D&Disasters

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D&Disasters

Postby Horizon » Tue Jul 19, 2016 12:11 am

Alrighty, folks, I made a promise, and here I am, following up on that.

So, in Junior Year of high school(that is to say, in the spring of 2015), I ran a D&D game with some friends of mine. First problem: of the five I invited, only three showed up. Problem two: Of the three, only one had played D&D before, and he played ridiculous clownshoes D&D and his first thought in character creation was "I wanna be an evil character."

No. No, fuck that. I don't let people play evil characters in my games. Why? Because evil characters are always disruptive. If you have a paladin, or a good-aligned cleric(spoiler: you probably will), then the evil character is going to make a rift in the party. A rift in the party is never good. Don't do it. Don't bring an evil character to the table if we're playing D&D.

Anyway, I told him that no, he wasn't allowed to play an evil character, nor was he allowed to play chaotic neutral(which is almost as bad). So instead he made a true neutral character, who then proceeded to do awful shit.

I don't remember all the details, but I do remember that their first fight was in a tavern against a bear that came through the wall, which they lost. The half-orc barbarian tried to break down a door, and rolled a 1, which I ruled was him trying to punch the door open, which resulted in him breaking his hand and making the door harder to open(We were laughing a lot at that). The elven ranger climbed up a tree because he thought there were kobolds(there weren't, and I never said there were). He then jumped /out/ of said tree, and tried to get the barbarian to catch him. I told them both to roll a Dexterity check, and if they added up to twenty or more, the elf wouldn't take damage.

The elf took damage.

And, near the end of the session, they said "fuck this" and went back to the bar, the elf picked a fight with a sailor, got his ass kicked, and the party joined the sailor's crew, which was smuggling porn(I gave up long before that point).
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Re: D&Disasters

Postby Deepbluediver » Wed Aug 10, 2016 4:18 pm

If you really like D&D stories or want to get advice, try the Giant in the Playeground forums (for the Order of the Stick webcomic). There's tons of that on there.

That being said, I've played a bit of D&D and if I can suggest one thing, its that everyone work out their character issues ahead of time, BEFORE the first session. Or at the very least plan for the first session to be character creation with a break in between it and whenever you start play. This gives the players and the GM time to get on the same wavelength and time for the party to organize themselves so that they aren't missing some critical skill. It also gives everyone time to chill out and come to grips with their character (so long as you don't allow last minutes changes because "just a few tweaks" rapidly becomes a new race, class, alignment, and backstory).
If it's going to be a short one-shot campaign, design characters for the players ahead of time, and make sure they know that. Of course, with a one-shot I would also allow a little more leeway because you only have to put up with people for a few hours at most, so let them run wild if they want.

I think one of the best ways to handle someone wanting to play an evil character (or any alignment likely to cause trouble I guess) is to say "I did not design this campaign with that playstyle in mind, please play a character that is [acceptable alignment] and if the group wants to do a campaign based on [problematic alignment]". If a player refuses, then it's probably better they aren't playing with you in the first place.
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Re: D&Disasters

Postby Horizon » Fri Aug 12, 2016 2:58 am

Deepbluediver wrote:If you really like D&D stories or want to get advice, try the Giant in the Playeground forums (for the Order of the Stick webcomic). There's tons of that on there.

I actually spend a lot of time there. I just figured, hey, in the Leftover Soup board, I promised I'd tell a story about a D&Disaster, so I kept my promise.
Deepbluediver wrote:I think one of the best ways to handle someone wanting to play an evil character (or any alignment likely to cause trouble I guess) is to say "I did not design this campaign with that playstyle in mind, please play a character that is [acceptable alignment] and if the group wants to do a campaign based on [problematic alignment]". If a player refuses, then it's probably better they aren't playing with you in the first place.

That's a more diplomatic approach than what I would say: "No, you can't play an evil character." and variations on that: "Why not?" "Because this is D&D, and in D&D, you play good guys. You wanna play the bad guy? I'll grab my World of Darkness stuff and we can play that instead." or "The rules say I can." "The rules also say you can play a grizzly bear, but I'm not gonna let you do either of those things." or even "I'll behave." "Then how are you Evil?"
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Re: D&Disasters

Postby crayzz » Wed Aug 17, 2016 9:59 pm

"Because this is D&D, and in D&D, you play good guys. You wanna play the bad guy? I'll grab my World of Darkness stuff and we can play that instead."


Eh, my own inexperience being noted, I'm fairly certain "in D&D, you play good guys" has more to do with your own play preferences than anything built into the game.

"I'll behave." "Then how are you Evil?"


Pragmatism. Going around openly being evil and stirring up shit is a good way to get your ass kicked. Evil isn't the same as stupid, and any evil person worth their salt in ruthless pragmatism ought to be willing to play nice with some goody goodies for a fair reward. Or even just because they're friends and evil doesn't mean disloyal.

*goes off to grumble about how being good in Shadows of Amn is so economically superior to being evil that most any evil person should recognize it and play nice for the money and power*

IIRC 1/3 of the human population is evil. Evil is clearly capable of cooperation, even long term cooperation needed to build societies.
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Re: D&Disasters

Postby Horizon » Thu Aug 18, 2016 10:59 am

crayzz wrote:
"Because this is D&D, and in D&D, you play good guys. You wanna play the bad guy? I'll grab my World of Darkness stuff and we can play that instead."


Eh, my own inexperience being noted, I'm fairly certain "in D&D, you play good guys" has more to do with your own play preferences than anything built into the game.

No, it's an unspoken but clear assumption in the D&D rulebooks. It's why Paladin is a base class and Blackguard isn't. It's why Good-aligned Clerics get healing and Evil-aligned Clerics don't. Also, D&D is mired in the traditional Tolkeinesque fantasy milieu that assumes you're playing heroes.

Most D&D players play heroes.
[/quote]
"I'll behave." "Then how are you Evil?"


Pragmatism. Going around openly being evil and stirring up shit is a good way to get your ass kicked. Evil isn't the same as stupid, and any evil person worth their salt in ruthless pragmatism ought to be willing to play nice with some goody goodies for a fair reward. Or even just because they're friends and evil doesn't mean disloyal.

*goes off to grumble about how being good in Shadows of Amn is so economically superior to being evil that most any evil person should recognize it and play nice for the money and power*

IIRC 1/3 of the human population is evil. Evil is clearly capable of cooperation, even long term cooperation needed to build societies.[/quote]
No, the distribution of the human population across the alignment spectrum isn't like that. Humans are predominantly True Neutral, tending towards Good due to closer ties with Elves and Dwarves who are predominantly various flavors of Good.

And as for evil characters still being evil even though they're behaving, that defeats the point of being evil. Why would you play an evil character if you didn't want to do evil things? And by behaving, you're not being evil- you can't be good unless you do good deeds, and you can't be evil unless you do evil deeds, sort of like how you can't be a murderer if you've never killed anyone.

Anyway, here, watch this.
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Re: D&Disasters

Postby snowyowl » Sat Aug 20, 2016 9:01 am

Horizon wrote:And by behaving, you're not being evil- you can't be good unless you do good deeds, and you can't be evil unless you do evil deeds

You're the GM, you make the rules. If your player wants to be Evil but doesn't want to commit evil deeds, you could let them. Some people just want to be edgy and dramatic, but don't want to rip the party apart.

Some people do want to rip the party apart and cause the other players grief and frustration, of course, and it sounds like your player was one of them. I just caution you against making blanket statements. A decent player can play an evil character, even in a good-aligned party, and still help advance the story and get on well with the other players.
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Re: D&Disasters

Postby Horizon » Sun Aug 21, 2016 10:05 pm

Sure, some people wanna be edgy and dramatic, but if that's the case, D&D is not the game you should be playing. D&D is not about being edgy, dark, and dramatic. D&D is about being a high fantasy adventurer who stabs goblins in the face and doesn't afraid of anything. You wanna be edgy, dark, and dramatic? Go play World of Darkness, that's what it's for.
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Re: D&Disasters

Postby snowyowl » Mon Aug 22, 2016 3:58 pm

It can be dark if you want. Otherwise the game wouldn't allow Evil player characters at all.
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Re: D&Disasters

Postby Horizon » Tue Aug 23, 2016 1:40 pm

It's an unofficial rule of D&D that just because the rules allow it doesn't mean you can do it without someone getting mad at you. Just because your Wizard can curbstomp everything doesn't mean your Wizard should curbstomp everything because that's not fun. And just because you can play an Evil character in a Good-aligned party doesn't mean you should play an Evil character in a Good-aligned party because the Cleric and the Paladin are going to hate your fucking guts.
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Re: D&Disasters

Postby Darkfeather21 » Sun Oct 16, 2016 2:34 am

Horizon wrote:It's an unofficial rule of D&D that just because the rules allow it doesn't mean you can do it without someone getting mad at you. Just because your Wizard can curbstomp everything doesn't mean your Wizard should curbstomp everything because that's not fun. And just because you can play an Evil character in a Good-aligned party doesn't mean you should play an Evil character in a Good-aligned party because the Cleric and the Paladin are going to hate your fucking guts.


Only if the Paladin and Cleric decide to be boring.

Honestly, I've never seen a point to the alignment system in D&D. All it does is needlessly limit characters to 9 pre-defined personalities.

Honestly, as someone who's run quite a few evil campaigns, this idea that evil equals senseless slaughter and plotting to take over the world and eating babies kinda... Weirds me out.
Like, why would anyone assume that's what evil is?
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