Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Becoming the Enemy

If you've played DnD for a long time, or any other fantasy rpg for that matter, you've likely dreamed of, and even experienced, the glory that is completing an adventure as a hero in a campaign.  Whether it involves slaying a dragon that has been plaguing the innocent villagers, defeating an evil arch-mage, or fighting back an undead horde, we've all been there in some capacity and the formula is often the same; GM creates scenario with puzzles, traps, and enemies, which players have to solve, and, if successful, they are rewarded.  As this process continues in the campaign, the heroes become even more notable, the enemies become greater, the traps harder, and the rewards become tremedous. 
Recently, my thoughts have turned to going down a different path with a campaign; the evil adventuring party.  It's an idea I've always wanted to toy around with and one that intrigues me.  A party consisting of an evil necromancer, an assassin who specializes in poisons, an evil priest who practices dark rituals, a fighter who would just as soon kill a man and take his riches as look at him.  The great thing about the game of DnD is that you can, essentially, play whichever character type you want (or the DM will allow anyway.)  Sure, I know many out there have played evil adventuring parties in their time or at least had an evil character sprinkled in a campaign just for fun, but in all my years playing, I've never ran a game or been part of a game that included an entirely evil adventuring group.  

Surely this type of group creates a challenge for a DM as players of evil alignments are wont to betray each other, steal from other party members, use them to their own advantage, etc.  Still, I find the idea of centering a campaign around evil characters fascinating.  Rather than stopping the brigands, they become the brigands.  They become the evil slavers running a black market trade out of a port city.  They become the assassin group hired to murder a local lord or king.  So what do you think?  Have you ever been in an all evil adventuring group?  How was your experience?  What are some of the things the DM did to focus on an all evil group?