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It's not easy to be Evil

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  • MoomintrollMoomintroll Member Posts: 1,496
    Maybe we are lacking some kind of context here.

    Steal an evil Wizard's poking stick - good
    Steal a socially challenged merchant's cloak - evil

    being deranged enough to just pick things up randomly - chaotic, though doing this you would probably not take any precautions and be noticed.. I'll have to riffle through my manuals now.

    Communard
  • MornmagorMornmagor Member Posts: 1,160
    edited July 2012
    D&D perceives Evil as oppressing, slaughtering all that is good, sacrificing anything that gets in your way, a hater of life.

    From the books : "Evil implies harming, oppressing, and killing others. Some evil creatures simply have no compassion for others and kill without qualms if doing so is convenient or if it can be set up. Others actively pursue evil, killing for sport or out of duty to some malevolent deity or master."

    Theft is not evil, it's chaotic, books again : "Chaos implies freedom, adaptability, and flexibility. On the downside, chaos can include recklessness, resentment toward legitimate authority, arbitrary actions, and irresponsibility. Those who promote chaotic behavior say that only unfettered personal freedom allows people to express themselves fully and lets society benefit from the potential that its individuals have within them."

    A thief can certainly be evil, if in order to steal something he will kill without question.

    Not all thieves are evil.

    Now if you wanna argue that it's an evil act, without getting into the "there is only intention for evil, action always follows" argument, then no, it's mostly a chaotic act, without regard to laws. Evil is more about no regard to life. The lines of course, are kind of thin...

    Moomintroll
  • BLack_XIIIBLack_XIII Member Posts: 32
    Mornmagor said:

    D&D perceives Evil as oppressing, slaughtering all that is good, sacrificing anything that gets in your way, a hater of life.

    From the books : "Evil implies harming, oppressing, and killing others. Some evil creatures simply have no compassion for others and kill without qualms if doing so is convenient or if it can be set up. Others actively pursue evil, killing for sport or out of duty to some malevolent deity or master."

    Theft is not evil, it's chaotic, books again : "Chaos implies freedom, adaptability, and flexibility. On the downside, chaos can include recklessness, resentment toward legitimate authority, arbitrary actions, and irresponsibility. Those who promote chaotic behavior say that only unfettered personal freedom allows people to express themselves fully and lets society benefit from the potential that its individuals have within them."

    A thief can certainly be evil, if in order to steal something he will kill without question.

    Not all thieves are evil.

    Now if you wanna argue that it's an evil act, without getting into the "there is only intention for evil, action always follows" argument, then no, it's mostly a chaotic act, without regard to laws. Evil is more about no regard to life. The lines of course, are kind of thin...

    and that's probably why, in the game, there are not loss of reputation for this kind of act. And What i've ask, and not only me i can see, it's a more evil path in virtue of the alignment description.

    In the main game there are a plenty of situation who can be solved with bribing or harming, or oppressing the target, giving more option for a Evil CHARNAME.

  • MornmagorMornmagor Member Posts: 1,160
    I never liked the fact that completing the quests that i might have made for personal gain game me reputation.

    Now, i don't have a problem with the reputation itself, but that evil characters always leave on high reputation, and the only way some times to lower it is to go on a rampage inside a town. Something my character would not do.

    So yeah, i agree that there are not enough options for an evil character. Evil doesn't mean you go around and oppress or beat up everyone, it can come in more subtle ways, sometimes even worse.

    At least, make it so that the evil npcs don't leave at high reputation. Being known and being goody isn't the same.

  • BaldurBaldur Member Posts: 54
    @Mornmagor Uh, you do realize there's plenty of occasions of evil people being praised as glorious heroes, all because they planned it so as to gain even more favor by exploiting the public opinion.

    We call them politicians.

    Hinkel
  • MornmagorMornmagor Member Posts: 1,160
    edited July 2012
    Yeah, i just don't want my evil party members to leave because the reputation is "glorious".

    I never raised a point about NOT being able to exploit the public opinion.

    I wanted the option to keep my evil npcs in high reputation exactly because of that. Because i pose as a hero. It doesn't mean i am.

  • BLack_XIIIBLack_XIII Member Posts: 32
    Baldur said:

    @Mornmagor Uh, you do realize there's plenty of occasions of evil people being praised as glorious heroes, all because they planned it so as to gain even more favor by exploiting the public opinion.

    We call them politicians.

    Yes but, if i've an high reputation, my evils companion rebels against me, so it's a very selfishi thing. I agree with Mornmagor, i simply do not want Rampage in a town every time i must to put down my reputation, and keep togheter my npc companions.
    There are really need of more evil options

  • MoomintrollMoomintroll Member Posts: 1,496
    @Mornmagor I'm just going to have to accept that those are the rules of the game. Strangely I'm perfectly happy with spells, vampires and illithids, but not with the concept of theft not being evil; suspension of disbelief requires more ropes.

  • The_New_RomanceThe_New_Romance Member Posts: 839
    Problem is that thieves in RPGs are very often portrayed as sympathetic, cool guys (even if they're not exactly Robin Hood). They help you out, and they have cool skills that you admire. If you ever get to see the victim side, it's always some poor guy being robbed by mega-evil thugs, not the suave fencers of the local Thieve's Guild.

    Bioware is also guilty of this design philosophy, which leads to theft being seen as merely immoral or chaotic, not evil. I have never in an RPG come upon a realistic portrayal of theft, where poor guys broke into other poor or average guys homes and stole everything they had, with a big monetary and idealistic damage and so much grief to get it all restored. Add to this a hopeless search for the thieves and lots and lots of paper-warfare and senseless interaction with authorities. Now there we go - is stealing evil? You betcha.

    Then again, this isn't University Library: The RPG, but a heroic fantasy adventure. Still, theft should probably be treated differently, in Baldur's Gate as well as in other fantasy games.

  • CorvinoCorvino Member Posts: 2,269
    Skyrim's thieves guild was actually pretty gritty. It wasn't all sunshine and lollipops, there wasn't a Robin Hood in sight - if you helped them you were assisting a fairly oppressive organisation that kept the local populace scared and compliant.

    In general theft can be considered harmful and wrong, but there are always exceptions. Stealing a loaf of bread to feed one's family is different to stealing a decent, hard-working person's savings, and both are different from robbing a tax collector from a corrupt regime. In BG though most of the time you can just ransack any given house and wander off with people's stuff with no consequences - that is pretty evil.

    The_New_Romance
  • CommunardCommunard Member Posts: 554
    edited July 2012
    Mornmagor said:

    D&D perceives Evil as oppressing, slaughtering all that is good, sacrificing anything that gets in your way, a hater of life.

    From the books : "Evil implies harming, oppressing, and killing others. Some evil creatures simply have no compassion for others and kill without qualms if doing so is convenient or if it can be set up. Others actively pursue evil, killing for sport or out of duty to some malevolent deity or master."

    Theft is not evil, it's chaotic, books again : "Chaos implies freedom, adaptability, and flexibility. On the downside, chaos can include recklessness, resentment toward legitimate authority, arbitrary actions, and irresponsibility. Those who promote chaotic behavior say that only unfettered personal freedom allows people to express themselves fully and lets society benefit from the potential that its individuals have within them."

    A thief can certainly be evil, if in order to steal something he will kill without question.

    Not all thieves are evil.

    Now if you wanna argue that it's an evil act, without getting into the "there is only intention for evil, action always follows" argument, then no, it's mostly a chaotic act, without regard to laws. Evil is more about no regard to life. The lines of course, are kind of thin...

    In what universe is stealing an innocent person's (who you are probably richer than) belongings not "harming" them? Perhaps I should help myself to your computer because of my chaotic nature? :p I'm sure you wouldn't mind...

    Stealing from evil people, sure, CG, but stealing from random merchants and peasants is evil.

    MoomintrollThe_New_Romance
  • FrozenDervishFrozenDervish Member Posts: 295
    It really depends on intent when stealing, killing or other crimes. We don't convict a soldier calling them murderers for killing and butchering hundreds with premeditated murder. As such stealing to survive and principles such as this would be considered chaotic in action as they go against the natural order or "law" in a society. People as a whole love to blanket arguments in black and white and only see the small picture limiting their views and screening what they see turning their gaze or persecuting those that did the same thing they jusy praises. In essense people are hypocrites.

    TLDR: Stealing is a chaotic action not because it brings harm, but because it deviates or breaks the law. The same with murder being a chaotic action as it breaks the law or morale standards set in place, but is also praised and glorified.

    Evil and Good would be the thought process behind the two actions as to how they would be proclaimed good or evil.

  • MoomintrollMoomintroll Member Posts: 1,496
    edited July 2012
    @Corvino I know what you mean, despite what I've been saying Thief is one of my two favourite classes.

    I was hoping to nip in to some noble house, bag the good wines whilst leaving a small tray of milk chocolates and scented note "you have been visited by, The Cat," twizzle my moustache and skip out of the window.
    Instead after leaving a couple of thugs lying face down in a sewer, I arrive at the thieve's guild and procede to beg for jobs extorting money from honest merchants, I guess I could have turned down those quests .. I felt horrible doing them!

    The_New_RomanceCorvino
  • CloutierCloutier Member Posts: 227
    Discussions about alignments never end well, but...

    The Sword Coast is a dangerous place. It's also a place with enough opportunities that you can afford the stuff to defend yourself with honest money. Why steal Algernon's cloak when you can collect the 10,000 gp bounty from Bassilus?

    If I were your DM, I would not let you be CG and randomly loot houses and merchants without some sort of penalty.

    The worst I would let you do if - CG only, not NG or LG - is to steal Algernon's cloak and donate an amount equal to its estimated value to the temple of a Good deity.

    If you think that being threatened is licence to deprive law abiding citizens of an entire lifetime's worth of possessions, you are likely NOT a Good character.

    Again: roleplay, and you'll see that there are some pretty rewards to being Evil. This said, I don't mind more evil quests, of course not.

  • SchneidendSchneidend Member Posts: 3,190
    Cloutier said:



    If you think that being threatened is licence to deprive law abiding citizens of an entire lifetime's worth of possessions, you are likely NOT a Good character.

    Precisely. At best you're Neutral, but make a habit of it and you're definitely evil. Perhaps stealing itself is Chaotic, but doing things that negatively affect others who have done nothing to provoke you is evil. Steal enough things people need for their lives to remain normal, and you're creeping into the province of evil. Algernon uses that cloak to help sell his wares. You might as well steal the clothes off his back.

    And, no, CHARNAME's desperate situation is not license to rob innocent citizens. Not even Chaotic Good characters should be stealing Algernon's cloak. Ask for more money from quests, fine, because good guys need to eat, too, but don't pretend you're not being a bastard just because you don't lose Reputation over it.

    Further, what exactly are you going to use the cloak for? Doesn't it charm people? Are you going to charm people and pick their houses clean? I suppose that's not evil, either.

  • MornmagorMornmagor Member Posts: 1,160
    edited July 2012
    Communard said:

    Mornmagor said:

    D&D perceives Evil as oppressing, slaughtering all that is good, sacrificing anything that gets in your way, a hater of life.

    From the books : "Evil implies harming, oppressing, and killing others. Some evil creatures simply have no compassion for others and kill without qualms if doing so is convenient or if it can be set up. Others actively pursue evil, killing for sport or out of duty to some malevolent deity or master."

    Theft is not evil, it's chaotic, books again : "Chaos implies freedom, adaptability, and flexibility. On the downside, chaos can include recklessness, resentment toward legitimate authority, arbitrary actions, and irresponsibility. Those who promote chaotic behavior say that only unfettered personal freedom allows people to express themselves fully and lets society benefit from the potential that its individuals have within them."

    A thief can certainly be evil, if in order to steal something he will kill without question.

    Not all thieves are evil.

    Now if you wanna argue that it's an evil act, without getting into the "there is only intention for evil, action always follows" argument, then no, it's mostly a chaotic act, without regard to laws. Evil is more about no regard to life. The lines of course, are kind of thin...

    In what universe is stealing an innocent person's (who you are probably richer than) belongings not "harming" them? Perhaps I should help myself to your computer because of my chaotic nature? :p I'm sure you wouldn't mind...

    Stealing from evil people, sure, CG, but stealing from random merchants and peasants is evil.
    Well, the problem is not yours or my definition of evil. It's D&D's definition. It considers chaos as acting without regard to law, and evil as acting without regard to life. The two can coexist of course.

    There is thieving that is considered evil, when you steal from someone something they need and thus harming them indirectly, or harming them in order to steal something from them, and thieving that could be considered even beneficial for the majority, like Robin Hood for example.

    In real life, thieving is of course harming, and since i consider that the thief had the intention to do harm directly or indirectly then yeah you could call if evil.

    Let's not try to define evil or good in real life though, it's way more complicated than it sounds. And D&D's definition of evil doesn't mean it covers everything, but that's it.

    The act of theft is basically something chaotic for D&D, since your first idea is to steal, the harming comes from your irresponsibility, since what you do can cause problems for the other if he needed what you stole, but you probably won't care for that.

    But screw D&D definitions, someone steals from me, i kick his ass! :P

  • IchigoRXCIchigoRXC Member Posts: 1,001
    Yeah, so Algernon is a bit of a crook, charming people and selling them wares at higher prices and buying them for lower prices. Now it suddenly does not seem so evil...

  • SchneidendSchneidend Member Posts: 3,190
    IchigoRXC said:

    Yeah, so Algernon is a bit of a crook, charming people and selling them wares at higher prices and buying them for lower prices. Now it suddenly does not seem so evil...

    I don't remember his dialogue, but I don't think he even knows it's magical. He probably just thinks it's his lucky cloak because he always does better trades with it on. So, yeah, you're such a hero, stealing a man's lucky charm. /sarcasm

  • MoomintrollMoomintroll Member Posts: 1,496
    I remember Algernon as coming across as unpleasant, whilst wearing a +2 charisma cloak. He needs all the help he can get!

  • CremoCremo Member Posts: 41
    Quote commarund first reply for the fact that the first problem is that allignment is not correctly enforced in the game.. yet no one forces you to "cheat" by acting differently from your allignment: any non chaotic party shouldn't, for istance, "rob" houses (a main resource of loot in BG1) - and thus this would balance the reputation discount they have.

    Yet, to be honest, there's a major problem withthe fact that there aren't enough "loose rep" dialogues for "non good" actions: i am not meaning evil ones.. yet, usually, there's often a good/neutral/evil choice.. if you choose the neutral (gimme money and i'll do it, usually), this will not lower your rep, meaning that, once you have hit the "twenties" your band of mercenaries which occasionally behaved nicely will be treated like a band of saints which never asked a dime to risk their lives for helping the others.

    Solution should be imho to calculate reputation rewards/penalties considering the current party reputation: a party with 20 rep should lose reputation whenever they don't help the others, unless we are speaking of fool/exagerated requests. A party with middlefield reputation (8-14) should instead lose it ONLY when behaving in a clearly evil way. An evil party should, on the other hand, not reach 1 reputation so easily. That's ok if you slaughter a village.. but if your "evilness" is only based on the fact that you exploited the others, always asking a bit more than what was fair or cheating every now and than, your reputation shouldn't go to a level where BH start to pursue you (unless you become a notorious thief and such things, which however should only lead guarsd and such to go afgter you, and not the population as a whole: you aren't a killer, no matter how many houses you've robbed). Something which should instead happen after you have done some clearly VIOLENT things (assassinations), with this, however, not being enough to reach the worst reputation (1), which should be reserverd to those who slaughtered villages and such and should imply most of the civil folks to turn hostile towards the player.

    Other problems which would be easier to address are:
    - remove reputation loss whenever there are no direct/indirect witnesses of bad deeds (reputation is not karma.. which however should matter to religious characters that should receive penalties even if rep is not damaged).
    - limit the reputation game with churches.. it should have at least a a 2-3 point limit per month and should be hardly available to those who have reached 1 reputation.
    - remove the infinite spawn loops of certain BH/Guards in the game which appear if your party has a bad reputation (e.g. in front of the Nashkell inn).

  • cloakanddaggercloakanddagger Member Posts: 111
    Lets face it, if you want to play an evil party and actually feel like an evil party. It's a lot of work! And not very rewarding either. It's basically left up to your imagination to how evil you are. You can charge people more money for quests, but then again that might just be a Lawful Jewish type of decision. And if you decide to kill anyone the whole town will turn on you, even if no one really saw it. And stealing is like many people have already said, more of a chaotic type of decision but it's not limited to purely evil people. I think that by introducing some actual evil plot points and decisions as well as more evil quests and perks, it might actually be quite fun to have an evil party.

  • luluscadoluluscado Member Posts: 69
    I never have had the urge to play as a evil character. But often when playing most games i go through thinking about how you just could not play as a evil character. I can understand why, the story tone would have to be so different. Many of the quests would not be able to go the same because evil people generally do not go out there way to help people, and thats what most quests are. I think games should either make a better evil path to go on or not bother. Sometimes the way they try to work around why for evil character has to save all the orphans is silly.

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