REVERB GAMERS 2012, #11: Have you ever played a character that was morally gray, or actually evil? Why or why not? If yes, did you enjoy it?
the LintKing says:
Absolutely not. All of my characters are completely pure and honest, and if you ever game with me you should totally trust them, every one.
the Fierce asks:
“Hey, hon, have I? I don’t recall doing so…”
“–Well, there’s Samantha. (Phblt…hehe…) I could make a case for Pikabu, too. But that I can think of offhand, as a *player*, no, I don’t think you have, actually – you gravitate a lot more to the Paladin-esque. Sometimes (like with Pikabu) to the point where they could be argued as wrapping around, but even there, an actual argument would have to be made, and I’m not sure it would hold up very well. I’m thinking that in all our games at ACNW, there must have been *one*, but, you know – only Ariel comes to mind, and I had Zephyr’s viewpoint…still, in fairness, I couldn’t see either of those two as being actually much better than `gray.’ They were a little too focused on `winning’ to be overly concerned with morality.”
“I keep thinking I must have, as a GM, run someone who was evil. As a player, I mean, Jinx-Jobina thought nothing of eating someone if it was in context. She’d never be impolite. Satyr thought morals were for suckers, but he’d never do anything malicious, just playful. Damascus, well… I kind of think she operates on a different level. Maybe I’m just good at all of them having the delusion they’re the good guys?”
“Given a more realistic take on morality, you could say that about anybody; but no, I think `grey’ is the worst your characters get. Despite [the Rainbow Kat]’s immediate `yes’, she can’t think of any, and neither can either of us, and I think that’s a pretty strong point -and even those are usually in places where it’s part of the context. Like, May certainly sounded to have her bad points, but, you know, [the game was] `Hellcats’ – I was frankly having a hard time thinking up anything bad enough for Kokone to be involved in to fit in. So you might think about why not, because I think that’s where your answer to this one really falls.”
With that in mind, I think the truth is that “good” and “evil” aren’t destinations for my characters’ development. They will do good and evil things in order to get to their goals, but I don’t think the descriptors really apply… and that’s kind of where “paladin” comes in for me. It’s not the “lawful good” paladin situation, it’s the faith-driven goal-inspired passion of a paladin. My characters in general do what they believe is the right thing to do in the given situation, even if they’re wrong. I don’t like apathetic characters, although I’ll occasionally run a character who is paralyzed by choice.
Thinking about it, the character (Sienna) I ran in Doyce’s “Ironwall” game was supposed to start out evil – her quest was for redemption. She sold her child for power… yeah, that’s evil. So I found one…but she did repent.
She also tore hearts out of her enemies. So yeah, paladin.
Last night in picking up a session with the kids, the boy tried again to draw his sword on his sister’s character for being annoyed. I took a deep breath and looked at him. “If you want to attack your party members, you character will become evil.”
Now, this is a huge step forward for him, because he always wants to play evil characters. That this actually stays his hand is a “win” for me.