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Goals for the evil character

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Goals for the evil character

Postby arxthas » Mon Mar 04, 2013 3:29 pm

I did not want to derail Phelan's thread.. so let's branch out.

I had to ask myself: Why are so few evil players lying? Of course I would not have a clue if that is true or not. But it is my general feeling is that it's true. Maybe you feel the same way. Which made me think about what goals there are for evil characters. Most evil seems to be circulated around Sathonys and "world domination". Pleasing the death god with kills and so on. Playing as good, laying low and when you have enough strength switch side. While this is all fine and part of the world (if you think so), those goals are a bit superficial.

Is it possible for us to refine being evil a little bit?

What is wrong with just being totally selfish and greedy? Or using tools like lies and deception? In my opinion a good evil character mostly follows rules and is in many ways like everyone else. Not really randomly butchering civilizians or anything. Just being totally selfish and not too scrupulous about bending the rules here and there when it is needed.

Let me make a quick guess:
A) It is too dangerous if you are known to be/act evil. You end up getting killed by goodies repeatedly.
B) There are not actually many personal goals to achieve where there is a big difference between being honest and lie.

Personally I think those two things are problems. The first one makes sense, but not to the width and depth that it really gives. It is realistic that evils are sought and punished, but for the game it is bad. It creates a situation where, if you are evil, you need to be super-powerful to constantly overcome the threat of the goodies. And you are completely cut off into a separate "bubble" of the world. And that is fine, if that is what you want to do. But what if you wish to be the refined evil guy? Threats, lies and so on? Even if you do it supremely well, you'll get caught at least once, sooner or letter. The bad reputation builds and you are foreever labeled. Realistic? Yes. Problem for the game? I think so.

And as for getting ahead: The most immidiate I can think of is playing a thief. You can get a lot of gold that way, but that is about it. For most other kinds of progress, you need to grind skills. There are not so many readily available shortcuts (evil acts) that can put you ahead of others. Or? Thoughts?

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Re: Goals for the evil character

Postby arxthas » Mon Mar 04, 2013 3:31 pm

Let me just add that I totally recognize attempts made by heroic players to do something different. Sadly, they have not been very long lived.

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Re: Goals for the evil character

Postby Zehren » Mon Mar 04, 2013 4:14 pm

I think that evil characters, apart from those fanatically following a god of death or a goddess of chaos, would likely have similar goals as many neutral and good characters, and differ mainly in their motivations for doing certain things, and willingness to commit (to more vile) acts to achieve what they wish.

Of course, this presumes that it is possible to frame neutral and good characters in an "egoistical" manner. IE. "I strive to follow Lord Taniel so that I will be judged a worthy person, and not cast in eternal fire."

Since the idea is to refine "being evil", here is copy from thefreedictionary, regarding evil, adjective.

1. Morally bad or wrong; wicked: an evil tyrant.
2. Causing ruin, injury, or pain; harmful: the evil effects of a poor diet.
3. Characterized by or indicating future misfortune; ominous: evil omens.
4. Bad or blameworthy by report; infamous: an evil reputation.
5. Characterized by anger or spite; malicious: an evil temper.


Likely, we want a mixture of 1 & 2. A character IC recently explained someone as being evil, because the evil ones did what they did despite knowing it would cause others harm, AKA they did not care if they hurt others.

I think a lot of problems with evil characters could be solved by two (four) main things:
(1. Keeping IC and OOC knowledge strictly separate. I like the idea of keeping notes about what your character knows and not. Since I do not practise this myself (yet?), I instead have my characters NOT know something if I have the slightest feeling they don't.)

2. Less permanent labels. A good character is better by being too trusting than too little, methinks. This places the good characters at a slight disadvantage, which is irrelevant, as it would likely make things much better.
Byspel:
Bob the male example has been sneaking off with goats and commited heinous crimes. He is burnt at the crusaders' pyres for this. *which ought clear him of all crimes*. That is the point of the pyres, they cleanse the soul. Viewing Bob the male example with suspicion afterwards shows distrust in own holy pyres. Which is weird. Bob the male example of course has a period where he acts better than he usually does, but then his lusts stir again, and he returns to his own pleasures, and continues stealing and sneaking off with goats.
((Obviously, someone who is a member of an evil guild might need be treated somewhat differently than the average Joe the evil example.))

3. Less ignoring others (OOCly). Having a character not want to pay attention to someone is fine, and oft much-called for. However, ignoring others also makes it hard to RP. So a good idea is to ignore characters ICly, while still giving OOC attention, and thus moving stories along.
Bob the male example blushes red.
Urkaburka the judge gives Bob a disgusted look, before turning away, facing another direction.
Bob the male example clears his throat, coughing loudly.
Urkaburka stares pointedly ahead, initiating conversation with a passing guard.
Bob the male example stands up, waddles over to Urkaburka and asks timidly, one foot grovelling on the ground: So... a court case?...
Urkaburka grunts annoyedly: Check the board.
Bob the male example scampers off.


In this example, did Urkaburka behave very friendly with Bob? Nope. Did Urkaburka ignore Bob much? Yes.
Did poUrkaburka ignore Bob, or do stuff such as powerleaving, even though Bob might have superb agility, and thus speed, from catching all those goats? Nope.
Net effect: collaborative story progress. Yay :D
(There are a lot of points inbetween being lovers, ignoring one another, and killing each other, by the way. Many of those, hmm, relationship values? are fun to play with too.)

4. More consequences. I think Geas suffers from a lack of actual consequences for things. The consequences seem be divided mainly into three: demotion/expulsion (a rare thing, methinks), vitality loss (which many seem not care much for), and item loss (which many seem to cry over ;) ).
So, if there were more options for consequences for actions, there might be more willingness to commit to different actions.
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Re: Goals for the evil character

Postby Allurana » Mon Mar 04, 2013 7:05 pm

arxthas wrote:And as for getting ahead: The most immidiate I can think of is playing a thief. You can get a lot of gold that way, but that is about it. For most other kinds of progress, you need to grind skills.


Even being a thief requires skill grinding, unless it involves stealing in ways that don't require skill use.

Zehren wrote:4. More consequences. I think Geas suffers from a lack of actual consequences for things. The consequences seem be divided mainly into three: demotion/expulsion (a rare thing, methinks), vitality loss (which many seem not care much for), and item loss (which many seem to cry over ).
So, if there were more options for consequences for actions, there might be more willingness to commit to different actions.


There's also banishment/outlawry from cities, but that might fall under your demotion/expulsion category.

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Re: Goals for the evil character

Postby adanath » Tue Mar 05, 2013 11:02 am

Well I would hope or think and think I have seen more dastardly under-evil if you will in a few places.

Some of the rare Lilithans, Lilith is about this type of evil, I don't really think Sathonys is, I don't see anything wrong with an "honourable" lawful evil type personality with Sathonys.

Also with some of the thieves, some even follow good gods, but they are contstantly doing evil acts, I would consider this a very deep kind of subterfuge evil as well.

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Re: Goals for the evil character

Postby fernao » Tue Mar 05, 2013 11:32 am

Well, although I personally play my Satho as lawful evil, my guild wiz told me Sathonys is more chaotic evil.
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Re: Goals for the evil character

Postby arxthas » Tue Mar 05, 2013 11:54 am

I feel like we are diverting a bit here into a discussion on lawful vs chaotic, satho vs lilith.

But the question is what goals are there really for an evil character? Except world domination... or killing civilians with or without purpose?

Is it possible for us to refine being evil a little bit?

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Re: Goals for the evil character

Postby fernao » Tue Mar 05, 2013 12:42 pm

One of my goals as an evil character is fulfilling personal goals without having to respect laws or local customs. So it is being selfish, egoisitc and also rather ruthless.
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Re: Goals for the evil character

Postby arxthas » Tue Mar 05, 2013 1:30 pm

Okay, sure. But I mean like.. what does GEAS has to offer (except for those things I mentioned) to help you play your role?

For world-domination-indiscriminately-kill-civilizians type of evils, there is plenty available. Masking skulls, shackles, sacrifices and so on - you know it. But what about the more non-doom-day type of evil?

It feels like there is very little. And you are most often bothered by those two A+B problems that I mentioned first.

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Re: Goals for the evil character

Postby ganandorf » Tue Mar 05, 2013 1:42 pm

There is very little to offer for the non-end of the world type evils. That is why they do not exist.
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Re: Goals for the evil character

Postby fernao » Tue Mar 05, 2013 1:58 pm

The non-doomday-type of evils are usually called neutrals or goodies. ;) They do their wicked acts without having to face consequences. They just cover them up but many good deeds. :twisted:

As you mentioned in the starting post of this thread, the problem is that if you get cought just a single time doing one of those "more evil than the usual every-day evil things" you are labelled for life an evil person. Players don't forget that, while in RL you would with time.

E.g. if you catch halfling X stealing from a shop or stealing from a player, he is a thief for you. No matter if he gets cought and punished and "rehabilitated" and acts goodly for years, he will always be a thief in your mind. Even if you haven't seen him for years with your character. You, as player, recall that that character acted like a thief and that label will stick (also thanks to rememberdesc. ;) ). Even if only subconsciously.

As evil character in Geas you usually exchange one set of restrictions for another set.

Also don't forget that playing the game is a social thing. If you'd act totally evil and asocial, you'd be shunned in game as well. Just imagine a perfect thief that could just rob you naked of everything you cared for, spent time to achieve and have that thief destroy the items so that they are really lost, all the while not owning anything that he, the thief himself, cannot get quickly and without problem. How would you feel running across such a character over and over again? Sure, such a person would get shunned, maybe the wizards would have to act, but certainly no socializing would take place. Same with a strong fighter that would kill you or anyone else over and over and over again, just because he can. Thats why evils usually restrict themselves and their actions, to allow socializing, to allow for interaction and fun in the game for BOTH sides. And if things go astray, wizards intervene.
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Re: Goals for the evil character

Postby adanath » Tue Mar 05, 2013 2:17 pm

fernao wrote:The non-doomday-type of evils are usually called neutrals or goodies. ;) They do their wicked acts without having to face consequences. They just cover them up but many good deeds. :twisted:

As you mentioned in the starting post of this thread, the problem is that if you get cought just a single time doing one of those "more evil than the usual every-day evil things" you are labelled for life an evil person. Players don't forget that, while in RL you would with time.

E.g. if you catch halfling X stealing from a shop or stealing from a player, he is a thief for you. No matter if he gets cought and punished and "rehabilitated" and acts goodly for years, he will always be a thief in your mind. Even if you haven't seen him for years with your character. You, as player, recall that that character acted like a thief and that label will stick (also thanks to rememberdesc. ;) ). Even if only subconsciously.

As evil character in Geas you usually exchange one set of restrictions for another set.

Also don't forget that playing the game is a social thing. If you'd act totally evil and asocial, you'd be shunned in game as well. Just imagine a perfect thief that could just rob you naked of everything you cared for, spent time to achieve and have that thief destroy the items so that they are really lost, all the while not owning anything that he, the thief himself, cannot get quickly and without problem. How would you feel running across such a character over and over again? Sure, such a person would get shunned, maybe the wizards would have to act, but certainly no socializing would take place. Same with a strong fighter that would kill you or anyone else over and over and over again, just because he can. Thats why evils usually restrict themselves and their actions, to allow socializing, to allow for interaction and fun in the game for BOTH sides. And if things go astray, wizards intervene.


I would have to say that has not been true in my experience, there were multiple people that were "thieves" that rehabilitated that Adanath still sees today and trusts much more and likes.

there are evil people as well that rehabilitate.

Also we caught 2-3 smaller evil thieves then and they helped us find others who were doing even more heinous things, and they stopped their "evil", some of them becoming beloved characters on the good side instead.

Characters have choices, (the players behind them), they can go either way.

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Re: Goals for the evil character

Postby Zehren » Tue Mar 05, 2013 2:32 pm

I take it everyone agrees with my four suggestions since no one has objected to them. :lol:
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Re: Goals for the evil character

Postby adanath » Tue Mar 05, 2013 3:59 pm

Zehren wrote:
1. Morally bad or wrong; wicked: an evil tyrant.
2. Causing ruin, injury, or pain; harmful: the evil effects of a poor diet.
3. Characterized by or indicating future misfortune; ominous: evil omens.
4. Bad or blameworthy by report; infamous: an evil reputation.
5. Characterized by anger or spite; malicious: an evil temper.


Likely, we want a mixture of 1 & 2. A character IC recently explained someone as being evil, because the evil ones did what they did despite knowing it would cause others harm, AKA they did not care if they hurt others.


I think really you have a mixture of all four, ill-repute follows quickly behind, as well as infamy. Anger, spite and maliciousness as well
Zehren wrote:(1. Keeping IC and OOC knowledge strictly separate. I like the idea of keeping notes about what your character knows and not. Since I do not practise this myself (yet?), I instead have my characters NOT know something if I have the slightest feeling they don't.)

2. Less permanent labels. A good character is better by being too trusting than too little, methinks. This places the good characters at a slight disadvantage, which is irrelevant, as it would likely make things much better.
Byspel:
Bob the male example has been sneaking off with goats and commited heinous crimes. He is burnt at the crusaders' pyres for this. *which ought clear him of all crimes*. That is the point of the pyres, they cleanse the soul. Viewing Bob the male example with suspicion afterwards shows distrust in own holy pyres. Which is weird. Bob the male example of course has a period where he acts better than he usually does, but then his lusts stir again, and he returns to his own pleasures, and continues stealing and sneaking off with goats.
((Obviously, someone who is a member of an evil guild might need be treated somewhat differently than the average Joe the evil example.))


Not really a good example as Crusaders are commanded to not trust anyone outside of their guild. The level of distrust varies from Clerics (Taniel) to Rangers, Shaos, etc etc..

However purifying at the stake in no way redeems it cleanses, so it does not mean a person is set on a right path, it means the evil of their past paths are set behind them (eg: usually removed as enemy, but still highly suspected (as is commanded))

Zehren wrote:4. More consequences. I think Geas suffers from a lack of actual consequences for things. The consequences seem be divided mainly into three: demotion/expulsion (a rare thing, methinks), vitality loss (which many seem not care much for), and item loss (which many seem to cry over ;) ).
So, if there were more options for consequences for actions, there might be more willingness to commit to different actions.


Vitality loss is a pain in the butt, I care about it even though I am always regaining it due to a combination of Sathos and being afk in bad places which I have superb talent at. (However I think it is such things that push away drastic consequences), for instance one mud Iplayed they made exp loss permanent upon death..well this obviously did not go over well and people began dropping like flies from the mud. I am not sure that there needs to be "more" consequences" rather instead that players need to play through (rp) the consequences present more thorougly (which I am guilty of not doing).

There, feel better Zehren? :P

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Re: Goals for the evil character

Postby Zehren » Tue Mar 05, 2013 4:35 pm

adanath wrote: I am not sure that there needs to be "more" consequences" rather instead that players need to play through (rp) the consequences present more thorougly (which I am guilty of not doing).


With more, I meant as "more kinds of consequences", not that one death resets all skills to 20 :)

In regards to two, I still think the point is perfectly valid, in that permanent labels should be very hard to earn, and as such "neutral" relationships should be (much) easy(er) to uphold/downhold.

[Warning: Contains digression.] Of course, I am also in favour of having neutral relationships be less lovey-dovey than is the norm at current from my observations. But I think that is a topic for a thread on more racism/prejudice/ignorance... I am sadly in the position that my, ah, most played character strives to be the epitome of understanding and fairness. Oh, well.

Just clarifying this at the moment.
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Re: Goals for the evil character

Postby Aslak » Tue Mar 05, 2013 4:51 pm

There would have to be a much finer grained set of punishments available for most kind of persons in positions of power.

If you catch a thief, you can give him a fine, or outlaw him. The outlawship might be a bit too extrem, the fine a good thief might pay easily.
If convicted criminals would also have some drawbacks with shops in the town for example, like might higher prices or no service at all, or could be even blocked from entering the town without the guards trying to kill them instantly, there would be much more less extrem options to punish sinners.

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Re: Goals for the evil character

Postby Eluriel » Fri Mar 08, 2013 4:42 am

arxthas wrote:What is wrong with just being totally selfish and greedy? Or using tools like lies and deception? In my opinion a good evil character mostly follows rules and is in many ways like everyone else. Not really randomly butchering civilizians or anything. Just being totally selfish and not too scrupulous about bending the rules here and there when it is needed.

Hey, some of us are quite adept at that. ;)

fernao wrote:As you mentioned in the starting post of this thread, the problem is that if you get cought just a single time doing one of those "more evil than the usual every-day evil things" you are labelled for life an evil person. Players don't forget that, while in RL you would with time.

E.g. if you catch halfling X stealing from a shop or stealing from a player, he is a thief for you. No matter if he gets cought and punished and "rehabilitated" and acts goodly for years, he will always be a thief in your mind. Even if you haven't seen him for years with your character. You, as player, recall that that character acted like a thief and that label will stick (also thanks to rememberdesc. ;) ). Even if only subconsciously.

I do think this is a large problem. Once someone is labeled as "evil" then they're pretty much labeled for life, and depending upon the act it can result in being outlawed or banned from the main cities, which is severely limiting.

Of course, hiding the fact that you're evil means that you do lack that social interaction of good/evil, because if you reveal yourself to be evil then the good people will be beating you down or kicking you out of the city. :/

I would like to see more, mm... tolerable? evil. But it's hard when your god's motto may be "cleanse/destroy all evil!"

arxthas wrote:But the question is what goals are there really for an evil character? Except world domination... or killing civilians with or without purpose?

I think evil people might be more selfishly motivated, wanting to get ahead using whatever means they can. Revenge, causing the downfall of good, though these might require the actual character strength to accomplish.

I also think being able to cause more lasting impact on the world would be nice. Leaving undead around or raiding cities can be annoying, but it doesn't really have an impact on things. I'd like to see evil characters actually be able to really wreck havoc or twist things to their whims and affect the world around them.

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Re: Goals for the evil character

Postby arxthas » Fri Mar 08, 2013 6:25 am

Hey, some of us are quite adept at that. ;)


Let me just say that's why I mentioned: .. I totally recognize attempts made by heroic players to do something different. :) Whether is a Crusder who decides to cut off a hand instead of killing, a goodie who decides to "forget" how bad someone is, a lilith follower without code support or a well-played thief. I am glad to hear that.

--

So it seems to me like the choice of role as evil is limited to "outcast death priest" or "extremely careful thief".
* The satho/lilith priests/evils have a lot of coded features in the game to support their role
* The non-satho/lilith have a lot of problems to overcome (A+B). Even if some portion of players heroically fights against it (on both sides of good/evil).

I would like to toss in: more coded career choices. It is one thing for players to try to "forget" criminals more often, label less, punishing them lighter and so on.. but unless there is a viable career choice that you can go with where you can avoid getting repeatedly killed / long-time banned from cities and so on - then this problem remains. If also the only coded options are armours/weapons/guilds for certain to type of very defined, extreme evil, then that is what people will choose.

Problems mentioned:
* Zehren: OOC/IC not well-separated enough
* Fernao+Eluriel: Labeled for life / player remembers, character never forgets (fernao) (some poeple forget consciously/intentionally like poAdanath mentioned)
* Fernao social "enemy": if you kill someone or take their things repeatedly, you'll be disliked as a player since you decrease the other person's fun
* Eluriel: Being banned/outlawed from city drops motivation for being semi evil
* Eluriel: The very goal of some goodies is to "cleanse and destroy" all evil (i assume this is just a re-inforcement of A)

So how to add non-satho/non-thief/non-doomsday evil type of options?

The things suggested as solutions:
* Zehren: Keeping notes on character knowledge to keep IC/OOC separation
* Zehren: Less permanent labels (how to achieve that?). Should there be more of an explicit way to express that someone is now "OK"?
* Fernao: Less possibility to cover up evil actions (?)
* Zehren+Aslak: More consequences for bad actions (i assume this mean a more diverse variety of "light" punishments to avoid having to kill baddies). Shop blocks, price increase, etc?
* Eluriel: Some sort of "lasting impact" options for evil?
* Arxthas: More evil "career choices" (how? what?)

Forgive me I summarized something incorrectly or missed something. It seems like we basically agree on which the problems are and that the solution is in general "lower consequence for being evil" to make such evil also thrive.

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Re: Goals for the evil character

Postby Zehren » Fri Mar 08, 2013 7:26 am

arxthas wrote:[
The things suggested as solutions:
* Zehren+Aslak: More consequences for bad actions (i assume this mean a more diverse variety of "light" punishments to avoid having to kill baddies). Shop blocks, price increase, etc?
* Eluriel: Some sort of "lasting impact" options for evil?


These are actually two sides of the same coin, methinks:
With more consequences, I wish both when it comes to negative things happening to characters, that is, a wide array of "punishments", and when it comes to manners of influencing the world.

The punishments I wish both of the light variety, and of the heavy variety. (I feel, hmm, death is not seen as a very grave occurrence at current, sadly. That is for another thread, though.) I think the lightest (physical) punishments (carried out) should be lighter, and the worst ones heavier. I am not going to bother thinking up more variations at current, but permanent/semi-permanent branding is one I very much like the idea of myself.

arxthas wrote:Problems mentioned:
* Fernao social "enemy": if you kill someone or take their things repeatedly, you'll be disliked as a player since you decrease the other person's fun


Zehren wrote:3. Less ignoring others (OOCly). Having a character not want to pay attention to someone is fine, and oft much-called for. However, ignoring others also makes it hard to RP. So a good idea is to ignore characters ICly, while still giving OOC attention, and thus moving stories along.
Bob the male example blushes red.
Urkaburka the judge gives Bob a disgusted look, before turning away, facing another direction.
Bob the male example clears his throat, coughing loudly.
Urkaburka stares pointedly ahead, initiating conversation with a passing guard.
Bob the male example stands up, waddles over to Urkaburka and asks timidly, one foot grovelling on the ground: So... a court case?...
Urkaburka grunts annoyedly: Check the board.
Bob the male example scampers off.


In this example, did Urkaburka behave very friendly with Bob? Nope. Did Urkaburka ignore Bob much? Yes.
Did poUrkaburka ignore Bob, or do stuff such as powerleaving, even though Bob might have superb agility, and thus speed, from catching all those goats? Nope.
Net effect: collaborative story progress. Yay :D
(There are a lot of points inbetween being lovers, ignoring one another, and killing each other, by the way. Many of those, hmm, relationship values? are fun to play with too.)


This is actually a somewhat symptomatic quote. The underlying problem is that most are willing to put more effort into positive RP than negative RP. I am guilty of this personally, as I oft do not bother to distinctly mark when my character pays no attention, or when he reacts negatively to things... I will rectify this myself.

The solution to this, methinks, is simply willingness to roleplay more.
Also, to not invest too heavily in your own character emotionally. Collaborative storywriting, not soloistic character building (rollplaying?).

When it comes to killing certain characters repeatedly, this involves the "less permanent labels" argument: more things should be considered settled after a single kill. (Unless there are guild wars going on... Which there always is, when it comes to Sathonites.)

WARNING. DIGRESSION:
I still can't think of anything else but cheese when I hear the "word" "satho".
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Re: Goals for the evil character

Postby Delia » Fri Mar 08, 2013 8:08 am

Here is something else for Zehren to think about when he reads the word 'satho':

http://www.satho-tango.at/
"To be is to do" - Sokrates
"To do is to be" - Jean-Paul Sartre
"Do be do be do" - Frank Sinatra


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