Recently the group for my local game store’s role-playing community had some good discussion about how to play an “evil” character. I wanted to bring to light something I have always looked to as great advice on how to play evil-aligned characters in a role-playing game.
Back in 2016, Paizo published two Adventure Paths: Hell’s Vengeance and Hell’s Rebels. The two paths told the same story but fro m two different perspectives – one from that of good aligned characters and one from that of evil aligned characters. Paizo always publishes a free player’s guide to each Adventure Path they publish. In the player’s guide for Hell’s Vengeance (the evil aligned campaign), they had the advice listed below.
I thought it was fantastic advice for how to play an evil character. Just because you’re evil doesn’t mean you’re dumb, stupid or reckless. Darth Vader didn’t eat his breakfast with a force grip on the cereal bowl.
Its my opinion that playing a character that is wantonly reckless, selfish, and out to cause utter chaos with no regard for others is not evil – its playing a character who’s an asshole and a jerk. The best villains in stories throughout history as well as real life weren’t based on those principles. The best villains often don’t realize they are evil or at worst they don’t want the world to know they’re evil. True evil is often revealed only when the villain’s power is so secure that they know they can reveal their true nature without fear of being killed or usurped by the forces of good.
Just some food for thought and discussion. Everyone has their own view of how evil and good should work out in a game and even though this is mine, yours can most definitely be different. As always, keep it civil in the comments.