« Spector's Oddball Monks Series | Main | Sunday Reading Material »



Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


More games need quality Evil play. That's part of what I loved about Fallout 2, and it's tempting me to go buy and Xbox just for that Knights of the Old Republic that Tycho's on about lately.


It's why I stopped play the Ultima series back at U4. I hate being forced into being a goodie goodie. Three cheers for evil!


the real gold of NWN isn't from the bioware-created modules, but the community created stories. some are specially tailored for whatever evil needs you may have...


I love that "make your own fun" aspects of games, and it's especially charming that they have it built in in the Neverwinter series.

One of my favorite things to do when playing Goldeneye for the N64 was to take the mission where you had to infiltrate a science lab and blow up a bomb/satellite part. You failed the mission if you killed too many scientists, but they still let you attempt to finish the mission anyway. We would have a laugh riot shooting the scientists in the hands when they held them over their heads, shaking and quivering in fright, or shoot them in the buttocks and make them jump. Eventually we'd kill them all (hey, they MADE the BOMB, so in all senses of the word we were killing the bad guys here) ;)


The real fun of being evil in the Shadows of Undrentide campaign didn't come until the Interlude. Heck, I had a lawful neutral character I'd been roleplaying who turned neutral evil because I was so impressed with one of the evil NPCs in the Interlude. Nice rewards, too.


Being evil in most games that claim to allow that choice isn't very easy, which is a significant problem. The games are, in general, designed to make you the good guy. There is rarely a temptation to be evil, rather, there is usually a temptation to be good. In most games, being evil gets you less XP (almost no quests completed results in less xp, and there's rarely any reason for an evil person to complete quests), less money (while you would think it's the other way around, being good always gets you the best rewards, with a *few* exceptions) and so on. The closest most games offer to being 'evil' isn't evil...it's...greedy. That is, they seem to think that being rude, demanding payment for your work, and so on, equates to evil.

Evil should not only be equally beneficial to 'good', it should be far superior. You should gain far greater benefits of all sorts by playing the evil character rather than the good one. After all, one does not become a hero or a 'good' person by following the path of least resistance, one becomes such a person by following a high moral standard, even in the face of far more beneficial, but morally repugnant opportunities. There is no goodness in good if it is also the easiest path to follow. One should have to sacrifice benefits of power and money in exchange for the more esoteric 'benefit' of simply being morally correct, being *good*, or good is meaningless.

Neverwinter Nights is one of the few games where you can find evil paths, and that's simply because there are player-created modules that *are* designed to include evil characters, not just rude, greedy, or mercenary ones.


Neverwinter Nights is based on Dungeons & Dragons rules, and in D&D, evil and good are not so distant...

Actually, playing an evil on D&D histories is not the way to play but more the goal you want to achieve.

In Neverwinter Nights, you are in charge of saving the Neverwinter city (I do not have the extension). ok that's the story... You can play it the way you want. Defining your character as evil is just changin the goal of this mission.

An evil own just want to handle others evils in order to take over the city... And the way he does it is not so important (it depends on your other alignment, loyal or chatic).

What I am trying to say is that an evil character as we think is not playable in a D&D game...

Everybody know that a level 20 evil rogue will be easily handled by Elminster ;-).

The only evil character that is playable in D&D is the f***ing bast*rd that will help everybody during the campaing, and sneak his "friends" at the end to be the last one stading... And that is not possible in computer game since the end of the campaign is the end of the game.

So just use you imagination ;-).


What Anubis said!

I think some of you have incorrect ideas of what it means to be "evil" in the D&D universe. It does not mean to be a psycho/sociopath and kill everyone for pleasure/sport. It means to follow a different, self-centred ethic in order to get what you want, which is more power for you and/or your deity/church.

Evil and good are distinguishable by how you treat neutrals and the powerless, and by what methods are allowed, to some extent, but mostly it's just a combination of religious rivalry and aesthetics. For example, it is evil to torture, but it is not evil to kill. It is evil to kill your superior when you can get away with it and take his power. Evil is all about getting away with it, I think, and if you do not take opportunities to further the mandate of your deity, in any alignment situation, you risk getting outcast. An outcast can try to join another cult, but there is always the possibility of being rejected by all cults, especially if you are a non-commital member of more than one. Being without a cult/deity, a pure true neutral I guess, is the real alternative lifestyle in D&D.

Unfortunately, games depend on stories to make complex character interactions interesting and "believable". Thus, choosing any type of alternative path in a game pretty quickly leads to nothing interesting to do. In Morrowind, if you screwed up the major quest, you could wander around, pillaging and looting, but you could not finish the game or do anything else particularly interesting, since it was impossible to have complex relationships with the characters in the game. Once you tired of the scenery, you were tired of the game.


I tried killing children too, but couldn't.

However, I think live children walking around with arrows sticking out of them is more freaky than a dead body could ever be.


Actually, the developers for Shadows of Undrentide had intended even more evil options in the beginning of the game. A slight spoiler follows...

You know the woman whose husband and child are in the building beset by kobolds? While you can tell her you're going to keep her baby, originally there was an offer to sell the baby as a slave to the Red Wizard elsewhere in town. Unfortunately the policymakers higher in the company said that might be a little TOO much, so the conversation with the Red Wizard got commented out.


hm, very interesting ideas on evil from all of you.

i have a question though: can there be such a thing as chaotic neutral? i mean i know there is, but i have a lot of trouble imagining how one would actually *be* chaotic neutral...


I'm always chaotic neutral in games like that! Not just my playing style, but simply the way I think; if I don't like the way someone looks at me, I'll kill them, but if they make me laugh, I'm willing to give them all my gold.

So, yeah, keep writing funny articles.


A more useful definition of role-playing evil would focus on players tendency to follow their own agendas, which is in contrast to the good guy's tendency to sacrifice his self (in the form of time, money, resources and skills) in the service of somone else's agenda.

This exists right now in role-playing games, but only in the sense that following your own agenda means just breaking stuff up (and sometimes, breaking the game) which is a pretty shallow way of articulating that independent spirit.


Anyone here ever played the Fallout series? You could have an evil character in that one.
In Fallout 2 you could sell companions to the slavers guild and work for crooked mob bosses. Hell, in fallout 1 you could join the evil guy at the end rather then fight against him.

I guess most of this is about a certain degree of freedom. In fallout you could get through the last area of the game without fighting a single person and you could convince the final boss that he is mad and he'll realize it and commit suicide. Much different then typical games where fighting is mandatory.

The same applies to evil. Not many games have enough freedom of choice to allow a truely evil character. Usually you are eventually forced to do good to procede with the story, rather then building the story with your actions regardless of how good or bad they are.


i'm glad you brought up Fallout; that's one of my all time favorite games. it has a special place of honor in the j-team gaming palace.


I never played Fallout 1, but I loved number 2 (and Tactics wasn't so bad either even though it wasn't as engrossing as the RPG aspects in the first two.) I thought Fallout 2 had perhaps the best ending ideas of any game I've played...you're actions REALLY did affect the "people" you came in contact with.

I'm an aspiring game designer and it's easy to make a game centered around being good and even a game centered around being evil...but designing a game that's equally engrossing to both at the same time can be a bit of a brain bogger. As stated by you guys before, most games that try to do both end up lacking in the evil department.

Anyways Jane, the one estabilished character that I personally identify as "Chaotic Neutral" would be Lina Inverse from the Slayers anime series. She seems Chaotic Neutral about 75% of the time, but does occationally suddenly slip to either Chaotic Good or Neutral Good.


Chaotic Neutral..

That sounds a bit like some who would say..

If they found a bag of gold on the ground, they would grab and keep it.
If they found the person who dropped it was looking for it, they wouldn't tell them and keep it.
If they found out the person was poor and needs the cash to survive, they would give it back.

Or, we'll take the Chaotic Good Robin Hood example and put a twist. Steal from anyone. Keep the cash. Not necessarily evil. But not good either. And far from evil moderately lawful.

That's how I'd consaider a Chaotic Neutral. Do you play any PW's on NWN, jane? Mine.. well. Died. And my efforts to find a new one are far from successful. Dammit.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Subscribe to the mailing list!

* indicates required