I’m having an “evil campaign” with my homebrew system. Exciting!
Anyway, on looking for advice to keep it fun & roleplay-y, I found a lot of info over at http://www.enworld.org/forum/general-rpg-discussion/291698-advice-running-evil-campaign.html
My favorite bits of advice are:
My first advice is to ignore most advice. Ignore stereotypes, active/reactive, and so forth. In many respects, evil PCs are just like their good counterparts (in some gritty scenarios, they may be almost indistinguishable).
- Are not necessarily stupid or short-sighted, any more than good characters are smart or wise
- Do not necessarily commit any given evil act, any more than good characters commit every possible good act
- Are not less human or interesting than good characters
- Do not necessarily lack moral understanding, any more than good characters necessarily posses it.
- Are, at some level, unhappy.
- Are capable of good, just as good characters are capable of evil.
- Sometimes get along with others, just as good characters sometimes fail to do so.
So an evil character is basically just a character, who is willing to do certain things that are recognizably evil. Almost any good campaign concept has an evil counterpart waiting to happen. Is there fundamentally any difference in structure between rescuing a princess from goblins and receiving a reward, versus rescuing her from goblins so you can ransom her? Can’t you destroy good artifacts in the depths of forgotten temples… or even evil artifacts that are on the wrong team of evil? Pillage ruins? Slay drargons? Explore the wilderness? Meet new and exciting cultures and kill them?
Arguably, many of the great “heroes” of history are evil viewed from different viewpoints than the traditional view prescribed by their culture.
My only real advice to someone who wants to run an Evil Campaign is: make sure your players are mature/sophisticated enough to handle it. Players who can only imagine “evil” as “a psychopath with no understanding of the consequences of his actions” will doom your campaign from the start.
An “evil” character isn’t necessarily your stereotypical “kills people all the time wantonly” bad guy.
Anyway I’m keeping these very much in mind. Huzzah!
Of course, there is really no alignment, per se, in my games besides to help define the character’s personality (calling a character Lawful Good in my games helps me to call the player out when they do something completely against character, like torch a temple for no reason.. etc). It’s more to keep a character’s actions & reactions in line.