Harpy's Head Tavern
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The Midnight Age
Harpy's Head Tavern
Roles and Reasons
"You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain."
My preference in every game is to play one character and develop it for better or worse. I do not wish to read different chapters of the book at the same time to keep the mystery of other places and other perceptions. For me that essentially helps quite when I am going to play with a true villain mindset.
Now a character cannot be evil or good thoroughly because that would leave no room for interpretation. But in the end a character which makes life harder for other characters will face both IC and OOC scorn. Because if you wish to have an impact as a villain you have to break toys of others and make an impact. So avoiding OOC as much as possible will help over there. After all people will not like you disrupting their game-time for a villain imposes their will upon others, they do not ask permission.
Now most IRE games generally do not support chaotic evil roles such as bandits, greedy mercenaries and other wayward villain characters because that is quite easy to suppress them if they go overboard. They can exist though as part of a city and chaotic evil does not have to end with psycho-killer rampage all the time. Though chaotic evil having more impact then lawful characters is quite untrue, I could say.
Lawful evil (if I were to choose among three DnD evils) would be my preference. While Chaotic Evil will appear as more unpredictable in the short term, the lawful evil can be more unpredictable in the long term. They do not even have to be cold-calculating professional killers, they can be loving and caring people who will ruin the lives of their enemies so they can keep loving and caring. Evil acts do not have to be selfish, it can under many circumstances work for the good of many or order of society or whatever ideal the code demands. And you keep to the code, you do not go "Yesterday was yesterday! Mwahaha" and break your oaths, words and promises. That will be truly hard to play.
Now as a villain you have to have aspirations. Aspirations can range from hard to impossible depending on what will be your endgame. Realistically you cannot conquer the world, since this is a static game, but no one prevents you from following such a path. Having lesser aspirations which can be hard to meet will provide more enjoyment because that is while still lofty provides a driving point for your conflicts. And as we say conflicts, a villain should create conflicts, moving stones is their duty. They do not have to be "Go kill that person" type, because some people will outright disregard death since we are all essentially immortals ingame. (Which I call this as "Illogically Brave Noncom Syndrome") So you have to craft something which will mold RP and PvP without resorting to repeated killing.
While crafting a crisis I prepare a mental sheet (sometimes even not-so-mental) of possible outcomes in a scenario and in that crisis whether a player is a collateral part of it or main target, they will always have choices. The trick of the villainy is that not telling the other player they actually had choices. Most will choose poorly, some will choose well and story will move on. To some it will appear as you harmed them on your whim and you are such a jerk player; and to some it will appear you had your motives. That ambiguity will signal you that you have been somewhat successful.
The real split is not between good and evil or hero and villain, it is between PCs and NPCs.
If you are evil/bad/immoral to NPCs no one will care. If you are creative and consistent in your actions you might get a reputation in game and you could generate lots of interesting RP for both your allies and enemies.
If you are evil/bad/immoral to PCs you will quickly become hated by most players and you will eventually get either shut down by the admins for being disruptive or you will be so ostracized in game that you will burn out.
Now to highlight something
said last year
It's not easy being the hero. Why? Because like many people have stated, the slightest infraction of what is expected of you calls for grave consequence/reactions from your very friends/allies. Not your enemies. Why would your enemies care? All the better, to them. Or so it should be.
My first character had the founder of his guild kicked out of both it and the city for killing a non-sentient mob (it was a highly symbolic mob but still). He stopped playing shortly after that. Over a decade later I still feel really bad about doing that. I would have handled the situation far different now. At the time I was caught up in playing the role of a zealot and never even stopped to think about the impact my actions would have.
At the end of the day as you interact with your fellow players don't get so caught up in your role that you lose sight of how things feel on their side of the keyboard. Even if you want to play as a villain to other players you should always make it collaborative and not just punishing. Which of course is far easier to say than do.
It is trivial to generate conflict. It takes a skilled player to generate entertaining conflict.
Typically In Game: JST (GMT+9) 6AM-8AM and 6PM-10PM
edited August 2017
I do care about them more then someone's mount or pet. So basically I would bother more for a fallen guard instead of a dead vulture chick or three-eyed gorilla. But I know a good number of players would bother more for the dead mounts, rather then one or two fallen guards. C'est la vie.
If you are evil to PCs you have to choose your subset properly, of course it is possible to become evil towards the most and from experience it does not end with getting shut down, if you play it reasonably. Ostracized by some? Yes. But you definitely do not starve from RP and such. Burn out can happen with any character, evil, good, rogue or city-guy.
Generating a proper conflict is never trivial. The conflict could be multi-layered and may consist of several different pieces. And that conflict does not have to be enjoyable for ALL. Otherwise you are not having a conflict but RP-event. Some things of course should be done with agreement, since certain concepts you cannot impose on people. But other times, choice and consequence beast lives on.
It is definitely unfortunate that the player from ten years ago stopped playing, and of course there are two sides to every story; however, if their character wittingly killed that important NPC, and if the reasonable punishment for that kill was ousting them (or had it been a PC, the punishment would have been ousting them), then it sounds like you did the right thing. I highly dislike that in games PC treatment is taken so different from NPC treatment from a IC moral standpoint. I hate the consequence - free zone that NPC treatment is often taken as. (in some cases, of course this makes sense, but not always - and the scenario provided sounds like it made sense to treat them the same)
I do agree that it is much harder to create meaningful conflict than just conflict. I think one of the biggest struggles in meaningful conflict creation is finding enemies who are both willing to lose at the end of the day and won't take it personally that on any day one or the other got "one over" on the other. People are not good at losing when they put their heart and soul and hours into something in game. I have definitely heard the phrase "they ruined my RP!" far too often from people on the losing end of conflicts.
No one can ruin your RP by behaving IC within the bounds of mechanics and lore of the game. They give you different RP.