Why doesn't anyone ever want to play good characters anymore? I'm about to start a campaign of The Strange and I told my usual group that they would all be members of the Estate, basically an organization tasked with keeping Earth safe. I told them it was going to be a pretty lighthearted campaign, fun like a lighthearted "monster of the week" x-files episode vibe.
And then I get their character sheets, and everyone is evil. Or rather one describes himself as a sociopath, one is a cult leader bent on destroying the world (without the other two players knowing) and the other was actually fine because he was a failed street magician.
Why don't people ever want to be the good guys? Why does there always have to be a twist? I think morally grey stuff is fine, but it doesn't ALWAYS have to be morally grey.
How do you convince your players that good characters are still fun?
It really depends on the player. I've always played good characters because I enjoy interacting with the world, building up a circle of allies and NPCs and maybe actually making some kind of positive change in the world. The one time our group tried an evil campaign I kind of found it a little... hard to engage with the world when we couldn't go anywhere without sacrificing their leaders to about three different evil gods and turning the rest of the population into spell components.
Just as I'm a character that enjoys playing a good character, some people just enjoy playing an RPG as the bad guy. Have you played with these guys before? Are they always evil players? And if you still want the game to be lighthearted fun, well, hammy evil capers is still something you could play.
See, I love playing good characters, I just usually want a mild twist on it, like. "Starts mildly self-interested, but undergoes character development towards Lawful Good."
That sort of approach also makes playing monsterous characters more interesting, actually capitalizing on the role-play opportunities that arise from playing someone well-intentioned but not your traditional hero.
I'm getting ready to join a GURPS campaign, and the whole party is essentially morally bankrupt people looking to do what it takes to get ahead in life, for the most part.
The main reason, and we all have overtly declared as much during character creation, is because we just finished up a 2 year long D&D5E campaign in which we were the stalwart defenders of justice, with my character being a paladin and literal prophet of the sun god. We just finished at level 20 and killed Dragon-Satan after uniting the kingdoms of men, elves, and dwarfs under a single imperial banner and leading an army on a grand crusade of justice and vengeance through what could only be described as a Metal album cover art version of Siberia.
Now we're playing in the same setting 700 years later using GURPS. We already did good. Now we're having a little moral grey for dessert.
See that makes sense, but "morally grey" is all these guys ever want to play. They are relatively new to roleplaying games so I'm not sure what the problem is, but we've had morally grey campaigns and dark campaigns and we just got off a really bleak Lovecraft inspired campaign and I specifically told them they should aim to be more lighthearted but every time I introduce them to the idea of being good there's always a "twist" they want. In some ways I think they think it's good roleplaying but you can also be a good roleplayer while being a generally good dude.
Beats me. When a friend of mine invited me to play D&D for the first time a short while ago, my immediate response was, "Does the party have a Paladin yet?" Being on the side of the angels is awesome.
Actually... mentioning angels makes me think. Evil is always given the cool stuff, right? And note how things like angels get toned down to winged babies and girls with harps. For whatever reason, pop culture has neutered good and removed the awesome bits. So that might be the reason - people associate evil with power and "cool" things. I did, for the longest time.
Maybe people just need to be reminded that good is not just rules. Sure, it's that, but it's also the edge of a righteous sword, a shield raised in defense of the innocent, a blazing pillar of light burning away the darkness and exposing the vile things that hide there.
it's a lot easier playing evil characters while being social in the group. Everyone has a laugh when evil stuff goes down, except that its overplayed in groups today. It then gets boring. Everyone in the group fancies themselves a funny sociable person, but when it comes down to it, when everyone is playing the witty evil guy it gets old. Playing a good character takes more time to think up an interesting story. People don't usually think of the bad man turning good, rather they usually think of the good man turning bad.
Didn't Bonnie Tyler ask this same question several decades ago? Y'know, "Where have all the good men gone?" etc. Well, apparently, we still haven't found our white knights upon fiery steeds. I mean, I play good characters, and at least a few others in this thread do as well, but it's not even close to the majority that it frankly needs to be.
Not saying this is the case, but there are also situations where a person may be a genuinely good dude, but the morals of his culture and the morals of the viewer don't match and he ends up looking like a good dude with a twist. I think this is the main reason we have so much moral grey popularity. People can't think about a character from the setting's perspective. There is also a wide range of "good" that people rarely ever seem to want to fully explore as opposed to jumping the shark and going full blown Young Adult Novel in their character design.
For example, my paladin started off as your standard smite evil and help the orphans type of good. He would give bandits a full burial along the road, would leap to defend the poor, and even claimed a ruined keep used as a bandit camp with the party and turned it into a village for the poor, urging those in debt to sell their home and move where they could have a house for free in exchange for farming the surrounding land and helping out in the village.
Then the orcish horde poured down from the north. Before long I was a lord regent leading a crusade of the free world's combined armies, ordering looters to die in the ruins of razed cities (we were rationing out the water and food freely to all), burning orc marauders at the stake and mounting heads of traitors on spikes. By today's standards such actions would seem rather extreme (although they were extreme times) but in the setting these were all considered perfectly socially acceptable actions.
We even nuked a city once.
Only once. Our sorcerer made sure to stress that after he cast it.
I play a good character for years now. All my friends characters are good aligned. We save people, we take in, feed and train people that are down on their luck. We even get help from the authorities and the kingdom if the need arises.
It's pretty chill.
At least for my players, it seems to be that they don't appreciate having restrictions. Too often evil seems expedient to them.
They don't seem to get that being good, and having a reputation for being good goes a long way towards expediting a lot of things too.
This is partly why I like the idea of detect allignment spells, even if I think the overall allignment system in DND is retarded. Those spells give me a reason to encourage good behavior in game worlds: do bad things and the good guys won't let you into their public or secret clubs.
the "my character is chaotic neutral and will do whatever it takes to get ahead in life" is a phase a lot of new players go through.
When confronted with the stunning freedom of action that PnPRGS provide, these players also resent the idea of any rules getting in the way of their character doing something. This includes moral rules of the setting.
Don't worry. They'll grow out of it.
My last campaign was my "lets just play a human barbarian who is generally a good and honorable guy" attempt. Rolled bad, got killed by stupid DM (I can explain why he was bad if anyone wants to know). It was still fun but I had a hard time overcoming my urge to fool people into doing things which I couldn't do as a dumb but honest barbarian.
My other character who I will be going back to in about two weeks started out evil but is slowly becoming more good. Personally I think that new players tend to want to play amoral characters and go do Elder Scrolls style looting and killing for the fun of it. It pisses me off when I see yet another chaotic neutral who just doesn't want to play with any restrictions or personality.
How do you get people to play good? Remind them that good characters get rewarded with land and royal marriages. Heroes get their names chanted in the streets in a king's parade. Valorous and loyal people get to go to fancy events and are blessed by the gods.
Like this anon points out, paladins are a light in the dark, strong rocks against the tide of evil. They are few and far between but a paladin should gather followers and inspire the masses.
If you want a good campaign group, suggest that. Tell them that it could be fun to have a good party and that they should give it a try. If you have a cast of new players try setting them up with an adventure and make them heroes. If their first experience with tabletop is being a hero maybe they will stay that way, or at least be inclined to come back if they stray.
Also, I can't find it, but there is a great screenshot about the three great realizations about lawful good.
1: Hey I can play something other than LG.
2: Wait a moment, playing LG sucks!
3: Actually LG is a lot of fun to play if I do it right.
More specifically, I remember it being:
1. The possibility of playing a non-LG alignment.
2. Discovering that LG is the worst alignment
3. Realizing that LG is the best alignment (Which, for some players, unfortunately never happens.)
If it helps anyone find it, I think there was a One Piece picture on the post or something similar.
I have it. Love it, because I always have the most fun playing neutral good characters, which I define in the way that the post defines lawful good.
Most people are assholes, and RPGs are generally a way for them to let off steam without personal consequences.
Hell, I play Evil characters even when the DM tells me sooner or later I'll get my competence. There's something awesome about thrashing against a world that tells you you're wrong or sick, to fight to the last for what you believe in against the wishes of everyone else. Even when you know that what your doing will end in humiliating failure. I never get this feeling when I'm playing a Good character.
>For whatever reason, pop culture has neutered good and removed the awesome bits. So that might be the reason - people associate evil with power and "cool" things. I did, for the longest time.
Blame moral guardians for that. Good guys are supposed to be the role models so they should be easy to emphatice with (read: generic) and not do anything that could be considered morally questionable (and by which I mean morally questionable to people who think anything unfamiliar is satanic). Evil can get away with having more unconventional style and flashy stuff because they're the bad guys and not meant to be emphaticed with, and get their comeuppance in the end.
On the topic, while I typically play neutral characters, I've been kind of wanting to play an evil character for a while. Specifically a lawful evil spellcaster who goes on full "hammy comicbook villain" mode. He wouldn't do kill or torture people for fun or anything, but he'd have no concern for anybody but himself and insist on being referred with grandiose titles and kneeled before ("Kneel before grand warlock Zod, master of hellfire and lord of Firetop Mountain!" and so on), and his motivation for stopping the BBEG would be along the lines of "the world is where I keep all my stuff" or "I can't take over if he does it first". On the other hand, he'd be true to his words and treat those who he's fealt have earned it, whether allies or opponents, with respect and be opposed to plans that involves doing things he'd consider ungentlemanly and beneath him (like robbing or killing random people).
Objective Good has lost a lot of territory in Western culture. People today are obsessed with deconstructing Good until they have Evil. How often have you see smarmy posts like "this is why the Federation from Star Trek is ackshually a totalitarian state", or how often have you seen people drag in the Crusades to defend modern day terrorism?
People don't believe in Good anymore, so they boil it down to a simple stereotype. But Evil, people believe in that. And more to the point, they're allowed to believe in it. Nobody is going to construe an Evil character as Good, just for the hell of it. Evil also has an underdog reputation, and people love a good underdog story.
They do it because they identify with them. They want them to be Good because they agree with them. But with the Star Trek example, it's not because people dislike the Federation that they start calling it Evil.
>There was a screenshot of an 8gag post not long ago detailing why current villians are so relatable to right-wing people
That sounds more like edgy smearing. I've seen plenty of left wing people identify with villains, precisely because of the whole underdog feeling. Of course, these were people who identify with real life terrorists, too.
Yeah, it seems like all the campaigns I can find, are evil. I don't mind being a flawed or kind of dickish character, but fuck, is it so wrong to want to be ultimately working towards something good?
The main point of the post I couldn't find is that villians back in the 90s era were demented but intelligent freaks plotting behind the scenes while modern villians are strong people fanatical in their ideas.
It is indeed more or less edgy smearing, but the shift in villianous characteristics also points at shifting western values.
People have forgotten that good can be complex, clever and interesting, basically.
Everyone 'knows' your average hero is thick as a stack of shit and wins mostly because MUH LOVE AN FRIENDSHIP.
Everyone 'knows' your average villain is clever, charismatic, cool, well resourced, has the interesting powers, sexy female minions, so on so forth.
>I wouldn't say values have changed all that much. >Culture has changed
Same fucking thing anon.
The fact that people like edginess and moral greyness over normal settings with moral objectivity shows a change in thought if not values.
>Same fucking thing anon.
No, Anon, it's not the same fucking thing. Western values are still the same humanist Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité stuff they've been for years. How that's being expressed changes.
There is good. You just won't find it in any organization or movement that is not a charity or something like that, and even in those the good will be smothered by bureaucracy.
>mentioning the Crusades
Those were politics.
I'm in a traveller campaign, my character is a nobleman entrusted with Industrial holdings, 'his' factories produce stuff like rebreathers (which is vital for the world he lives on, it's covered by a world spanning fungal jungle that produces spores that are dangerous if breathed in) filters, airtanks, fuel and other vital consumer technologies. He takes great pride in this and views his status as Baron as one of great privilege but also service to the people of his star system. He is very much a believer in Noblesse Oblige.
>Heroes get their names chanted in the streets in a king's parade. Valorous and loyal people get to go to fancy events and are blessed by the gods.
I immediately thought of the last episode of the 1st season of Dexter. He even does one of his internal monologues
This seems to be the problem with my group. Some anons mentioned the whole chaotic neutral thing.
That's exactly what I have on my hands. But in Basic D&D terms. So he's "neutral"
In 5 game sessions he's managed to spearhead
1 Looting and selling off the possessions of 4 dead NPCs
2 Slaughtered a temple elder on an island chapel. Also sleeped, tied up, and interrogated other lvl 1 clerics. Then managed to beat them unconscious so "They wouldn't escape" then tore through the dungeon underneath only to rob and loot the temple.
Burned it down after the 2 priests regained consciousness and escaped.
3 Saved a shady merchant prince in the city from some ruffians (tied to the temple ordeal)
Merchant prince is KNOWN to be a shady character. His backstory is he murdered his father to take his place. Is working his way into the local politics. Do some odd jobs for him. All shady business.
Ends up his "friend" from a rival merchant house is in love with merchant house 3's young charisma 16 daughter.
Dispatched the PCs to try and get her to sneak off and elope with his "friend" in merchant house 2. She's set to be betrothed to some old politician. Being betrothed is pretty much a contract to be married. To late after those papers are signed yo.
Anyways Wizard ends up finding out girl's going to town with personal escort guards.
Throws sleep spell at carriage. Disables guards riding up top. Carriage runs off road cause driver is asleep.
Sleeps other 4 guards as door opens. Rolls good and everyone inside falls asleep as well.
Kidnaps girl, her mother and handmaiden and returns them to shady merchant prince.
Oh and kills guards cause "they were witnesses".
Ties up and gags the 3 kidnapped women.
Point is, the Crusades have long been the image of Good. Valiant warriors putting their differences aside to fight the invader. But today, we've come full circle, and people will say with a straight face that they were so Evil, we deserve to be punished for them today.
Because we are coming a full circle. Some time ago people got fed up with the common good vs evil trope and went out of their way to deconstruct those concepts and bring them down to morally grey areas. Now since the said morally grey areas have become more popular than the usual GvE things are turning around and people want the romanticized conflicts between Chaotic Evil and Lawful Good.
Because stupid people think that meekness is weakness.
3 women are clearly in distress when they spot merchant prince.
He hastily takes his pay and leaves specifically because he doesn't want to know what happens to them. Mentioned by him OOC. And then RPed with "It's none of my business about this wedding".
Surprise the matriarch and daughter are murdered with handmaiden.
Merchant prince 2 is framed for it and is going to be put in the stockades and executed.
Wizard wants to high tail it out of town.
On the way out they're attacked by bounty hunters for shady prince to keep the silence.
A clear sign of okay you've done everything you can do to fuck the city up atm. I'd gtfo town now.
Oh hell no now Wizard is pissed and is wanting to go back into town to murderhobo the merchant prince.
Thing is merchant patriarch is on his way back to the city and has the means to hire someone to speak with dead on wife and daughter.
Literally 1 in 6 city guards is also employed under shady merchant prince under the table.
So they're not getting in unnoticed.
The rest of the PCs are actually getting kinda tired of his behavior. One specifically said he wants to cleave his skull with his bastard sword (18str too)
But I've secretly shifted Wizard's alignment to evil. Or chaotic. He'd be neutral evil in the 9 alignment system from his actions. He self professed he wants to "Gain power as fast and by any means possible" And has even neglected his own party countless times.
The rest are legit Good swinging characters.
One's actually a first time player and super nice Irl (his gf irl) and is playing a good naive young elf girl down to a T. Left her forest home to discover the outside world etc.
But yeah stuff is about to get really hairy in the city they're in.
Oh and he's literally missed like 5 pieces of magical equipment because "I'm looting everything to sell it. Can I carry it all?"
No detect magic. No nothing. Hell he's even carrying a dagger+1 and has no idea. He just keeps throwing and retrieving it with 3 more.
So right now the party has an Elf and Wizard gunning for them (had business with the temple and were there for the pyromania)
A shady evil merchant prince
And soon to be the father of the murdered daughter and matriarch as soon as he gets back.
Not to mention reprisal from the local authorities when the whole kidnapping thing gets brought out into the open.
The prince has spies set in the other households so he'll know when the father dispatches someone to bring a cleric back.
All "enemy ncs" are gaining as much xp as the party. I'm treating them like an RPG where potential mini bosses and bosses level with the party to keep it challenging.
So wish me luck /tg/
>Evil can get away with having more unconventional style and flashy stuff
That's a bit of an issue there. A good but rebellious character can get away with unconventional stuff and win with tricks and traps. Nobody
ok maybe somebodyever said Robin Hood was evil and he's not exactly a law abiding citizen.
I suppose we just need to make things more fun for the people who do play good. Maybe tone down the backstabbing, give them a good NPC friend and NOT kill them for pathos, grant the paladin something like Excalibur towards the end of the campaign. The paladin should always be in the "evil has the numbers but good is stronger" situation. Think of it like cartoons: the bad guy has ten million tricks and gadgets but the hero has one powerful ability/item that always works better.
I don't know, but did you say it was going to be idealistic as well? I mean, I know "idealistic" doesn't mean "good" but people might associate the two words and it might get your point across.
Heck, if I were a more cynical/edgy guy, I'd claim it's because people are more evil today than they used to be. But I don't really believe that, though the thought does scare me a bit.
Yo trips, where's this from? Kamen Rider? Which one?
...or should I just watch them all until I find out?
>Why don't people ever want to be the good guys? Why does there always have to be a twist?
Because playing the good guy who does good things and is good is fucking boring. Playing the bad guy who does bad things and is bad is also pretty dull, mind you. The "twist" is what actually gives the character some *character*, makes them worth caring about and being interested in.
I love playing good characters, especially the kind that prove that good isn't dumb. The types of heroes who are willing to cheat or be underhanded when the fate of the world hangs in the balance. Several of my characters have out thought the villains, or brought guns to knife fights. I've got no problem with honorable characters, and I maintain any good character should have a strong moral code. Good is the goal, how they reach it, and what personality they have is what makes the character.
I played a character like this once. Heir to a mid tier noble house, a bit prideful but firmly believed nobility existed so that good people would have enough power to get good done in the world. Challenged a Lord to a duel because he believed this Lord was betraying his duty to his people.
It's why I always play the archangel Michael archetype in my mind. Everyone always wants to be Lucifer, but they always forget that Michael is the one who vanquishes him in the end. The fallen angels are trampled under his feet.
Michael even gets the final word as Lucifer is sent to Hell. He shouts a battlecry that translates into a rhetorical question posed against Lucifers prideful arrogance of trying to take the throne, "Who is likened unto God?". Lucifer gets trampled and mocked in the end.
It's beyond me why people don't enjoy playing Holy warrior priests
That simply isn't true at all. I think you've just been told that it's boring and you believed it. There are many characters that are wholly virtuous or wholly sinful that are deeply interesting and entertaining
My noble is bluntly willing to lie, cheat, and steal if it serves the greater good. He's friends with the clan leader of a bunch of Vargr (wolf people) and helped proliferate their services as mercenaries. He lives in The Long Night an interregnum period of relative galactic barbarity so he has to be willing to get his hands dirty. That said he still believes in doing the right thing and the burden of his station as Baron.
>x-files monster of the week
Nigger this is the series that featured a family of feral inbreds who kept their quadriplegic brood mother tied to a skateboard under a bed and a mutant contortionist who seeks into your house through your chimney so he can eat your liver
After the fall of the second empire hundreds of billions are dead, cultures 5k years or more old have become extinct. Humaniti (spelling intentional) lies fractured and barborous. His system's worlds consisit of a globe spanning desert, a hostile alien jungle that spans a world, a corossive toxic bell whose inhabitants live in cavern cities hoping the life support holds, and a barren rock whose natives live in a technocratic fuedal nightmare.
People live in a hopeless existance, surviving not thriving. They deserve better. "Good" is Rule of law, recovered technology, better education for the masses. Every citizen deserves food, shelter, education, a well paying job, and a means to pursue happiness. He doesn't feel guilty for being a noble, guilt is not his motivator here. He views himself as one of the last bastions of a civilization far too close to collapse, once it falls his people will likely go extinct without the technology or education required to save themselves.
He won't let that happen
No matter the cost.
>Only targetting invaders
Bro, I think using the crusades to justify terrorism against us is the dumbest shit. Like, so fuckin' dumb. But you gotta admit that the crusades were, in retrospect, basically terrible fuckin' ideas that resulted in a shit-ton of unnecessary suffering.
Like, in the first crusade, you started 20,000 peasants coming together and murdering the shit out of a bunch of jews before getting slaughtered by the Turks. The actual soldiers proceeded to succesfully take antioch... and then pillaged and looted the goddamn place. They then marched on Jerusalem and massacred all the jews and muslims there.
It's like, I still believe in heroism, truth, justice and all that stuff. But if I want evidence of it, I'm gonna cite actual people doing actual heroic things, not some severely whitewashed version of middle ages church propaganda.
kind of? There's old Villani culture (humans transplanted by ancient aliens with literally incomprehensibly advanced technology) but the problem was that Villani culture just stopped advancing period. They had a strict caste system, science stopped advancing. It was how their empire worked. Every man in his place doing his part, it was the foundation of the empire. But they stagnated and were destroyed when the humans of Sol system (the true cradle of Humaniti) conquered them. However without the social foundations of the Villani culture everything collapsed. The Rule of Man is remembered as the "Ramshackle Empire" for a reason.
Half the problem is there is no religious or social foundation to draw on. New answers for a new age are needed.
Not really. Given how GoT shits on the good guys at every turn. Bad guys get gilded graves heroes with honor get a mass grave.
Also Marvel Universe post Civil War incapable of happiness. Ever.
>Why doesn't anyone ever want to play good characters anymore?
In my experience, it's because of shit GMs using the Good alignment as a straight jacket/muzzle and leash to control the PCs and diminish player agency.