Way of the Wicked
Okay, it’s important for us to get a few issues out in the open:
1. PG-13 villainy (some leeway accepted)
Being an evil campaign, a certain amount of unpleasantness will almost certainly occur that lie outside the norms of acceptable gaming behavior. It’s important that we get a few protocols in place to keep things acceptable for all players.
For example, if torture is involved then players should simply state that their victim will spend the day being tortured and let the intimidate check decide the rest. Everything else is handled ‘off-screen’, with the result either being the information is extracted, or that the victim has resisted the harsh treatment… for now. This could be regarded as PG-13 villainy. There was no doubt about what had occurred, but the details can only be guessed upon. There’s certainly no need for graphic depictions of torture, after all.
Needless to say, certain topics should be strictly off limits entirely, though I will ask players specifically before game (and probably afterwards too) about how they feel about specific restrictions and comfort zones. If all else fails though, players should adhere to the PG-13 guideline.
2. Us against the world!
While it is certainly tempting to stab other party members in the back in an evil campaign, player-vs-player conflict rarely ends well for anyone. As such, the campaign has been designed to make party conflict difficult at best, suicidal at worst. This will be become very clear quite early in the plot.
But even ignoring any such insurances, make no mistake that every PC is being hunted by far more dangerous foes than the others in your little band. The king, the church, and the vast majority of the population would not hesitate to kill you all for your vile deeds. Falling upon each other will only make you weaker.
Also, don’t forget your alignments. None of you is some chaotic evil psychopath out for him or herself. You may be evil and self-serving, but working as a team should be a natural and sensible response to the situation you are currently in. At the very least, your party members should be considered valuable resources not to be thrown away lightly.
Still, you are all evil. If characters insist on killing each other then it is their right to do so and I won’t even try to stop it. It’s your funeral.
3. Motivation (aka: Evil is banal)
The old axiom is quite correct, evil is indeed banal. It is a boring villain who only does evil for evil’s sake, and it makes for an unrealistic character anyway. Let’s not fall into that trap.
Every PC starts as a criminal, true enough. But why did you turn to crime in the first place? When could you have last turned back? And now that you cannot, whom do you blame for your scars? You don’t have to answer these questions specifically but take a moment to at least consider them. What must be done to Talingarde should not be banal wickedness for its own sake.
Vengeance must be yours. Just be sure to know why.