Sorry to hear about the asthma, Jedi.
In the lull, I was wondering if you guys think there is any point in a distinction between Evil (as presented in the WotC's book of Vile Deeds) and Evil Lite (my version of the Cyberpunk ethos).
I ask this because much of the material presented in Vile Deeds doesn't appeal to me. PCs slaughtering villages of peasants? Okay. Sure you can
, but what's interesting about it?
I feel (and please feel welcome to disagree) that the "Evil Lite" games I've run in the past have crucial differences, in that – ala the Dragonlance credo – "Evil will eat itself" serves to turn the Evil PCs against the much eviler NPCs. In Evil Lite, the forces of darkness are not a monolithic front, but rather a hundred wicked forces, each striving to get a hand up on the other. (Thank goodness for Chaotic Evil.)
In this way, PCs actually spend *more* time contesting with devils and demons than they might have if they were good-aligned. There is always someone out to betray you, and when PCs lay claim to the practice of Evil, there is no one you can really trust. You actually cut yourself off from the support system that Lawful Good folks enjoy.
Going to the temple toget healed means owing that nasty priest a big favor; and will your wicked god really allow your corrupt soul to be raised
or will you spend the next thousand years as a dretch? These are real questions that need to be asked when a PC jumps on the evil train.
Recall all those movies where the henchmen of the Bad Guy get killed by the Bad Guy simply because he is in a foul mood? From levels 1 to 10 (or further, if you bring demi-powers into your game), evil PCs are
But some players like trying to survive in that setting. (Hence my players enjoying Cyberpunk 2020.)
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.
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.
It seemed to work in playtesting, but I'd love to hear what JediOre thinks about it. The real test is whether he'd be willing to run the module in the group with the 11-year old.
respect any GM who is says "No evil PCs in my game, I'm here to tell stories about heroes vanquishing good." But I'd also never condemn a player who wanted to play a Raistlin (if the other players are willing).
Heh. In retrospect I think I'm "harder" on my evil PCs than my good ones. (I can run a pretty fierce 'punk campaign.) But that's cool. That's the game they chose to play.