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Most Evil Companion

24

Comments

  • QuartzQuartz Member Posts: 3,813
    Dorn
    dunbar wrote: »
    Although generally speaking I don't have a moral problem with having "evil" npcs in my party I genuinely can't stomach Dorn's SoA questline.
    Same. Pretty annoying personally because I really enjoy Dorn in BG1:EE. The vengeance plot is pretty cool.

  • megamike15megamike15 Member Posts: 1,466
    Dorn
    i said this before but i believe beamdog just has issues writing evil npcs. they are much harder to write then a good or neutral one. thats why most evil npc mods seem to have them just be more smug then being psychopaths.

    mashedtatersPokota
  • NeverusedNeverused Member Posts: 640
    Dorn
    Now that I think about it further, Hexxat's problem isn't her evilness: it's her untrustworthiness. It's bloody hard to trust someone that just murders someone she dominated to help her. And then she asks YOU to help her. Now, I might be the wisest guy on the block, but why would I believe that Hexxat wouldn't turn on you as quickly as she did on Clara? Why would I help someone who murders people she helps?

    The only other NPC that has a betrayal plot to start is Edwin, but Edwin is hired to betray the same person you're in the process of trying to betray. So Hexxat might not be as EVIL as Edwin, but she's by far the stupidest evil character. Even stupider than Dorn, somehow.

    Balrog99mashedtaters
  • ChroniclerChronicler Member Posts: 738
    Most of the evil NPC's are pretty open about being self-serving. Make no real promises of loyalty. They look out for number 1 and expect you to do the same, but we can still work together for as long as it's mutually beneficial.

    Viconia's the only one where it feels a little one-sided, since you keep running into her in moments where she's about to be murdered and doesn't really have much to offer in exchange for her life.

    That being said I'd think Korgan would have the smallest chance of betraying you, since he's money-driven, and your quests do bring a pretty steady supply of that.

    mashedtatersgorgonzola
  • megamike15megamike15 Member Posts: 1,466
    Dorn
    which is ironic as korgan's old band make it a point to tell you he might betray you. and then it never happens.

    Chroniclermashedtaters
  • mashedtatersmashedtaters Member Posts: 1,913
    edited April 18
    Dorn
    As I understand it from most D&D lore, the black guard, or anti-Paladin as it used to be called, is just about as evil as a person can get.
    I think paladins get misrepresented, as they used to represent what was most good in humanity (now they’re written as just kind of pompous windbags).

    The anti-Paladin represented the “anti” of good in every way imaginable.
    It was first introduced in the Dragon Magazine issue #39. Here it is if anyone is interested in the read, though it was basically just a stat block:
    https://www.annarchive.com/files/Drmg039.pdf

    In later editions, the anti-Paladin (or blackguard) was required to perform horrible sacrifices and rituals to the evil gods before he was even considered for anti-Paladinhood.

    I always felt that blackguards/anti-paladins, from a roleplaying perspective, were required to have known of the good in an intimate fashion, such as a paladin or good cleric would, and then willingly betray it in some sort of binding commitment before they could become an anti-Paladin. I don’t know if that’s the case with Dorn.

    I always kill him. I just can’t see an anti-Paladin standing by while his party saves Baldur’s Gate no matter the reasoning—kind of like how I can’t see any paladin siding with a psychopath to destroy an entire city no matter the reasoning. The circumstances would have to be unbelievably crazy and require some serious “anti-atonement” afterwards. :smile:

    I also can’t see anyone but the most depraved or enslaved siding with an anti-paladin for any reason. The anti-paladin is just always going to be the biggest threat if you’re a good guy.

    gorgonzolaThacoBellZaghoullolien
  • megamike15megamike15 Member Posts: 1,466
    Dorn
    well you'll be happy to know every paladin won't work with dorn.

    mashedtaters
  • chimaerachimaera Member Posts: 804
    Neverused wrote: »
    Now that I think about it further, Hexxat's problem isn't her evilness: it's her untrustworthiness. It's bloody hard to trust someone that just murders someone she dominated to help her. And then she asks YOU to help her. Now, I might be the wisest guy on the block, but why would I believe that Hexxat wouldn't turn on you as quickly as she did on Clara? Why would I help someone who murders people she helps?
    Because not everyone builds their party based on trust, that's why. You can betray and sacrifice your own companions in this game, so charname can actually be worse than Hexxat.

  • ZaxaresZaxares Member Posts: 103
    Dorn
    megamike15 wrote: »
    i said this before but i believe beamdog just has issues writing evil npcs. they are much harder to write then a good or neutral one. thats why most evil npc mods seem to have them just be more smug then being psychopaths.

    It's usually extremely hard to write evil characters because you almost never see real life people actually devote their lives to "Evil" with a capital E, so evil characters have a tendency to come off as one-dimensional, unbelievable or just flat out insane. The D&D system itself kind of encourages this because otherwise the whole alignment system (and by extension, spells and powers that work off of alignment) become extremely unwieldy and complicated, because people are themselves unwieldy and complicated. Even real world murderers do not tend to think of themselves as evil, believing that those they kill "had it coming" or that their actions are doing good by "cleansing" the world somehow.

    For my tabletop games, I usually adopt a much simpler method of determining whether somebody is Good/Neutral/Evil:

    - Good characters actively enjoy helping people and easing suffering and will go out of their way to do it.
    - Evil characters actively enjoy hurting people and causing suffering and will go out of their way to do it.
    - Neutral characters can help/hurt people on occasion, but usually do so for some personal reward and will not bother themselves if it involves too much effort.

    ThacoBellRaduziel
  • DanacmDanacm Member Posts: 592
    Ironically evil characters like good party members (no cheating, betray, steal), because who will want to have an evil neighbor :smile:

    ZaghoulDreadKhanThacoBell
  • Balrog99Balrog99 Member Posts: 4,170
    Hexxat
    Danacm wrote: »
    Ironically evil characters like good party members (no cheating, betray, steal), because who will want to have an evil neighbor :smile:

    Unless their neighbor's reputation reaches 20, then they want nothing to do with them...

    ThacoBelllolien
  • megamike15megamike15 Member Posts: 1,466
    Dorn
    the reputation system is like the karma system in fallout. it really does not matter. it's why i use the happy patch.

    ThacoBellgorgonzola
  • PokotaPokota Member Posts: 512
    Dorn
    I usually just ignore the good/evil axis since the general trend is more along the lines of selfless/selfish anyway, but Dorn really blows that system out of whack. Spoiler does as well, but they're very clear as to why they ally with you once given the chance.

  • Humanoid_TaifunHumanoid_Taifun Member Posts: 963
    Even Sarevok had a bunch of evil team members, and his reputation seemed very much maxed out to me.
    It is not so much that evil is repulsed by popularity (in D&D or Baldur's Gate), but that reputation was the only way that the developers could think of to keep track of what you were doing.
    Rather than that, I would probably have added checks to types of actions and then have the NPCs react directly to those.
    Kill an innocent? Good characters either leave immediately or become hostile (though this would have the side effect of making all collateral damage "intentional" as far as your team mates are concerned).
    Donate at a temple? Evil characters tell you in no uncertain terms that the donation came out of YOUR share (and you lose the amount you donated again for every evil character in the group).

    ThacoBellChroniclergorgonzolaStummvonBordwehr
  • MaurvirMaurvir Member Posts: 131
    The problem with the reputation system for the developers is that you have to balance your reputation with your charisma, but only charisma has a properly defined affect on rolls.

    Of course, that is secondary the problem of defining "good" and "evil". It seems that in D&D evil is defined as self-serving while good is defined as serving others. A reasonable definition on the surface, but ultimately a very shallow one. Regardless of what you may think about SoD, it was a good example of the road to hell being paved with "good" intentions.

    Strictly speaking, even a self-serving bastard who is otherwise honest in his/her dealings (lawful evil) should be able to maintain a reasonably high reputation in the areas that count - commerce and law enforcement. Only chaotic evil characters, who could be more appropriately described as psychopaths, would struggle to get along with merchants. On the other hand, I think it should be possible to have a chaotic good aligned character with the same basic problem - after all, a merchant doesn't care why you didn't uphold your end of the bargain even if it was for a "good" reason.

    However, all of this just underscores how limited the whole reputation and alignment system is. It was intended to be a guide, not a hard and fast rule. Getting a computer to handle this part of a DM's job will never be easy.

    StummvonBordwehrThacoBell
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 8,589
    Dorn
    @Maurvir "Of course, that is secondary the problem of defining "good" and "evil". It seems that in D&D evil is defined as self-serving while good is defined as serving others. A reasonable definition on the surface, but ultimately a very shallow one."

    Great post, I disagree here, though. "Selfish" versus "Selfless" is a fantastic breakdown of evil vs. good. You can break down just about any act of either to these two values.

  • ChroniclerChronicler Member Posts: 738
    I think that's also something to remember when talking about Paladins and their Detect Evil skill.

    It's really more of a Detect Selfish skill. A tradesman who provides a vital service to the community, but only does it out of self-interest, would be "evil". Where a serial killer gathering parts out of loyalty to the necromancer he serves would be "good".

    The Dopplegangers in BG1 who infiltrated all those businesses and sabotaged their operations in order to help Sarevok fan the flames of war? Neutral apparently. Hence why Phandalyn didn't see through their ruse.

    Even in a setting where "Good" and "Evil" are verifiable, morality can't necessarily be boiled down to a single spell.

  • SkitiaSkitia Member Posts: 120
    Dorn
    Dorn by far. A more interesting contest would be who is the most good, as that is less clear.

  • Humanoid_TaifunHumanoid_Taifun Member Posts: 963
    @Chronicler Unfortunately that is not true as far as D&D is concerned. A serial killer is evil, even if she is not acting out of self-interest. Murder is evil.
    By the (2nd edition) rule books, doppelgangers are evil. Them mostly being neutral in Baldur's Gate is a bug or a house rule, whichever you prefer. But since they do plenty of evil stuff, I see it as a bug.

    ThacoBell
  • ChroniclerChronicler Member Posts: 738
    "Murder" is a pretty nebulously defined concept in The Realms. Good and Evil chracters alike will kill, only very rarely with any sort of due process.

    I'm not gonna argue with you about what the rules say but it doesn't really make much sense for example that Drizzt gets to be good because he kills for good reasons, but when this hypothetical serial killer does the same suddenly the standard rules don't apply.

    Kind of sounds like they realized their alignment system doesn't quite line up our real life ideas of morality and just threw in a little clause that lets people reign it back in when it doesn't suit them.

  • Humanoid_TaifunHumanoid_Taifun Member Posts: 963
    I have not read anything by Salvatore, so I cannot judge Drizzt.
    Wikipedia wrote:
    The third edition D&D rules define "good" and "evil" as follows:[9]

    Good implies altruism, respect for life, and a concern for the dignity of sentient beings. Good characters make personal sacrifices to help others.

    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.

    People who are neutral with respect to good and evil have compunctions against killing the innocent but lack the commitment to make sacrifices to protect or help others. Neutral people are committed to others by personal relationships.
    Players being players it is no coincidence that the term "murderhobo" has arisen to describe adventurers. But going around killing people without good reason or pangs of conscience is not how you are supposed to play your good character.

    ThacoBell
  • ChroniclerChronicler Member Posts: 738
    Literally every major game mechanic is based around killing.

    There's no universe where the Good Aligned Adventurers are pacifists.

    If that was the case The Fighter for example would be evil only, because harming/killing is evil, and what the heck else are you gonna do with that sword?

    Balrog99
  • ChroniclerChronicler Member Posts: 738
    You don't have to have read anything by Salvatore to have seen Drizzt mowing through Gnolls by the way.

    Or met Ajantis, the lawful good paladin, whose primary motivation is to kill all bandits. Or Kivan, the similarly motivated Chaotic Good Ranger. Or Minsc, who at a bare minimum is hardly shy about harming anybody.

  • Humanoid_TaifunHumanoid_Taifun Member Posts: 963
    No one spoke of pacifism. The description says "respect for life", not "inability to harm any life". The narrow path of "Good" in DnD is about having the player pretend that they are killing stuff only for actually good reasons (generally protecting others, but delivering "just punishment" seems to be more popular than I am comfortable with).
    Training yourself in martial arts is also not the same as desiring to bring harm to others. That is a really dangerous idea, what with many people in the modern world practicing some form of martial arts. You just described them all in a way that they probably would not appreciate.
    what the heck else are you gonna do with that sword?
    A sword is primarily a self defense weapon. If a medieval person planned to kill somebody, they would usually pick something else, something bigger (or smaller, like a dagger). A sword was somewhat passable in a fight unless the opposition was armored. But more importantly, it was really easy to carry around. That is why swords have been so universally popular throughout most cultures.
    Of course, since we are discussing Baldur's Gate, this historic argument does not really apply. But still, preparing yourself for self-defense is not the same as disrespecting the lives of others.

    It appears that we largely agree on the shady behavior of adventurers. But that is not the fault of the alignment system. It is the players giving in to temptation and doing evil.

    ThacoBell
  • ChroniclerChronicler Member Posts: 738
    Literally your definition of evil that you quoted listed "harming, oppressing, and killing" as uniformly evil.

    It makes no sense for there to be good and evil actions in The Realms. Not in the verifiable sense that spells like detect evil deal with. Only good and evil motivations.

  • ChroniclerChronicler Member Posts: 738
    If Detect Evil showed if people "Harm, Oppress, or Kill" then pretty much any named character in The Realms would ping red.

    You say nobody spoke of pacifism, but could anything short of a pacifist pass that test?

  • ChroniclerChronicler Member Posts: 738
    This is a universe where Tempus, the God of War, is chaotic neutral.

    What, are we supposing these are wars where they don't harm people? Because if they're harmy wars then under that definition he'd have to be some form of evil.

  • Humanoid_TaifunHumanoid_Taifun Member Posts: 963
    your definition of evil that you quoted listed "harming, oppressing, and killing" as uniformly evil.
    You are making a logical mistake there.
    Evil implies harming, oppressing, and killing
    A therefore B
    From this, you cannot conclude that from B follows A.
    In the context given, that is largely a superfluous point. Those that happily oppress or kill others are evil. After all, Good implies altruism and respect for life.
    But it is still a logical mistake, and your conclusion - that good people will not kill ever - is wrong.

    Chaotic Neutral means that you are not overly concerned with morals. Tempus is a God that symbolizes honorary battle, not wanton slaughter. He is certainly not about murder.

    ThacoBell
  • Gatekeep3rGatekeep3r Member Posts: 91
    Dorn
    I've always seen Tempus as more lawful neutral. I would compare him to Athena or Mars (Roman), while Bhaal would be more like Ares. Ares revelled in war because of war, while Athena and Mars depicted honour, bravery and strategic brilliance over all. Very much like Tempus.

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