Harley Stroh wrote:
In this, I tried to write an adventure with a living, breathing, thinking NPC cast. The PCs earn their own rewards, and if they choose to behave poorly, it is the world that punishes them, not the GM.
Which runs contrary to the "cover blurp" on every DCC, namely "no NPCs that aren't meant to be killed"...
When I wrote DCC# 28 (Into the Wilds), I made sure to include this social element. PCs spend a little time in town (ala the Keep on the Borderlands of old D&D fame). At the end of the module there is a dramatic finale just outside the keep. After 5 rounds the authorities come running to shut the fight down and sort the good from the bad and the ugly.
If the PCs have behaved like rational, good-aligned folks in town, the authorities are willing to hear them out. If they've behaved like sociopaths (terrorizing the citizens, robbing from all the shops, treatening the rulers, etc ... you know the type), the authorities promptly toss their third-level butts in the dungeon and listen to what the Bad Guy has to say.
Which is why I love this DCC so much! You did a great job there!
Also, there is a distinction between "selfishness" and "evil". Aside from religious interpretations, being selfish is not being evil--at least not in most circumstances. So, that Han Solo character was only looking out for himself... but he had a "heart of gold", so to speak. I have such a character in my current gaming group, a CN rogue. He repeatedly cheated the other players for some treasure or item, making up cover stories and the like. I don't know yet how far this character would be willing to go if something REALLY valuable came along, but for now it is just plain fun to see him doing the things that he does. I do have some trouble with his playing of the alignment (CN), but all in all his roguishness really adds to the gaming experience, mainly because it doesn't disrupt the game for everone else.
As for gamemastering a really EVIL group... well, I'd go with JediOre. It wouldn't do for me. I do have no quarrel with darker shades of grey, but outright evil parties would be a no-no to me. Stories need a sort of moral handle by which to judge the actions of NPCs and PCs alike. There would be no point in playing a mercenary force in service of some demonic entity that just wants to pillage, plunder, rape and burn their way through the countryside. Or, to give another example, a demonic PC that only plans on disrupting the rest of the party and kill them off.
It would be okay though (and was already thought up by me and some fellow players) to portray a band of, say, kobold characters -- lowest of the lower henchmen to some powerful villain. I think it would be really funny in trying to gain the favor of the "master villain" by tricking or backstabbing your fellow kobolds while at the same time trying to stick together to get that awfully important job done they were ordered to do!
But then again, this would only do for a one-shot adventure. I can hardly see this concept work for a campaign or even prolonged play.
Phew. Okay, that was a long post. Thanks for reading!