A few thoughts



  • Hello all,

    I'm an old player of CoA that recently returned back to do some RPing.
    The reason i quit back then was because i lost 3 characters in the span of 5 days (all executions). I don't really want to share details at this moment.

    I've been having a lot of fun since my return and i saw that a lot of things have changed.
    The summoning system still looks to be as fun as it used to be, even moreso.

    However i'm facing a problem that really is a deal breaker for me. Playing openly evil doesn't seem to be viable at all for some concepts, be it the laws, what people play at the moment, established RP and so on and so forth.

    I know what people will suggest, but this is not what you think it is.
    I am ok with getting imprisoned, executed, shunned, whatever you name it.

    But what i can't stand much is getting bored to death because nobody accepts me to quest with since to progress you actually need people.

    Also, i happen to really like playing necromancers. I've thought about it many times, how can i use undead when i quest with random people but i can't seem to find a solution unless i want to get pvp'ed every single quest.

    Like some people love RPing out openly they worship Torm or Tyr etc and swinging their angelic sword and calling down celestials, i wish i could do the same. But you're forced to go low profile.

    No don't use your unholy sword, no don't use contraband, don't use bloodstones, don't let people see your undead, your outsider lawful evil hound etc.

    I know it's the setting, being low profile can certainly be fun sometimes, but it's not something i like to do all the time. I want some time i can go bonkers with my evil powers.
    Being time constrained as i am now, i can't afford to spend 5 hours clicking around until i find a few people to quest with or a chance to use my lawfuil evil 15hp hound on my paladin.

    It was fun to see the server again and rediscover new things, as well as Bhalir being around again (God knows how many characters i've lost for him back then)

    Sorry for the apparent misery pouring from this post.
    CoA is indeed one of the most fun and welcoming servers i've tried since i tried to return to RPing, but probably not for me.

    Take care all.


  • Admin [DM]

    Thanks for the feedback, it has been very helpful I fully agree with you that we really need to work on how to help support evil concepts! Do you have any suggestions in how to allow the evil but not necessarily criminal PCs have some breathing room?



  • @a-red-rose said in A few thoughts:

    Hello all,

    I'm an old player of CoA that recently returned back to do some RPing.
    The reason i quit back then was because i lost 3 characters in the span of 5 days (all executions). I don't really want to share details at this moment.

    I've been having a lot of fun since my return and i saw that a lot of things have changed.
    The summoning system still looks to be as fun as it used to be, even moreso.

    However i'm facing a problem that really is a deal breaker for me. Playing openly evil doesn't seem to be viable at all for some concepts, be it the laws, what people play at the moment, established RP and so on and so forth.

    I know what people will suggest, but this is not what you think it is.
    I am ok with getting imprisoned, executed, shunned, whatever you name it.

    But what i can't stand much is getting bored to death because nobody accepts me to quest with since to progress you actually need people.

    Also, i happen to really like playing necromancers. I've thought about it many times, how can i use undead when i quest with random people but i can't seem to find a solution unless i want to get pvp'ed every single quest.

    Like some people love RPing out openly they worship Torm or Tyr etc and swinging their angelic sword and calling down celestials, i wish i could do the same. But you're forced to go low profile.

    No don't use your unholy sword, no don't use contraband, don't use bloodstones, don't let people see your undead, your outsider lawful evil hound etc.

    I know it's the setting, being low profile can certainly be fun sometimes, but it's not something i like to do all the time. I want some time i can go bonkers with my evil powers.
    Being time constrained as i am now, i can't afford to spend 5 hours clicking around until i find a few people to quest with or a chance to use my lawfuil evil 15hp hound on my paladin.

    It was fun to see the server again and rediscover new things, as well as Bhalir being around again (God knows how many characters i've lost for him back then)

    Sorry for the apparent misery pouring from this post.
    CoA is indeed one of the most fun and welcoming servers i've tried since i tried to return to RPing, but probably not for me.

    Take care all.

    Were you Zhang? I forget, but our group is usually very inclusive when it comes to questing. It just so happens that no one wants to hang out with Banites IC so we stopped making sending for a while.

    We did bring that back yesterday and had some people join in. A militia member and Pallid Companion. If you decide to stick around, shoot one of us a PM. We'll be more than glad to include you somehow. We're really big in OOC inclusiveness over IC reasons. We'll likely try really hard to find a IC reason to hang out with you even if you're a Tormite.



  • The highest level PCs on the server are evil. One whole village is run by an evil follower of Bane.

    I'm not sure I quite agree with you entirely. It depends on the kind of 'evil' you plan to play. If its uncivilized murder hobo, yes, it won't work so well. But evil concepts work well.



  • I feel I should add, some of the "evil" things you mention aren't just "evil" but actually specifically more POWERFUL than most other things people have access too. There is a natural risk vs reward to using them.

    Other things shouldn't be a problem, a lawful evil hound isn't a demon. An unholy sword isn't infernal. The things that bring risk are things like bloodstones, animated dead, not familiars. So I'm curious if there is a misunderstanding there we can clarify and address.

    I'd rather hear how we can make it more welcoming if you want to share.



  • @a-red-rose

    PM'd you about some ways we can get you started to hang with us. πŸ™‚



  • Well here's a few more observations then since i've been asked for feedback.

    1. The Undead Isle is a great place. It's probably one of my wildest dreams coming true because i've never seen such a dedicated place for necromancers / necromancy before in any server

    2. Yes i agree. You can play evil. You can be evil. There's Banites running around rampant, i think i know quite a few people who are evil playing but appear good.

    3. I could play some widely accepted evil like a priestess of Umberlee and possibly go crazy.

    My frustration probably stems from my efforts to play a necromancer. My first attempt, was a deathtouched sorcerer. I ended up not using my conjurations a lot of the time, or when i did it kind of felt out of place. Like my party just ignored it for one reason or another, out of courtesy possibly.

    Then i decided i want to try my hand on a Priestess of Clar Banda who is open about being a priestess. I mean you gotta preach it when you're a cleric. Then i started brainstorming again with whom i can party to use undead, because my whole build and concept was based on using undead. Even took improved expertise to boost my AC to 34+ so that i can hopefully survive pvp.

    As to your comments about risk vs reward, Mr. Moloch i get that. Everyone would use bloodstones and undead in quests and breeze through them.

    But i've seen a lot of paladins and a lot of rangers who clearly have the upper hand in some quests involving undead and having an extra thingy like an animal companion is better than not having it, ie pure fighter for example.

    I will be honest, i don't really have a good suggestion to make, besides nerf undead minions, make more quests soloable, all these are silly ideas and not really suggestions.

    The problem is not with the server most probably and no i don't expect druids to ride my zombies into battle.

    Anyway, bottomline.

    I don't want to stand around bored to death while feeling like a Tormite in a Banite hold. Sadly for me, i love necromancy and that has been a reccuring problem for me throughtout my RP over time.



  • It has always been my impression - both as player and DM - that playing evil comes with lots of buy-ins. You know that you'll be placed in a technically Good/Neutral nation with a predisposition towards blatantly evil acts.

    This server has some advantages that if you work hard, are patient, and make everything fun, you can cause some major changes.

    Why not a character, who is not a necromancer, (at first) maybe a cleric for one of the necro-friendly gods - who advocates the change in laws, who debates the legitimate and 'wholesome' uses for Undead in a society. Honestly, with the introduction of the War Forged, this is an interesting time to try to pull something like that. Changing the setting is hard, and can take an entire character arc to do so. Start small, apply to be a dignitary from a foreign land. One where necromancy is legal. Then work at getting an embassy built. There in your legally owned land, you can start to preform necromantic arts, offer classes on how it works, give lectures on practical applications.

    Most importantly, don't forget charisma/social skills - Don't play super evil 'I'm gonna turn yer kittens in to zombie-kittens, and then they are going to eat your grandmother' type.

    The problem you are describing sounds very setting oriented to me. If you do not like the setting, there is a world of chances to change it. πŸ˜ƒ



  • @a-red-rose one of the first things to do as a necromantic character is realise that spire sendings will be no go areas for your shenanigans, but if you go to shylocks sendings then you will quite likely find similar minds and ideals.

    i know that there are at least 3 characters in game that regularly use animations, both in quest and without. just have to find them and apprentice etc



  • @cadiz_stoker said in A few thoughts:

    @a-red-rose one of the first things to do as a necromantic character is realise that spire sendings will be no go areas for your shenanigans, but if you go to shylocks sendings then you will quite likely find similar minds and ideals.

    i know that there are at least 3 characters in game that regularly use animations, both in quest and without. just have to find them and apprentice etc

    Apprentice, or... take over!

    Openly evil monster character types are highly unlikely to last long. I think it says this in the Players Handbook?



  • Cormyr is a civilized nation founded on good and wholesome values.

    The Banites had to go through a lot of blood and fire to get to where they are now, it was no walk in the park to be so blatantly evil and endure the cascade of wannabe heroes and upholders of justice. Part of the fun of being evil is to battle the heroes of the times, whether you win or lose its part of the story and a good villain is one who embraces defeat.

    I have no great love for animating the dead or the summon creature spells personally. They really aren't worth it at all to me. The animate dead is better than vanilla but I feel the summon creature line of spells is a joke even at 6th circle. The only thing I have summoned that satisfied me was the vampire bleakstone, if you feed it potions it is pretty good. I would rather have a random joe be a fighter on my team than a few undead though.

    As for chaotic murder hobo's. I have had success playing chaotic murder hobo's in the past, but my definition of success there is robbing a bunch of people then getting hunted down like a... cat. The setting from what I have seen does not lend itself well to chaotic PC's unless your super stealthy and live in the fairy tree by yourself. Team law that isnt in a uniform can just charge into Old Town and kill you any time they want if you live there.



  • I think Terris makes a valuable suggestion here. It's important to be creative when approaching concepts that might favour undead, especially in a place where it's nefarious and criminal.

    Concepts that are outside the box and can gradually and politically shift the line in their favour would find much more success.

    The fact of the matter is, if you start summoning undead, you are liable to be PvP'd or even FD'd down the line.

    Most undead concepts fall into the "Flash in the Pan" style. You aim to be a villain that can cause havoc and terror for a short period of time while creating excitement for the players around you. While I think most of our community does an adequate job of walking the line between OOC acceptance and IC inclusion, I am also a strong believer in not sacrificing what is IC.

    Necromancers will find almost no sympathy in Arabel, especially if they are brazen in the way they conduct themselves. Even worse, PCs may count themselves evil but still be disgusted by the thought of animating the dead.

    It's a heinous crime which will earn you lots of IC hatred, which is why their power reflects it appropriately.


  • Storyteller [DM]

    The setting is inherently lawful good and chaotic and evil concepts will find it hard. This is not going to change while we’re in Cormyr



  • @spiffymeister except the team has a discussion going right now about how to do this. Lol


  • Storyteller [DM]

    @mr-moloch said in A few thoughts:

    @spiffymeister except the team has a discussion going right now about how to do this. Lol

    I am just pointing out that there are obvious taboos that should remain! Being a criminal means playing, to a degree, an outcast from civilization



  • I dont know what kind of 'support' your talking about, but the fact that lawless zones exist is enough for me.

    You can only enforce lawful activity inside the zones with blue NPCs. If you want to be captain chaotic evil who stomps puppies AND live in town, your crazy.



  • If you make a character who hates everyone with any sort of power and influence, and who is constantly disrespectful towards the status-quo, you're gonna have a bad time. That's not a bug, that's a feature.

    When I played a Paladin of Freedom that constantly feuded with the law, I had a hard time from time to time. That was invited by the way I acted, it would be weird if I just got off scot free.

    As a non-Chaotic concept, too, raising the hackles of powerholders (such as, in my case currently, Mertoi, Banites, War Wizards) gets you a harder time when dealing with those people. If your entire concept is built around being non-compatible with ANY powerholders, you're just not gonna have a very easy time getting to or keeping power.



  • Again, I am speaking from my past experiences as a player and DM, I've only recently returned, so I am unsure of how much has changed. Alignment (a system I tend to roll my eyes at anyway - down with the alignment system, cast of the shackles!) has always, for better or worse, played a very important role in the game.

    As factions - player or DM - set their sites on expanding their power in different areas, so too would the areas flip to that alignment.

    I think the question shouldn't be 'Why is this concept not viable' - but 'How can my concept change the server'

    The number one flaw I've seen in characters (and... NPCs) over the years is that Paladin level of adherence to being unyielding.

    Unless your character has taken religious oaths, when you are at the bottom of the barrel, and struggling against various forces, bide your time. Work with the enemy, plot and learn. The act of dramatically shifting the in game morality is not easy, but is possible and trust me, from experience, super rewarding. It is a chance to get more and more characters involved, and as you promote fun and intrigue and adventure, the DM's will notice.

    Hard working, fun and interesting player factions that even routinely fail - but still make the game fun - will often be given perks of some sort that should make folk half-way-happy.

    If I were in your shoes, my character would be busy at working at creating an earnest under city in the sewers. Eventually declaring it a separate entity than Arabel. Wouldn't be hard to start, just simply draft up a code for chaotic self determination and work at getting others to support it. Rotating leadership, democratic voting, or - just spin a wheel or toss a coin to settle disputes.

    Great, now I'm getting all tingly envisioning an undercity, that openly worships the gods of luck, and everything is settled through games of chance.



  • @joekickass said in A few thoughts:

    @edinsumar said in A few thoughts:

    If you make a character who hates everyone with any sort of power and influence, and who is constantly disrespectful towards the status-quo, you're gonna have a bad time. That's not a bug, that's a feature.

    It's not always been like that. But yes, I do agree that City of Arabel should be much clearer that the game is much more about Lords, Knights, Dukes, Crusades, Honour, Land, Family and Empire, and plucky working-class heroes who don't bend the knee will have their head chopped off.

    Plucky underdogs have a hard time being particularly plucky or underdog-ish if they get everything served on a silver platter.

    If you want to play on the romance of someone who starts from below the bottom and have nothing to their name, least of all the support of the powers that be - then at times it's going to seem like the world is against you. I mean, it can already seem like the world is against you when you play the most privileged characters possible.

    But isn't that literally the point of playing underprivileged characters? To feel like you're fighting against the world?

    Frankly I don't understand how you can have both an underdog story and as much support as the ones who are very definitely NOT supposed to be the underdogs. It makes very little sense. I never sat down and thought "hm, I guess I should play an Old Town revolutionary" and was stopped by the fact that I won't get the same velvet-rope treatment as the people who are literally in-universe protected and privileged by the systems and powers that be.



  • @JoeKickAss

    We scrapped Zhentarim association because we are new to the server and didn't know we had to APP to have it.

    We have literally played here for 2 months tops man, we also won't crush your dwarven communists because we aren't jerks.

    If team chaos fought back against team law walking into Old Town, that would be a sight.

    If you could rally a gang of PC's who were actually interested in making Old Town a no mans land for anyone who smells like law cool man go do it.

    But no one wants to do it, you feel there's a stigma about it and that you won't succeed; you complain but you don't try to fix it.

    I could roll a team chaos instead of team Bane, we would just be fighting every single day until we died but it would be FUN.

    You yourself say you don't like PVP but you seem absolutely obsessed with concepts that would revolve around PVP.

    Play an ilmatari pacifist bro.

    Edit: The Banites also support many non lawful, even chaotic old town PC's and their concepts; it is in no way hard to attach yourself to the underbelly of a shark like house Bhaliir, The Purple Dragons etc and just bide your time; when their age ends yours can begin as nobody can be a badass in the first few weeks.


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