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I role-play a neutral evil mage and my reputation is 20.

IntoTheDarknessIntoTheDarkness Member Posts: 118

I don't think the game tailors at all to an evil play. I've been role-playing a neutral evil mage, and I ended up with reputation of 20 and with good companions.

In contrast to real life, being good in the game is enormously more advantageous than being bad. There are simply not many, if any at all, evil choices that my MC would deem worthwhile to hard his reputation as a hero party, despite his more selfish and evil interior motives and personality.

In addition, why would anyone want to travel with 'evil' companions that will likely sell you out for golds? Even if my MC is evil, unless he is either stupid or lunatic, he is going to travel with good companions for the public display and their loyalty as long as he can conceal his real motives. The notion that evil MC would want to travel with evil companions doesn't make sense unless the MC has chosen a job of bandit or serial killer, neither of which are feasible choice in the game.

There hasn't been single evil choice(few in BG2 and TOB but non affecting reputation) the prospect of which seem profitable enough to reveal my MC's true intention. Hence the 20 reputation and good natured companions.

If reputation played bigger parts that your good companions won't abide by even one evil choice you do and there were some evil paths that profits you greatly, playing an evil MC might have been feasible. In real life good companions will probably attack you for killing one innocent civilian instead of tolerating a murder for every 1000 gold you pay to temples.

GrumelminsterSmilingSwordjackjack

Comments

  • deltagodeltago Member Posts: 5,068
    The words profitable enough is making me think you are letting Metagame knowledge influence a RP perspective.

    Firstly, RPing, an evil character would rarely donate gold to good aligned churches of Lothander and Helm. Giving money to help the needy or influence a God that you do not strive your life after would be out of character.

    Secondly, there are many rep hits a party can take if they choose the evil, selfish path instead of the known good one.

    Siding with Silke is one example. If greed is a motive, killing the easy targets for a quick 300 gold would be more profitable than turning away from your obligations and leaving empty handed. Your character is not aware that Silke is going to go ballistic and attack your party outright.

    Saying that you are Greywolf to collect his bounty also nets you a rep hit and quick gold.

    Yes it is more profitable to do the good side of these quests but, if you are RPing, your character is not aware of this.

    Thirdly, two NPCs can be obtained before Chapter 3 that lower your rep by 2 automatically.

    MortiannaAureolJuliusBorisov
  • joluvjoluv Member Posts: 1,905
    So... you're saying that you've been making pragmatic choices from an evil standpoint and been rewarded anyway? I don't get the problem.

    atcDaveJuliusBorisov
  • elminsterelminster Member, Developer Posts: 15,608
    edited April 2015
    And yea you are right. There are only very rarely evil options to quests and they almost never reward you better than the other options (the kidnapping and blackmail quests would be an exception). A very low reputation party also has to face harassment in the city over their actions (as well as bounty hunters), while very high reputation parties never have to face backlash from the parties they cross.

    The reputation system and how low reputation and evil players are handled is an overall weakness of the series. Especially given that evil characters in your party, even wise/intelligent ones, can't recognize that you are taking the more profitable approach to quests.

  • shawneshawne Member Posts: 3,239
    elminster said:

    "In addition, why would anyone want to travel with 'evil' companions that will likely sell you out for golds?"

    I recall one of the pnp players handbooks bringing this up. The notion of an evil only party (especially with neutral evil and chaotic evil characters) isn't one that makes a lot of sense because eventually someone would turn on the others.

    Unless, of course, their interests were better served by staying in the party. Whether it's for gold or artifacts or just a love of carnage, even Chaotic Evil characters can have the right motivation to stick around. (ie: you don't trust Korgan, you trust his greed.)

    Blackravenjackjack
  • ShinShin Member Posts: 2,290
    Given the things you can achieve throughout the story, those interests are very likely to be served. Joining up with the PC comes with the opportunity to reach for wealth and power beyond the dreams of most beings in the Realms - and if that isn't immediately apparent, each NPC gets something for the short term too. Edwin gets a shot at finding the Nether Scroll, Korgan gets help with his tome hunt, Viconia gets protection, Sarevok gets another chance at life, etc.

    I'm quite confident all these characters know a good opportunity when they see it (they're adventurers after all) and would rather reach their full potential while walking the planes, slaying liches and looting Watcher's Keep than hang around Athkatla.

  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 8,811
    deltago said:

    The words profitable enough is making me think you are letting Metagame knowledge influence a RP perspective.

    This. If you are saying "my evil evil character gives all the goody-goody answers, because he knows that doing so will be more profitable and provide more XP, and that's what's important to me because I'm so evil!!" then you're not RPing, you're metagaming. Or, you might be RPing, but it's certainly not worth complaining about.

    Did you save Captain Brage? RPing evil, you'd never do that. An evil dude would not listen long enough to ever find out there is a reward. Evil people are self-centered jerks. They don't listen to other people's problems.

    Did you kill Firkraag and free the daughter? Why? If I'm evil I'm not going to risk my neck going up against a red dragon. I'll probably kill off his lieutenants and then propose to take their place. Only later when I'm sure of myself (after looting watcher's keep?) will I betray him and take his hoard. And in the meantime I'll kill Garren and take his house to use as u base of operations.

    I mean yeah you can do the whole "I'm so evil that I'll pretend to be good, and these people will never know!!" thing, but then you end up just RPing good. If you wanna RP evil you might as well get the full experience (even if it literally gives you less experience).

    DJKajurusemiticgod
  • IntoTheDarknessIntoTheDarkness Member Posts: 118
    edited April 2015
    deltago said:

    The words profitable enough is making me think you are letting Metagame knowledge influence a RP perspective.

    ...

    Yes it is more profitable to do the good side of these quests but, if you are RPing, your character is not aware of this.

    Not very much so. You can't presume I meta-gamed because of a word I used when I specifically said I role-played; 'profitable path' is very viable in RP perspectives. My character helped out some folks who promised rewards, and there were no evil alternatives. Upon completion, party's reputation increased and he found that shops give discounts because they heard of his good deeds. It's only natural he will try to make his party look good in the eyes of the public, and it is not meta-gaming at all. He would definitely commit any evil deeds that benefit him, especially ones out of public scrutiny which is not possible in many cases. Without meta, an evil MC will choose bad path if there is a prospect of profit but it's not the case in most quests. You are left with a choice of either completing a quest(being good) or kill the related NPCs for no good reason other than the fact they irked you. This is not how evil people besides lunatics or petty criminals operate in realistic sense.

    There are some occasions in which you can act rude and provoke NPCs into attacking you on some desolate mountain path; the problem is, when my character did that(cloakwood for instance) and subsequently murdered the NPCs who attacked him, his party's reputation dropped by a huge amount despite there being absolutely no witnesses. This is just one proof of the game not properly supporting evil playthrough. My character often ignored quests and sold quests objects for his greed but journals don't even update to reflect the change; if you haven't noticed 99% of journal entries were written with an assumption that you will play a good MC.

    Many of the in game quests are simple fetch/kill quests and there is simply no merit to acting evil in RP stand point. Also, I played a evil sorcerer in my blind BG1&BG2 play through but still ended up with 20 rep in that blind play; mind you, it was minimal reload run and I pressed on despite Imoen being chunked in BG1. I RP all my blind/replayed games and I am familiar with preventing my meta knowledge from influencing my RP.

    In RP perspectives maybe I shouldn't be concerned with party reputation, but when you murder someone in an uninhabited place and the whole world knows of it, I would grow cautious if I were to live in that world as an evil character.

    Post edited by IntoTheDarkness on
    elminster
  • GodGod Member Posts: 1,060
    Oh boy, you're really bad at being evil.

    Every time you meet someone there is at least one evil choice. Whilst Lawful Evil characters would normally murder only when they have more to gain than they can lose, Neutral Evil characters kill whenever they feel like it. Maybe you envy this commoner's shoes. Or maybe that farmer said you're ugly. Or that Flaming Fist mercenary, kill him because he's a bloody Flaming Fist. Poor boy lost his dog? Punch him. A paladin in the woods? Sacrifice her to your evil deity. For a Neutral Evil character, murder is not something strange and any reason is a good reason.
    Chaotic Evil is a bit harder to roleplay, as it is totally unreasonable. You need to be more psychotic. Chaos seeks no justification and accepts no reasoning, so an interesting idea is to randomize everything, e.g. by rolling a dice whenever you encounter someone to decide whether you will behave normally, rudely, rob the bloke or kill them. Chaotic Evil is also the only kind of character that allows an actual killing spree to happen.

    In other words:
    LE - mafia, shady lawyers, greedy politicians, pharmaceutical corporations etc.
    NE - neighbourhood gangs, common thugs, drug dealers, hooligans etc.
    CE - psychos, serial killers, raging monsters, religious zealots etc.

    I'm not a D&D geek, though. What I've written here comes from roleplaying and storytelling experience (and maybe, somewhat, from chatting with many, many evil people) that I gained elsewhere rather than from some sort of a universe rulebook, therefore my definitions of the respective characters may be slightly unorthodox. Nonetheless, I played through the BG series with a number of evil Charnames, and all of these playthroughs have been thoroughly enjoyable.

    Nonnahswriter
  • deltagodeltago Member Posts: 5,068


    Not very much so. You can't presume I meta-gamed because of a word I used when I specifically said I role-played; 'profitable path' is very viable in RP perspectives. My character helped out some folks who promised rewards, and there were no evil alternatives. Upon completion, party's reputation increased and he found that shops give discounts because they heard of his good deeds. It's only natural he will try to make his party look good in the eyes of the public, and it is not meta-gaming at all.

    A evil NPC would just steal items. Free is more profitable than discount.

    But, I would have to ask:

    What did you do with Silke?
    What did you do with the Flaming Fist that accosted you on the way to Nashkel?
    What did you do with Oublek?
    What did you do with the Blood stone necklace?
    What did you do with Elven Firebead?

    But yes, the reputation system is flawed. It is also an old game that at least attempted a chance for the player to be evil through a play through with certain sequences happening only when players rep were low.

    DJKajuruJuliusBorisov
  • joluvjoluv Member Posts: 1,905

    when you murder someone in an uninhabited place and the whole world knows of it

    The mechanic is simplistic, but I think it reflects realistic situations. If someone is found murdered in Cloakwood and then it became known that your party just rampaged through Cloakwood mines, don't you think people would suspect you? That alone wouldn't be enough to have the authorities track you down, but it would change how people treated you.

    I still don't really understand the problem. You think you shouldn't lose reputation for killing people, but you also think you ended up with too high of a reputation?

    DJKajuru
  • fighter_mage_thieffighter_mage_thief Member Posts: 262
    Sarevok had an awesome reputation for a while there, until he was exposed for the corrupt, bloodthirsty madman that he really was.

    Korgan's ending in ToB is much the same.



    Clearly the game has limitations, but that's just the nature of the beast. What the game doesn't permit you must find ways to simulate through its mechanics and your own imagination.

  • IntoTheDarknessIntoTheDarkness Member Posts: 118
    deltago said:


    Not very much so. You can't presume I meta-gamed because of a word I used when I specifically said I role-played; 'profitable path' is very viable in RP perspectives. My character helped out some folks who promised rewards, and there were no evil alternatives. Upon completion, party's reputation increased and he found that shops give discounts because they heard of his good deeds. It's only natural he will try to make his party look good in the eyes of the public, and it is not meta-gaming at all.

    A evil NPC would just steal items. Free is more profitable than discount.

    But, I would have to ask:

    What did you do with Silke?
    What did you do with the Flaming Fist that accosted you on the way to Nashkel?
    What did you do with Oublek?
    What did you do with the Blood stone necklace?
    What did you do with Elven Firebead?

    But yes, the reputation system is flawed. It is also an old game that at least attempted a chance for the player to be evil through a play through with certain sequences happening only when players rep were low.

    What did you do with Silke?
    -Killed Silke. My MC didn't deem a blatant murder on daylight a good idea, and he thought if Silke is killed he can legitimately take her money.
    What did you do with the Flaming Fist that accosted you on the way to Nashkel?
    -Joked/Killed. It was them who attacked first and despite no witness, I took a massive reputation hit.
    What did you do with Oublek?
    -took 200 golds.
    What did you do with the Blood stone necklace?
    -didn't give him the amulet.
    What did you do with Elven Firebead?
    -I didn't cheese 300 golds and I returned the scroll because I was a conjurer(can't learn identify) and did not need a scroll at that point. For the second quest I stole a book from other house.

  • doggydoggy Member Posts: 313
    Kill Algernon for a nice rep drop of 5. And a sweet cloak. And flood the mine. Off course you have not freed the slaves. That helps keeping that reputation in its place

  • joluvjoluv Member Posts: 1,905
    Some reputation drops depend on your reputation before doing the deed. So killing Algernon (or any innocent) gives a 5-point rep drop only if your reputation was 12-14 beforehand.

  • shawneshawne Member Posts: 3,239
    doggy said:

    Kill Algernon for a nice rep drop of 5. And a sweet cloak. And flood the mine. Off course you have not freed the slaves. That helps keeping that reputation in its place

    Eh, you can justify freeing the slaves as an Evil character - you're allowed to have principles, to an extent. Even Korgan and Viconia balk at the idea of killing children.

    The D&D rules suggest that Neutral Evil means you don't go out of your way to cause trouble. You're looking out for your own interests, you'll sacrifice anything and anyone to get to the top - but you don't do it on a whim. And sometimes your best interests dictate doing something that can be interpreted as Good, but it also means you can double-cross anyone you want.

    So yes, I told Oublek the truth and gave him the emeralds - then I charmed him into a secluded area, slit his throat, and took the emeralds back so I could sell them.

    tadancer
  • JidokwonJidokwon Member Posts: 291
    @IntoTheDarkness: You've provided a great example of a roleplaying opportunity. When your MC provoked the NPC to meet him in a secluded place and you murdered him, did you reroll when you took the reputation hit? Being evil, you wanted to and did kill him in a place you *thought* there were no witnesses. You were obviously caught and suffered for it. Did you metagame and reroll to keep your pristine reputation or did you roleplay the evil act, getting caught, and try to justify/make up for your actions?

  • SkatanSkatan Member Posts: 2,845
    God said:

    Every time you meet someone there is at least one evil choice. Whilst Lawful Evil characters would normally murder only when they have more to gain than they can lose, Neutral Evil characters kill whenever they feel like it. Maybe you envy this commoner's shoes. Or maybe that farmer said you're ugly. Or that Flaming Fist mercenary, kill him because he's a bloody Flaming Fist. Poor boy lost his dog? Punch him. A paladin in the woods? Sacrifice her to your evil deity. For a Neutral Evil character, murder is not something strange and any reason is a good reason.
    Chaotic Evil is a bit harder to roleplay, as it is totally unreasonable. You need to be more psychotic. Chaos seeks no justification and accepts no reasoning, so an interesting idea is to randomize everything, e.g. by rolling a dice whenever you encounter someone to decide whether you will behave normally, rudely, rob the bloke or kill them. Chaotic Evil is also the only kind of character that allows an actual killing spree to happen.

    ..and..
    deltago said:


    A evil NPC would just steal items. Free is more profitable than discount.
    ...

    But yes, the reputation system is flawed. It is also an old game that at least attempted a chance for the player to be evil through a play through with certain sequences happening only when players rep were low.

    My view on evil alignments differ quite alot from these, but are more in line with..
    shawne said:

    Eh, you can justify freeing the slaves as an Evil character - you're allowed to have principles, to an extent. Even Korgan and Viconia balk at the idea of killing children.

    The D&D rules suggest that Neutral Evil means you don't go out of your way to cause trouble. You're looking out for your own interests, you'll sacrifice anything and anyone to get to the top - but you don't do it on a whim. And sometimes your best interests dictate doing something that can be interpreted as Good, but it also means you can double-cross anyone you want.

    ..this.

    Just because you are evil, doesn't force you into acting evil, killing all the time. There are many ways to be evil without the actual act of killing others. For example, Korgan is CE. This means he prolly sees hiself as better than others and would only follow a leader out of a mixture of fear and respect, mostly the former. If he would see the CHARNAME as weak, he would probably attack and take the leadership himself. Much like many animals function in packs; there's an alpha male, and he reigns supreme until old age/weakness make way for a stronger leader. This does not necesserely mean that you kill everyone you come across, it means that you value force and strenght above all else and put your own gains ahead of everything.

    However, @God also mentioned his views on the alignments are his one, and to that I full-heartedly agree. I have my own way of interpreting the alignment chart which in some cases align to the creators intent, and in other probably not. But to me, who has played alot of NE chars. Pretty much all my rogue type chars ('cept bards ofc) are NE. This is because the rob, steal and do their best to get the most out of the world for themselves. That does not include killing everyone they encounter though, IMHO.

    Hehe, I wonder how many times the alignments have been discussed in these forums :)

  • ShinShin Member Posts: 2,290
    Cases have been made in the past that Korgan's behaviour seems a lot more like neutral evil than CE, or possibly even on the somewhat evil side of neutral. He's a short-on-sympathy brute who looks out for himself, but really doesn't go out of his way to inflict misery and also doesn't seem as hooked up on amassing personal power as Viconia. The Tweaks component to change him to neutral evil is a sensible one imo.

  • reedmilfamreedmilfam Member Posts: 2,808
    I'm not sure amassing personal power is evil, either. Most descriptions, as Shin just said, of evil acts are far more neutral to me. Self-interest, or whatnot, is not inherently evil. I see evil as inherently destructive, but for the character's purposes.

    So, lawyers are more Lawful Neutral than evil (normally). Lawful evil is more of a determined destruction but to replace with a different order. Cunning destruction, if you will.

    Neutral evil is destructive, but very selective about order.

    Chaotic is more the maniac mess.

    I tend to stay away from the corners of the alignment box, sticking more to NG, LN, etc. Seems more honest to me than the true paragon (LG) or the do good at all costs (CG) - NG just tries to do good, and is careful to be too adherent, or too disobedient, to the law.

    Just my 2¢

  • proccoprocco Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 905
    Another way it can be looked at is that being evil doesn't necessarily preclude having a high reputation. Look at our American politicians. Many of them have high reputations and are revered by half the population but are evil black-hearted power hungry four letter words. Having a high reputation could be advantageous to an evil character. They get stuff cheaper, the law isn't on their tail all the time, and they can keep companions around to be used in their machinations. I feel like most situations in the games can be rationalized ith a little imagination. And anyway, it's a single player game, so anything goes.

    AureolGod
  • DruericDrueric Member Posts: 42
    I dont think you are playing your alignment correctly.

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