Friday, November 16, 2007

The Joys of Being Evil

One of the perks of my job is the interesting people I work with. Several of us do a lot of things together, including the obvious, such as lunches, and the not as obvious, like bike riding. One of our popular activities is Game Night.

Game Night, or Geek Party as my wife is fond of saying, started over a year ago, when my co-worker / friend, Rob, and I started playing D&D with our boss / friend, Tom. He ran a standard 3.5 campaign, with a couple of homebrew rules, in a custom world that his friend had created ages ago.

As time went on, our projects expanded and the number of contractors we had expanded as well. Another three of the guys from work joined Game Night, for a grand total of six of us. Eventually, the pressures of work increased, and the expectations of family life increased, and we found we had gone six months or so since we had gathered to game.

Since then, we have rectified the situation. And, we have expanded our original scope. We've tried superhero RPGs, a D20 future campaign, a Shadowrun campaign, a D20 Modern Arcana campaign and an Iron Heroes campaign. Some of these were more interesting than others, but all were fun.

On the nights that we cannot all gather, and with as many members of our gaming group as we have it is not uncommon that someone is missing, we normally play a board game of some sort. Recently, someone suggested that we play a quick drop-in campaign, one where it goes on when people are missing and it isn't big deal. We decided that this one would be our first evil campaign.

As mentioned, we've tried a wide range of games. However, they all share the common theme of the players as heroes, trying to save the world in some way, shape or form. The game we were to play would occur in the same fantasy setting as our first D&D 3.5 game, but with the key difference being that we were the bad guys.

We played level 6 human Half-Fiends (ECL 10). It played very different from normal. In the past, we've rushed headlong into any problem we encountered; this time, we were not content to simply beat the enemies, we had to do it in a thoughtful, no-good-nick manner.

The story was simple enough: the sons of a devil of some power on the evil plane had come of age and were to prove their worth, via the completion of a mission or two of their choosing, from the selection provided by dear old dad. We had three choices: rid the plane of the lesser devil that had been contending for power and becoming a nuisance to Dad, drive off the paladin spreading his do-gooder ways throughout the land, or destroy the bronze dragon.

Immediately, I wanted the paladin. Not to simply drive off or kill, but to corrupt and own as a plaything for evil. However, it occurred to us that the lesser devil might be an easier target. Then, I hatched a fiendish (or Half-Fiendish, in this case) plan. Instead of attacking one or the other, we'd use them against each other.

I forged a document, an official letter in the name of our father, requesting the service of the devil and promising a piece of the domain. All that was asked for in return was his assistance in the destruction of the paladin. He fell for the forgery, bought our bluff and eagerly accompanied us, even providing the teleportation needed to reach the paladin. During the battle that ensued, we all weakly, and half-heartedly, 'assisted' the devil in his attack on the paladin. When they had both done sufficient damage to one another, and the devil appeared ready to retreat, we ambushed him, feeble-minding him and backstabbing him to death. Then, we Held the paladin and nearly finished him, too; if only we had taken the time to remove the Helm of Teleportation. So, the paladin lived to see another day. I took solace in the fact that he had already begun to act as our instrument of destruction.

For a quick, drop-in campaign, we decided we were into it enough to decide we were going to play it the next time we met, too. We had a slow start, and not much happened, but this game is easily the one in which we have done the most planning and strategy. It looks like it might be our "sleeper-hit".

No comments: