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Author Topic: GM wanted: Evil campaign  (Read 1398 times)

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Online ThorneTopic starter

GM wanted: Evil campaign
« on: December 22, 2012, 07:36:58 PM »
I'm looking for someone interested in running an evil campaign ala Way of the Wicked, using the Pathfinder ruleset, set in the Realms.

Anyone else ever wanted to put Cormyr to the torch? Drive your enemies before you, lamentations, and so forth? Me too.
Not having any functional knowledge of post-spellplague Faerun, I'm just as happy to play pre-spellplague - anything else, I would be winging like crazy. Well. More than I would be anyway.

I am specifically interested in the climb from 'insignificant minion' (L1 wannabe) to 'unholy champion of EEEEVIL' (l15-20 badness), and I don't want to deal with too much in the way of intra-party drama. Or, for that matter, ooc drama - in my experience, either tends to make for short-lived games, and I was hoping for something that would be going for a while.
I just don't find it fun. :/
Breaking my poor, unsuspecting little aasimar out of jail, however ... that could be /loads/ of fun.

Content. Well ... it's evil. Content is likely to not be general-audience friendly, and I wouldn't blame a GM (or other players) in the slightest for not wanting to be constrained, but at the same time, I'm not looking for a game focused on the bedroom frolics. Fun as they are. ^^;

So, who else would be interested, and would anyone be willing to run this enormity of eeeeeevil?

Offline PhantomPistoleer

Re: GM wanted: Evil campaign
« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2012, 08:29:56 PM »
I would be interested in playing.  I don't think I would be interested in GMing.

Offline Urbanzorro

Re: GM wanted: Evil campaign
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2012, 09:09:24 PM »
Sounds like a great idea, sadly I just know nothing about the setting/system.

Offline Andi

Re: GM wanted: Evil campaign
« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2012, 09:36:26 PM »
I'd be interested in playing. Not so much running it either.

Online ThorneTopic starter

Re: GM wanted: Evil campaign
« Reply #4 on: December 26, 2012, 12:19:24 PM »
Well. That's enough for the commonly accepted 'four food groups' ...
I have a rogue with more ambition than sense, and a plethora of ideas for Horrible Things to do to her - is there really no one who'd be interested in GMing?

Offline VonDoom

Re: GM wanted: Evil campaign
« Reply #5 on: December 26, 2012, 02:24:21 PM »
If I may be so bold as to suggest that maybe drafting up between one or three more specific premise/scenario pitches, written in an evocative manner, may serve you better in garnering both attention and interest from potential GMs?

I have been hoping to play in evil campaigns for awhile, particularly one in which the participants themselves are nobility of Baator making a bid for power over the Nine Hells themselves, but such high level mechanics can get rather tedious in a play-by-post campaign, even if the main focus is storytelling and social interaction/intrigue. I would be up for a rise from minion to evil overlord myself, though I'd be hoping for non-linear progression at certain points (or going the Planescape: Torment route of awarding far more experience for social and mental encounters, as well as story progression, than plain old combat); the Dark Side being a shortcut and all.

Online Zaer Darkwail

Re: GM wanted: Evil campaign
« Reply #6 on: December 26, 2012, 03:18:10 PM »
I have quite plates full as GM even if I know Faerun (Forgotten Realms) setting quite well. Would voice interest to be player though.

Online ThorneTopic starter

Re: GM wanted: Evil campaign
« Reply #7 on: December 26, 2012, 07:15:33 PM »
*chuckle* Alright, alright - I'll go put on my writing panties and see if that grabs anyone with setting/system familiarity, if you guys think that would help.  ;)

Offline LisztesFerenc

Re: GM wanted: Evil campaign
« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2012, 05:28:57 PM »
  As a potential GM, would the following scenario work:

  Your characters are in a prison in a remote part of Cormyr for crimes you can each decide during character creation. Whilst there you witness the attempted execution of the leader of war band that has sworn to destroy the region. Before he can be killed he is rescued by his lieutenants and the rest of his "army", and in the confusion some of the other inmates escape with him. These inmates are then given the option of joining his army, The Inheritors of Kruthla. From there it is a climb up the hierarchy of the war band, which you could eventually leave to start your own, or take over once you outrank its current leader. And in case it isn't obvious from the name, the war band is probably "augmented" by some eldritch meddling. Nothing compulsory for the PCs, but the unfortunate cannon fodder who only managed to attain NPC classes...

  Assuming that basic premise works for you, there's two important questions I have:
1. Would any of you mind the use of select material from 3.5 source books converted to the PF system?
2. Would you be opposed to limiting certain archetypes to regions/organizations making them hard for you to acquire? For example, the siegemage archetype could be virtually unique to the war wizards of Cormyr, requiring you to capture one or raid their notes to gain access to the teachings.

Online ThorneTopic starter

Re: GM wanted: Evil campaign
« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2012, 10:22:37 PM »
This sounds like a good start - I'd only add that the PCs, as a group, have a reason to work together, to continue to work together, and not be randomly backstabbing each other for a larger piece of the pie.
Either because we elected to stick together from the prison break (very like Way of the Wicked, as I understand it), or because we have a common cause, or both.

I'm dubious about using 3.5e sources, and wouldn't be using them myself, but if you think you can keep track of everything, I'm largely okay with it. I just don't want to suddenly find myself disadvantaged because I'm not using something from a 3.5e sourcebook.
As for archetypes, I wasn't planning on using one myself, so that doesn't effect me. It does, however make sense, so I don't have a problem with it.

And here I had a bit of story all knocked together for you guys. ^.^;
Guess I'll have to save it for later.

Offline Andi

Re: GM wanted: Evil campaign
« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2012, 10:29:03 PM »
Regarding 3.5e sources, I would advise caution. While Pathfinder is designed to be able to use them, I have found a lot of them, especially some of the later Forgotten Realms ones, to throw any semblance of game balance (and mystery) to the wind. That having been said, if it is a vetted selection, I have no problems with the idea as such.

Regarding availability of archetypes, I am not certain that is appropriate. "As written," archetypes can only be taken at level 1 (I have to doublecheck the specifics - Hero Lab enforces /CHARACTER/ level 1), making them not difficult, but impossible to acquire. On the other hand, restricting prestige classes certainly seems a good idea.

Concept-wise, I have little to add to what Thorne said. It sounds like a good start; the PCs would need a reason to stick with each other without trying to backstab each other the moment there is a chance.

Online Zaer Darkwail

Re: GM wanted: Evil campaign
« Reply #11 on: December 31, 2012, 01:15:15 AM »
I think one reasons tick together is that all prison breakers are wanted in Cormyr and borders are closed up because of some conflict in Cormyr (orc, goblin invasion perhaps?). Overall I am fine with demands that some archetypes are locked down or hard to get and same to PrC's and cautious about 3.5 splatbook materials.

Offline Tydorei

Re: GM wanted: Evil campaign
« Reply #12 on: December 31, 2012, 03:49:46 AM »
I'm interested. I love pathfinder.

As for the two questions... I despise 3.5... so I would like to veto all of it. But will play if you want it in. As for archetypes, they are fine with me... only two that I can think of are OP.

Offline VonDoom

Re: GM wanted: Evil campaign
« Reply #13 on: December 31, 2012, 04:00:40 AM »
Sounds intriguing! The scenario certainly works, though I don't really know a lot about Cormyr beyond that it's generally more good-aligned and very feudalistic. As to your questions:

   1. Depends on which selection of material, really. If it's just the iconic Forgotten Realms monsters that aren't in Pathfinder, like Beholders or Illithid, that's perfectly fine. I'd rather keep the Feat and Spell selection primarily to Pathfinder, though I suppose I would be fine with some conversions of the more thematic setting-tied prestige classes that can't easily be simulated. Those that aren't innately better than anything Pathfinder has put out, anyway.
   2. Sure. Though remember that Archetypes can only be taken when you first take the class, far as I remember, so you'd need instructions anyway. You don't wave your hand and become a wizard. Though I'm pretty sure HeroLab only letting you choose one at Character Level 1 is a failing of the program, rather than something intrinsic to Pathfinder. But I may be wrong.

Offline Tydorei

Re: GM wanted: Evil campaign
« Reply #14 on: December 31, 2012, 04:20:59 AM »
well, that's because most achetrypes dont stack with each other. If any modify the same things, they are incompatible. Hence, only a few classes can even use more than one at a time. Though, I suppose hero lab should make an update so that you can use more than one acrhtype of they can be used together.

Offline VonDoom

Re: GM wanted: Evil campaign
« Reply #15 on: December 31, 2012, 05:48:13 AM »
No, no, that's not quite what I meant. You can have two archetypes if they don't modify the same thing. But you need to take them at the first class level.

Offline LisztesFerenc

Re: GM wanted: Evil campaign
« Reply #16 on: December 31, 2012, 07:06:55 AM »
  The 3.5 material would mostly be of the realm specific stuff, but also some of the darker options from the evil books. Sure, a lot of the stuff WotC puts out in such books is insufferable "look how edgy we are" crap, but some of it is legitimately horrid for reasons other than the fact that several people felt it was worth publishing. Another option would be to allow 3.5 things aimed at fixing certain classes. I know penetrating strike is popular option (allows 1/2 sneak attack damage against creatures normally immune) but that might not be necessary as PF removed said immunity from undead and constructs.

  As far the region specific archetypes, the retraining rules could be employed to gain the benefit at a later stage once a PC gains access to it. And yes, certain prestige classes would also be similarly tied to regions/organizations.

  As for keeping the group together, if your backgrounds do not involve you already having met (which seems to make the most sense) I imagined you could be united by your hatred of Cormyr, and maybe a charismatic commander who doesn't like failure, at least while you build bonds with the other PCs. I like the idea of the borders being closed, and if the orc hoards are tying most of the army down it does explain why a war band would be willing to try and grasp at such an ambitious goal.

Online Zaer Darkwail

Re: GM wanted: Evil campaign
« Reply #17 on: December 31, 2012, 07:34:59 AM »
Yah, Cormyr militia is scary so you need serious threat for them to tackle while evil grows whitting deeper in Cormyr and away from borders. A force which you cannot really make alliance (like orc/goblin/giant hordes in large number). It would leave skeleton crew inside Cormyr to handle ruffians but not enough to make manhunt for escaped criminals who hide in woods.

Offline VonDoom

Re: GM wanted: Evil campaign
« Reply #18 on: December 31, 2012, 09:33:45 AM »
Question is, how much would you focus on interactions and such? I'd prefer a city setting for that, myself. Hiding in the woods doesn't lend itself to much social activity. And, for that matter, how 'down to Earth' do you want it to be? Some extraplanar influence or even travel would be nice, as would a non-linear progression brought about by evil pacts or artifacts or the like, if you read my earlier post.

Offline LisztesFerenc

Re: GM wanted: Evil campaign
« Reply #19 on: January 02, 2013, 07:29:10 AM »
  I imagine it would change as the PCs power and abilities increased. At lower levels you would mainly be acting as guerrilla warriors, but as you levelled up social interactions would become possible. You could be sent to forge alliances, recruit intelligent monsters, and once disguise becomes an option you could be sent in to disrupt the enemy in less obvious ways. As you rise in power you will also have underlings of your own to direct, and will be able to choose your missions rather than simply receive orders.

  That raises another question: how strict do you want your orders to be? I imagine the war band's leader to be quite laid back and perfectly happy to give vague orders that allow plenty of place for his minions to use personal initiative one, such as "Make sure the forest garrison cannot come to the Melek's aid". Does that work for you, or would you prefer more concrete guidelines for missions?

  As for the realm's stuff, if we set the game towards end of the crisis with the ruler being Crown Princess Tanalasta and the enemy hoards stemmed but not defeated and the remaining ghazneths hiding, that should lead to plenty of opportunities to hurt Cormyr and explain why the Purple Dragons and War Wizards are initially absent.

Online Zaer Darkwail

Re: GM wanted: Evil campaign
« Reply #20 on: January 02, 2013, 08:29:32 AM »
I prefer more open ended commands so it gives room of creativity to perform them. Of course there are points where you cannot shuffle much if task is 'kill this general guy without placing blame on us' but it could leave open who gets the blame and why (or make it look accident).

Also time period sounds great for concept.

Online ThorneTopic starter

Re: GM wanted: Evil campaign
« Reply #21 on: January 02, 2013, 10:39:09 AM »
If you borrow Pathfinder's ogres (a nastier bunch I pray never to meet), throw in some Book of Vile Darkness for the useful stuff in it, you're probably golden (and I say this as someone who's running Rise on another site, and thus, who knows exactly how bad the ogres and ogrekin can get).

Starting at lower levels, we are probably going to be running around in the woods, or otherwise the armpit of the city (sewers! joy! Euw! What a wonderful smell you've discovered!), anyway, just because we're expendable, and we're not going to get the good jobs until we prove we can hack it. Good jobs likely run the board from social scenes to masterminding the fall of a city, or so (assassinating Purple Dragon Knights sounds like good times, but Lorne's not going to be capable of even thinking about that until at least level 7, so .. yah. Sewers and backwoods sounds about right to start with).

Orders. Hrm. If we get a commanding officer with brains, I wouldn't expect him to be terribly specific, as long as the job gets done properly. We're likely going to be a small group, so non-detection and being able to deflect attention elsewhere should be high priority for us as a group anyway.

I have no idea what you're referring to with the end of the crisis, Lisztes, but it sounds perfectly plausible (Lorne would know, so maybe I better go do some research...).

Offline Andi

Re: GM wanted: Evil campaign
« Reply #22 on: January 02, 2013, 10:53:52 AM »
If my memory serves, Cormyr had a non-human / Zhentarim problem shortly after the death (assassination?) of Azoun the Something-or-Other-th... (Third?). They essentially took advantage of a boy-king and regent situation to wreak some havoc.

This sounds, overall, like a useful premise. I would say degree of specificity depends on the situation and could range from "This is the result. This is the deadline. Go." To a very specific set of instructions, if such is required (e.g. pulling off a Dark Ritual).

Offline VonDoom

Re: GM wanted: Evil campaign
« Reply #23 on: January 02, 2013, 11:13:25 AM »
I was more referring to characters actually having a social life and ambitions within that  -- having opportunities to befriend (or at least make pretensions to in order to get in their good graces) people from your side, for example. Or going for a gambling night. Not particularly keen on playing a game where you need to 'unlock' social interaction with a certain level, but I'm going to assume that's not quite how you meant it.

Online ThorneTopic starter

Re: GM wanted: Evil campaign
« Reply #24 on: January 02, 2013, 11:27:51 AM »
Well, it's not how /I/ meant it.

I expect some opportunity will be had, along with downtime for crafting and suchlike (seriously. We're EVIL. We're not going to be able to waltz into the local magic!mart...). If nothing else - there's the rest of the Army of Darkness to socialise with, at least until we have some means of insuring we won't be recognised for what we are.