Two questions

  • How do you play a successful henchman when your boss isn't around (On vacation or dead)

    How to make a playable or good evil character?

    These are two problems i hit the wall alot this is why i tend to play More lawful Good type character as mains most of the time since most others feel either quite draining or feel quite bland or un realistic to me.

    Maybe i read to many Superman comics when i was a kid..

  • Well, the trick is to have a personality, goals and all that good stuff. (Of which I'm hilariously bad at personally.)
    You want to have something you can pursue and be your own person at. Like you would at a normal character, except you have an obligation for whatever reason to be a henchman.

    And I suppose I'm not the best for evil characters, but a good story and reason for being evil is a great start, evil for the sake of evil is boring to look at, boring to play and boring to interact with.

  • You have two options as an evil character. Either you play an Evil character that leverages the written law to their advantage and their malevolence is confined therein, which might complement a Banite for instance, or you play the more common interpretation of a villain that paints themselves outside these lines. The latter of the two invariably ends in confrontation and death, and in some part isolation, so that has to be accepted and embraced from the offset. Very rarely if ever do villains ultimately survive, certainly from the latter of those two categories. They can still be immensely rewarding and successful, but sooner or later the forces of good will suffocate you.

    To play a successful evil character I believe you need to engage the character with a thoroughly thought out route of progression and ultimate end objective. Seeing as you are not playing the character to survive, live and evolve I believe the best foundation is to first carefully scrutinise what you hope to accomplish. The journey to this destination is the story you’re telling and the joy you’ll have.

    So, as an example, you might want to resurrect Moander. Moander is an evil God with some pretty heinous and dark tenets, resurrecting him is your end goal. This should be what you’re driving toward a majority of the time in game, giving your character focus and meaning.

    This is the easy part, however, we can all dream up fantastical aspirations for our characters. The difficult part of evil and any concept really is finding something that can be done day-to-day that charts a positive trajectory toward this goal. Every week you want to be moving forward.

    The temptation is to hamstrung yourself and litter your goals with very DM dependent twists and turns, after all DM interaction is what will ultimately move your plans to the next level. But by and large you need to earn this and can never take it for granted, so you want to ensure your plans can be progressed entirely on the shoulders of players if needs be.

    Taking our example, the resurrection of Moander, this could be any number of things. You could found a cult, glean varied and rare cauldron regents, commence sermons and religious gatherings, belittle and conflict with opposing faiths etc. These are generic examples without a lot of meat on the bone, they’re activities you can do that will progress your characters objectives but they’re not substantial enough to take vast strides.

    So you need to complement these day-to-day shenanigans with mini-plots. Set yourself half marathon objectives, somewhere you want to be or something you want to accomplish in two weeks and how you might do it. Ensuring it is a step toward your ultimate goal.

    “The Blight Awakening.” ~ A religious ceremony that commemorates the 100th year or whatever it is of Moander’s slumber. You and your associates want to mark the occasion with an event of special significance. You set the date, two weeks time, and set about promoting the occasion and making due preparations. This could entail a living sacrifice, an ingot of Mythalite incensed to awaken the stricken God, the offering of defiled artefacts of befitting Gods and Goddesses bla bla bla.

    Essentially you want mini-plots that provoke a response from the playerbase, either in support or opposition. Once you’ve completed it you start another. This is a guaranteed recipe for a modicum of success or at the very least enjoyment, and should one or more of your group fall by the wayside you’ve still got that map to follow and ladder to climb. So my advice is that a thorough pre-game assessment of the character helps you no end later down the line. Ensure you have day-to-day fun you can have, have a few mini-plots in mind, and always be aiming for something big and brilliant.

  • Storyteller [DM]

    Above post is fantastic

  • My biggest barrier to creating an evil character is figuring out why this person chose to live outside the moral and social expectations of the world around him or her. Like, all that stuff for summoning Moander is awesome, but why would someone choose to do that? That is where I have trouble. At least, if I am trying to come up with something, I don't know…maybe believable isn't the right word...but honest? Like, what circumstances could honestly make a person think, "Resurrecting a long dead, half forgotten, ancient evil of decay and rot - great idea!"

  • Storyteller [DM]

    This is a fantasy world, however, not our own. That's not to say there should not be logical reasons behind things, but the "norms" of the Forgotten Realms are not the norms of our own societies.

    Turning to a dark god in a time of need, while bizarre and illogical when viewed through the lens of RL reasoning, is not so strange in FR. Turning to evil in FR makes sense because evil offers real and tangible benefits and solutions to whatever problem you might dream up in your backstory.

    Essentially, the reason your character is evil needs to make sense to your -character-, not necessarily to you.

  • @Hominid:

    Essentially, the reason your character is evil needs to make sense to your -character-, not necessarily to you.

    This sums up the trouble I've had over the years trying to play evil. Thanks for the insight. I will keep that in mind for future concepts.


  • While I understand this, I have no idea how to play a character whose motivations are not only "not mine", but they even make no sense to me.

  • Well, there could be reasons for wanting to ressurect such a being. Perhaps you were scorned by Talona (or you think you were) when your mother was taken by a terrible illness. Perhaps you were even a priest of Talona, focussing on turning her gaze away from people to save them from her wrath.

    Now your really pissed off with Talona, and seek to weaken her influence, but, because of your past interactions with priests of Ilmater, you can't choose that route, so you decide to try and ressurect Moander, a god who could, and most likely would, try to rival and damage Talona.

    Maybe your hoping to gain immense power to seek revenge, and choose to go the route or ressurecting a dead god, instead of taking (what you consider to be) the harder, and less likely method of rising in the ranks of the clergy of a living god. You hope to ressurect the god, and form a massive powerfult cult along the way, and ultimately become the champion of the risen god, and then rain down utter ruin upon the ones you seek revenge against.

    Theres a bunch more reasons. Sure, there are other routes to take instead of trying to raise a dead god, but theres tonnes of ways to go about anything.

  • The point of rp'ing something that's so far from the you irl is what I find it interesting to play nwn and then that it fits a setting where it can shine.

    I'd say if you can't rp something unlike yourself. Then you're giving it too much thought. Everything could be turned out evil if balance is maintained I'd say.. Like it's ok to have greed but too much greed will become evil. Maybe your char was born in an environment where you couldn't be greedy enough if you wanted to survive. And there are environments/settings like that in FR lore.

  • Played a henchmen a while back he was a fighter(thug kit) with standard stats and was a follower of velsharoon.
    He latched onto the necromancers as the hired muscle with the driving goal of getting rich so he could hire wizards to make him immortal(undead).
    So when his employers were not around his main goal was still there so if you give your henchman type character a very simple goal it's alot easier to bend it around your boss not being there,and giving yourself something to work towards.

    Oh also if your playing a henchman and your boss isn't rewarding or keeping you in loot and gold find a new boss my guy got about 20-30k's worth of potions,gear and gold off his.

  • I find it hard to keep my own characters well equipped (or at least used to find, back in Old Arabel) - supplying other characters with loot and gold is hard. (Mind you, hechmen type characters, at least in my narrow experience, seem to be better equipped and usually better build to tackle tasks that are profitable, like questing, while the few leader type characters I've had usually had a not-so-effective-yet-flavorful-build which made money-making even harder).

    Gold and loot aside, I've made a few "not overtly evil" henchmen-type characters simply by beginning with a blank slate. I chose a backstory (for example escaped from slavery in underdark) and begun with no prominent goals except to (find out what's going on and) surviving day-to-day.
    With no pre-set alliances or opinions on groups or faiths, you are pretty much free to explore the server, setting and the current groups as you wish. With a character that has no friends to begin with, it makes sense to try and make friends from various groups and walks of life - You can support these groups with your character (thus, henchman).

    If you make enough friends from different kinds of groups, you'll sooner or later find yourself in a situation where you need to pick sides as the groups clash. You'll also likely find the conflict meaningful, given that you know the people on the other side and have likely good reasons why you picked the other side over their side.

    Once you do get some friends, they likely have at least some goals you like -> Make your own goals parallel to them. They want to awaken a tree avatar of Silvanus to destroy Arabel? Sounds very fairy-like plot, with walking trees and all that - Maybe your character is interested in Fey and nature spirits because of the strange power they might provide? This way you can push your bosses plot and support the theme while pursuing your own goals while they are away.

  • slines is a term for Slimes and oozes right? I never could figure it out ooc

  • sline isn't to do with slimes and oozes.

  • Mostly you want to tailor your character to be a different personality than you. For example, the characters of mine who failed the most were those whom represented a facet of my own personality. If you want the same things as your character does, it is easier for you to get frustrated and emotional. If you make a character and develop a different personality and "ACT" it out as if you were writing a story or in a movie, then it is soooo much easier to roll with the punches and do some fun things.

    For example: Vincent Le'Chance started as a character that I planned to do things with to make things in Arabel occur that /I/ OOC wanted. I wanted him to work within the confines of grey areas between good and evil to slowly destroy the chaotic forces, using their own weapons against them. What actually ended up happening is he went insane trying to keep all the secrets he had and seeing how he accidentally kept helping evil more than good and got taken in and corrupted by demonic forces. He eventually sold his soul to a devil and became ingrained with a group called the SINS because he believe the only way to fix the world was to completely purge it and start anew. This lead to him hunting sheriffs and Mage Guilders. Sacrificing Paladins and all around just causing massive chaos.

    The key to Vincent's success as a villain (at least from my personal opinion) is I as a player do not want Arabel to be blown up and I as a player do not want to wipe the server so when Vincent was ultimately killed and his plans to burn the world in diabolical fire fell through… well I'm not really upset about that at all. Getting emotionally involved in your goals is the fast track to getting frustrated and wanting to quit.

    The post above says it all about setting up goals, just make sure you don't get so attached to them that you cease to have fun.

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