joining in, my character's response was "What's my motivation?" Eventually I found the unconscious-and-stable tiefling and healed her up, and the two of us found a good seat and watched the carnage for a while (understandably, after being ganked by the vamp, she wasn't that motivated to join in and help either).
We ran out of time after that, and ended up never finishing it off.
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I have never really played an evil campaign, but we've talked alot about in in our group.
Our consens was, that an evil group would have to be of the lawful evil type. In order for the PCs not to murder each other on sight, they would either need a strict hirarchy in the group or a great entity that would kill them, if they fail their task (and killing a party member is somewhat a failure).
You somehow need to assure, that the PCs still work together, even if they do "evil" things.
But then on the other hand, being evil is somewhat dependant on your point of view. You can even do "evil" things, for a good cause. So what might also works, is a "good" group of assasins (who per definition are evil ), but work for a good guy and kill the badguys.
So the quintessence: you have to assure, that your PCs do not kill each other, just because their "evil" and are allowed to do so.
Well, I don't know if it really counts, but we had a group consisting of:
-Halfling Barbarian/Warblade, CE
-Human Barbarian/Rogue, CE
-Human Barbarian/Fighter, CE
The campaign mostly consisted of moving into a village, doing a quest for the local mayor in the most brutal possible way (no, seriously. Three greataxe-wielding barbarians in a party? Not pretty sometimes), taking the money, extorting more money, taking said extra money, spending it on booze, taking the money back, burning down the tavern, looting the village and burning the village. It worked because the world was rather low-leveled and primitive, with "civilization" consisting mostly of small villages several days apart from each other in a jungle.
We mainly played that because we had just finished a long and complicated political campaign, then said down and discussed the next game. Someone said "let's play something simple and fun, we haven't done that in ages." So, we agreed to make characters and next session, everyone showed up with a barbarian. We made them all CE and proceeded burning and looting. It was fun, but lasted only two or three sessions before we got back to "sophisticated" roleplaying, talking our way out of fights and politics.
Surprisingly, in-group hostility was mostly limited to boasting about who did the most damage (usually the tiger claw warblade) and comments about the halfling's size.
I have been involved in an evil campaign for many years now. It is very easy to twist the actions the PCs take into hooks for new adventures. Like for instance one of my PCs caused a riot and somewhere during the riot children were killed. Well years later a group of mercenaries tracked him down and arrested him resulting in the rest of the group needing to rescue him. They only did this because they needed him as the effective meat sheild. So my advise is to use what they do to make up new adventure and when that fails always offer them a reward and figure out a way to double cross them.
"I gave you a twizzler I can do what ever I want" - ME
Dropping in an example that hasn't been touched on yet, an Evil party in an Evil society or organisation can work very well, even teamwork-wise. Even though you can't trust anyone, it is useful to have people whose interests mostly co-incide with yours, doubly so if you make a habit of journeying to other lands where the 'Great and the Good' rule.
Was involved in a campaign like this for several years, and the dynamic that formed was pretty good as far as my perception of an 'evil' party went - there were two chaotic madmen in the party, a classic evil-psychopath CE skeletal Fighter and a CE Doppleganger Shifter with multiple personality syndrome (many of which were mean), but they were held in check by a loose contract between the other three party members, a LE Blackguard, a NE Necromancer and a NE lycanthropic Shadowdancer. The three of those united were a stronger force, more or less, than the other two, who though dangerous were also too different to be able to work together properly. As the plans of the blackguard, necromancer and shadowdancer usually led to gold, prestige and a good fight, though, the skeleton and the doppelganger usually went along with it.
There were disagreements, there were arguments, and occasionally the party came to blows, but party members never died from it (a dead ally is not a useful one). The players themselves were pretty good about it, and after a while, a certain esprit de corps formed; an unspoken 'us vs. the world' feeling. As the individual goals of each party member were subtly different (Blackguard - furthering the cause of her God; Necromancer - arcane lore; Shadowdancer - money; Skeleton - a good slaughter; and the Doppelganger, depended on what form it was in at the time) there was rarely the kind of squabble over spoils you might expect, and there was a tendency among the party to be scrupulously fair over division of loot - because they knew that screwing ther other party members out of their share would lead to a breakup, and most of them could see no long-term advantage to breaking up the team over something so petty.
Eventually, this team worked their way up from henchmen to being in a position to overthrow the Big Bad of their city and rule - in a typically unstable governmental alliance - in his place. We ended the campaign there, and assumed that the backstabbing would begin shortly after.
I'm in an "evil" campaign right now where we are all in a thieves guild. In the early stages of the campaign we overthrew the hierarchy and instated ourselves as the governing council. Now we're level 12 and we're basically expanding our reach and defending our criminal empire.
Even though we're all evil, some of us homicidally so, we manage to stay together and avoid inter party conflict because we're all smart enough to realize there's more in it for everybody if we work together. Our leader, though an evil criminal, treat his underlings sternly but fairly, ensuring loyalty. Enemies are mercilessly rubbed out.
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The first 3.0 game I ever ran was an evil campaign. I set it in a world where good was the overwhelmingly dominant power.
A permanent gate had been opened to the celestial realms, and the influence of the celestials and good kingdoms and religions had all but eradicated evil. This put the group in the position of depending on one another to survive, and having a multitude of targets for even the most bloodthirsty and argumentative of them to lash out at before they would turn on one another.
They cleaved a bloody swath through the campaign world as they sought out the few surviving evil characters and monsters of power and influence remaining in the world, and united them in an effort to close the celestial gate. My players are a good-natured and accommodating bunch, so I can't take much credit for it, but they did manage to get from 2nd to 24th level and complete the campaign as a unified evil force.
I played in an evil game once, and by once I mean we really only met once.
It was played over openRPG and took so long to do combat because the DM wasn't used to managing all of us at the same time that we couldn't barely get anything done.
I played a goblin wizard, but there was also a duergar scout, ghoultouched human fighter, a human cleric (female, complete with stupidly absurd and "sexy" armor and whips), and we were getting close to adding a gnome bard (but we couldn't ever seem to get the group together over openRPG for some reason).
What experience we had was fun, and we weren't trying to murder each other the whole time either.
(though I did cast grease on a group of small children and killed one with a magic missile wand...glorious).
What I do every time I see someone complain that their DM is a jerk just because some class/race/book/feat/etc. is not allowed at the gaming table.
Derby, UK and Bleak Despair battlestation. Species: Spirit-Bound Skeletal Lich (Lawful Evil)
Re: [Any D&D] The Evil Campaign
Oh hells, yes.
We've done a good few evil parties; though only four in anger. But, the expereinces are useful.
The only evil campaign we had that didn't go so well was the one in which the party were not really unified in goal. To be fair, the DM also wasn't good at balancing party members against one another (he let one player be a succubus in a 6th level party, for example) and he liked to promote party in-fighting. He also didn't make it clear at the start of the campaign that it was supposed to be an evil campaign world, leading to some rapid alignment shifts when we caught his drift; the only character that didn't change alignment ended up as a (mostly) NPC. He did have an overarching - and quite clever - plot and the game was fun for a while. (Though I - me, personally and highly uncharacteristically - had to swap out my CE Fighter/Rogue - volentarily, I might add - as I realised that I was concentrating too much on playing him, to the detriment of the group. So I replaced him with an anti-paladin and tried to keep the group's cohesion toegther.)
In the end, though, this particular campaign sort of petered out. The DM wasn't good at communicating what we we should be doing. We weren't acting much like a party, having polarised into two halves and one of the players - the pure roleplayer among us munchkins as it happens, ironically - was quietly putting all the male characters of the party under her domination (being a sort of vampire). (As this had gone so well with the succubus played by the same played when she Geased half the the party...) The DM eventaully gave up and he was really struggling to run it, for reasons we didn't really understand (and at the time anoyed us a bit); he was later diagnosed with a form of severe Aspurgers, which came as a slight surprise to all of us (himself included), but we all sort of realised that it made sense. And that, had any of us known (again, him included) we could have made adjustments, though it probably wouldn't have helped him much. (It also explained why he struggled sometimes when we did odd things he hadn't thought of and why he lashed out in character quite a lot.)
Two of the other parties were Imperial TIE fighter parties. They were absolutely evil. None of this sympathetic, wishy-washy rebel-sympathising nonsense! In fact, the first party (in West End before 3.x SW came out), everyone filled in the 'personality' bit of the character sheet with 'arrogant and cruel' somewhere...
This is delightful fun, allowing everyone to go around in the best-clipped English accents being condescending and outright prejudiced against aliens and rebel scum as well as quoting all the fun Evil lines, secre in our superiority over the vermin!
The other major evil party we had were for one of our groups, playing the Evil Five who were in opposition to the DM's earlier (and still-ongoing) campaigns about a crowd of heroes (the Good Five). The latter of whom were prophesied to combat the Evil Five. The evil campaign was actually done because the Monday group was bit short of numbers. The DM ran it as two of the Evil Five were too powerful to be used as PCs (half-dragon paladin, Drow sorceress), so we started with the other three. As the Good Five actually has more than the original five characters, we knew when the other members of the Monday group got back, we could fill in with whatever they wanted so the numbers would be equal. As the Evil Five had, in fact shown up, and tronced the Good Five party individually, the DM did the campaign as basically their backstory before the good five campaign began.
Anyhoo, that campaign was a real blast (it sad to admit, I like my Evil Five character more than my good five one!) The Evil Five were serving under the command of the evil country, so, not unlike the Imperial parties, we were working towards a common goal.
Some highlights were when the Cleric got petrified (and naturally, was the only one who had a Break Enchantment scroll) and the Rogue dominated, I had to drag him back to town to relase him from the domination (and get someone to come with us with another scroll...) by the effective procedure of tying him to a horse and smacking him unconcious every time he twitched...
We brow-beat this wizard into giving us spells and stuff on the cheap (he did fail to identify a Bag of Devouring we picked up and we were Not Happy Customers...), but that was about the most anti-social thing we did. (And when we deemed he'd done enough, we let him be.)
Hilariously, though, the aforementioned Drow sorceress, who showed up as an NPC, was the cause of much animosity. (Which is really ironic, since my good five character is trying to convince her to defect to the light.) First off, one of the players is not fond of Elves, and by extension Drow. He made an offhand comments when we first met her about all Drow being called names like Daisy or something (her real name is Drusilla) and it stuck.
Anyway, one moment occurred where we were being attacked by some rat-like thingies, and it turned out Drusilla didn't have Concentration (a very uncharacteristic slip by the DM!) So, when we finished off our opponents, and she was still fighting, we just stood back and watched...and had a jolly old laugh.
Another cracking moment was when we'd got a cart and were driving somewhere. One of the other players was driving the cart, which Drusilla - being our superior in the hierarchy - insisted on riding. I turned to the player and said: "you do know what you're doing, don't you?" He shook his head, wondering where I was going with this. I continued: "You're driving Miss Daisy..."
By-the-by: capturing a (higher-level than you) Silver Half-Dragon Paladin to be corrupted by your superiors; not easy. We realised any clever ideas like poison were totally buggered since high con + high cha + half-dragon Con and Cha boost makes a Paladin practically immune to poison unless you sink thousands of gold into it in the hopes he'll fail a save against a dose of a 1...And duffing him up was not bloody easy, I can tell you...!
I think one of my proudest moments was when we managed to mentally scar a Drow priestess without laying a finger on her.
(Yes, yes, I know you're going to ask, so...I dug this out of the WotC archives, since It's been a while since it actually happened, but the post was made sometime the week it happened while it was all fesh in my head.)
The first thing you need to know is about Dumar, the rogue/ assassin, and that is he's about as scummy as they get. Think of the most scummy thing you can think of, and the raise it to an exponential power. No, more scummy than that. He makes the Nobby Nobbs look like a paladin.
My character, Tanavark, (or samurai flapjack as my DM christened him) is from the Far West (where they are like, Oriental and such, and psionics is big; he's a psionic warrior). He is a flat, impassive killing machine. He wears a suit of Samurai-style Full Plate, and wields a scimitar under normal circumstances (two-handed); currently he's using a Greatsword because it's a +3 and is therefore slightly better than his scimitar (+2) even with weapon focus).
The rest of the party are equally villenous.
So, the situation. We were in the Demonweb to stop a plan by Lloth to incarnate herself in deity form on the world (hitherto, this has been forbidden). This was imconvieniant to our side's own plans of world domination, since the general concensus is that Lloth is (well, to put it as mildly as I can on these boards) as co-agulent as the fecal matter of pigs.
We managed to capture a Drow priestess eariler, and she'd only just come around from the beating Dumar gave her.
The party, who apart from Dumar and Tanavark, who were just lucky, were recovering from banged up in a fight verses Drow (another couple of preistesses) and Demons.
In the room of one the priestess we just hacked into chunks (and I mean than literally, as both myself and Valdamar (the Fighter/Cleric/Pious Templar/Blackguard) are two-hand Power Attackers) were some masterwork whips and manacles. Drow being Drow we assumed these were for 'recreational' purposes.
We wanted to question this captive about further information about the place we arrived in and what Lloth's actual plan is etc. Of course, we were not noted for our talky skills (mainly we just use Valdamar's big scary axe for dealing with folk, i.e. he looms and they acquiess). So intimidation was right out (me having blown the only natural 20 I'll ever get for intimidate (no skill!) in the previous dungeon.)
Dumar, frightful fellow that he is, was toying with the masterwork whip and all the other loot we just picked up.
Tanavark was talking calmly about chopping the Drow's fingers and toes of a piece at a time, assuming than while in general Drow are pretty resistant to torture, there is a limit even for them.
The rest of the party were healing, starting to rest or dealing with the magical kit we'd just looted.
The Drow was basically sat, tied up. Dumar was standing in front of her, over to her right, and I was roughly in the same position to her left, and the rest of the party were watching slightly further away. (I'm interpulating from the player positions at the table, but the effect is pretty much the same.)
Dumar: So, this whip...I look at the Drow...
DM: She smiles.
Dumar: Right. (You can see the gerbil in the wheel of Dumar's brain going, 'okay, so she's used to being whipped, so...' creak, creak...)
Then all of a sudden Dumar's player makes a whip crack noise and makes a whipping gesture at me (Tanavark).
Tanavark: (Unconvincing deadpan)* Ow. Oh, the pain.
There was a sudden, lengthy silence, as the rest of the party and the Drow's collective jaws dropped open in sheer horror at the sight of Dumar, in all his anti-glory, unconvincingly whipping a guy in full plate armour.
It was the sort of image that is on a parallel to the very worst you can find on the internet. It would have made Cthulu wince and Ted the Mindflayer would have been proud to give it his thumbs up, but even he would have been shaking slightly.
After this, the Drow, cowed by this display of pure, unadulterated, indescribable horror, started to answer a few more questions, but we soon reached an empasse again.
So I told Dumar to do it again. (The mage and the Blackguard (the fraggin' Blackguard!) were by this point, both crying out "my eyes! It burns, It burns!")
Three times in total Dumar cracked that whip. By the time we were done, the Drow was gibbering (and so was the rest of the party), but we had, at least, a managed to get most of the information we desired. All it cost us in the end was the ability to ever be let Dumar near, let alone use, a whip ever again.
*Of course, wearing Full Plate, the whip couldn't actually hurt him.
(Though the DM ruled that if, under any circumstances, if Dumar ever picks up a whip again, we're all at -2 until he puts it down, 'cos that was a bit much even for us...)
Anyway, the point of all that was to illustrate that evil parties, when not united by some common goal, can with otherwsie team-orientated groups, quickly fall apart. CE characters should be closely monitored (by even normally sane players) and Chaotic Stupid behavior should not be allowed in any case. Playing an evil character should not unilaterally mean you get to be an asshat who murders everyone he likes; generally, you should only really be an asshat to anyone outside the group (within reason).
An evil party with mostly LE or NE characters working towards some common goal (e.g. world domination) works beautifiully and allows eveyone to have a blast.
As with all these things the DM must make it crystal clear what his intentions are for the campaign so the players know what their boundaries are. (Note: expereince shows that no boundaries make CN and CE a good excuse to be a total jerkwad and ruin the game.) So, OP, as long as everyone is clear of what's expected of them in the evil campaign from the get-go, you should have no problems. If it's your first time, I'd suggest steering everyone away from any CEs (just to avoid the temptation to be Chaotic Stupid), but otherwise, you should have a good old, good-pulping, being nasty to everyone, oppressive unicorn-mangling time!
I ran one several years ago and played in one that TPKd this year. Both were exceedingly fun and worth it ... except for the TPK of course.
The one I ran was mixed LE and CN characters, which lead to great group dynamics. The "leader" was a LE Paladin of Hextor (I allowed it) and the player ran him like an corporate executive! One of the best ran characters I've ever seen. Was really fun to watch him keep the "unruly underlings" (the other half of the party) under his control. I played a GMPC that was this "lords" wizard but also schemed to take over because he was better fit to lead. As GM I didn't pursue that very far because it wouldn't have been fair of course.
The one I just finished playing I was an evil Enchantress (sorceress) who in the past had seduced a Paladin of Pelor into evil and he became a Blackguard of Mallack. Along with the Blackguard's cleric we where escaping the Church of Pelor's wrath and ended up in a country where a civil war just broke out. We where working our way into the graces of the rebellious (correctly so given the birth status of the heir) duke. Our eventual goal was to take over either the dutchy or the entire kingdom with the Blackguard ruling ... and my manipulative character "controlling". This was turning into that "ultimate" campaign until the GM messed up and TPKd us.
IMHO (OK not so much H ) a successful evil party should not go around advertising they are evil. They are fairly normal (for the circumstances) people who are motivated differently than others.
Even my CE Enchantress didn't kill people for pleasure (out in the open) but she had no problem convincing people to risk (and loose) their lives for her. Being CE didn't mean she didn't follow the rules or wasn't gracious and polite to others. It meant that everything she did was precisely calculated to gain her the absolute most in reaching her goal of controlling people.
Final thought is that playing evil characters can be a really fun break from the "Do Gooder Hero" types that is the usual type to play.
In any case, I was wondering if anyone here as made an attempt at this so-called "Evil Campaign".
I ran an evil campaign. Its sole purpose was to provide villains for my current campaign.
(Return of the Iron Star players, stay out!)
Party started out with a human Dread Necromancer, an elven Cleric of Nerull, a drow Rogue, and a half-elf Fighter/Sorcerer/Dragon Disciple (totally unoptimized, this guy). They ended up teaming up and killing a black dragon lurking beneath a small city. That got them lauded as heroes, right up until the necromancer reanimated it as a mount.
They also set out to save a small town from a mad druid and his plant minions, but the second that the plants offered to pay them better, the party aided the plants.
We ended up losing the Dragon Disciple as a player, but the party got a shifter Barbarian that was all too willing to aid them in destroying a resurrected cultist of Orcus bent on revenge.
After that, there was an artifact quest, and the party picked up two more players, a Fighter (who later became a Blackguard) and a Mystic Theurge.
I later regretted allowing the Mystic Theurge's player to join, but that's neither here or now.
The party did some travelling on the Lower Planes, and when the campaign ended, the Dread Necromancer was the headmaster of an ancient school of necromancy, the Barbarian became a half-demon and then took over a layer of the Abyss, the Cleric became Nerull's majordomo for this Material Plane, the Blackguard came to command a small undead army. The Rogue disappeared, and the Mystic Theurge's player got in a hissy fit and refused to allow me to use his character.
And I've played the CHaotic team in Dark heresy one night game (we had an imperial team and a choatic team, and we were in the same world and eventually faced off)
Thing with dark herasy, is the there is no good team.
THere's just LE (the imperium) and CE (the Chao Gods)
So there are just different flavors of evil.
But chaotic evil wasn't good, so much team fighting.
The 4e game Im currently DM now both PC's are CE.
They Started out CN, as theives.
They spent so much time disguised as drow it sunk in.
The Eladrin actually forgot her base race. (both in game and out of game)
Other characters a Doppleganner (in my saetting doppleganers are from the feywild don't know if this is the default)
There chaotic evil, but they work together since the've been pulling off theifs togheth basically since they left the fey wild.
Doing heists was part of there back story.
Currently there in Sigil (when they entered sigil they were CN).
THey have many many diguises, but spend alot of time as drow since, they bought a house as drow, and the lower story of the house is drow themed.
and they don't want anyone seeing nondow entering or leaving it.
thus the above problem.
Very little combat in the game.
Currently they plan to robe the biggest bank in the multiverse.
(and basically the only bank is sigil)>
along the way they are murdering, corrupting, and torturing people as they see fit.
They have gained to Souls (by convincing them this was better then trying to get in the heaven) into there daggers (sentinent soules0, and so to help there daggers gain some "Bloodlust" they felt the logical thing to do was show them torture.
The plan to rob the bank is bluring with a plan to rob the Lady (heh)
and is also blurring with a
Plan to set up a Pyramid Scheme
that I beleive will crash the multiverses economy and everyone will in the end loose money to them.
The other evil campaign i have seen was along the lines of, Heh heh, Lets Blow up some Paladins, while they sleep.
Let turn all of a village in to Tralls of the party vampire.
Ah lets kill them all and raise them as undead.
Lets destoy a forest.
Ah look a Nyphs scard grove.
raise her as undead.
(The centaur asked to be left alone with her for a while...)
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"A wizard can in fact be thought of the custodian to a familiar, a terrifying beast that charges its foes, slashing them to shreds while delivering their master's touch spells and bestowing upon their masters incredible bonuses to their hp or skill checks. A wizard is nearly powerless without one."