• Advertisement
Sign in to follow this  

How to be Evil?

This topic is 4512 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts

How about making an RPG where the aim of the game is to be(come) the evil overlord / destroyer / conqueror. How would you make an RPG where the aim was to maintain power and be evil?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Advertisement
The ability to kill, eat, torture and rape you friends and enemies would get you on the right track. Then betrayal and stealing, destroying other people's possesion or take prisioners and selling them as slaves isn't nice either.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yeah, just have nefarious deeds lead to something other than fugitive status. The ability to conquer territories and collect taxes from them is the foundation of any empire. Using fear to keep the subjugated masses in line makes it an evil empire, and having absolute authority over all levels of government and society is what makes you an evil emperor.

Betrayal is my favorite evil deed. You and your team get right up the the magical amulet of power, and then you knife them all and take it. Hah! Profitable, despicable and easy enough to set up. I remember a short story, I think it was in the DragonLance universe, where a dragon discuised himself as a dragonslayer every few months, went into town to hire the half-dozen most powerful warriors, and then led them into a trap and killed them, thus ensuring that there were never any humans around tough enough t take him down.

For more advice on sticking it to your allies and becomeing the queen bitch of the universe, see Kerrigan, Sarah.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
That is a much harder task to do than is sounds. Doing percieved evil deeds only to do them is not believable. There must be a situation were the perception of doing these evil deeds is the only way to achieve the goal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
See the game "Evil Genius" for reference. It's a realtime strategy style game, but could lay a good groundwork for an RPG, since all you would need to add would be more in-depth storyline and background.

I would just feel the need to stress, as others have said, that the idea of just going around and killing everything, or stealing everything in sight or whatever else would be a rather pointless and quickly boring game. There must be some larger reason for behaving criminally, obviously as you've said, you have to become the grand evil overlord, so the dastardly deeds you are performing should work in some way to reaching that goal. Yes petty theft should be a possibility, since afterall, you've got to start somewhere. But with a game of this type it's important to provide a large number of options as to how to be dastardly. If it all boils down to just killing or stealing, then once again, the replayability factor drops dramatically. However, if you can, in addition to stealing and killing, put out hits, form a drug ring or be a drug trafficer, bootleg alcohol and other contraband, launder money, collect "protection" money or any other number of things, then it takes longer for the player to become bored.

I'd also recommend providing a large list of "equipment" or tools of the trade that the player can choose from, not necessarily in a straight line improvement style, but maybe Player A likes to rough people up with a bat while Player B likes to break knee-caps with a tire iron. Allow the player to really play out their twisted, demented little personas. They'll love it cause of course, the real world has cops that keep the "honest" honest. Also something can be said of having in-game cops, to make sure that the player must use some tact in undertaking and creating their evil empire.

Anyway, that's my two cents, something to chew on.

Vopisk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It depends entirely on your definition of "evil". If, like most games, you define evil to be along the lines of the moustache-twirling black caped tying-maidens-to-railroad-tracks variety, then the usual path of just acting like a complete bastard is typical; this is what was done in Knights of the Old Republic, and most people tended to like that.

However, I tend to dislike that kind of thing, because at its core it's stupid, especially if you are trying to maintain a positon of power. No-one trusts a back-stabber who is often more of a menace to his friends than his enemies. Instead to be a true ruler with an slightly evil bent I'd prefer to be totally Machievellian; skillfully manipulating others into doing my bidding. Under this scheme, the ruler might even appear to be nice, kissing babies and generally trying to make people happy, but in this case the motives are different from a "good" character; the ruler isn't doing it to make people happy, the ruler is doing it to stay in power.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by Trapper Zoid
It depends entirely on your definition of "evil". If, like most games, you define evil to be along the lines of the moustache-twirling black caped tying-maidens-to-railroad-tracks variety, then the usual path of just acting like a complete bastard is typical; this is what was done in Knights of the Old Republic, and most people tended to like that.

However, I tend to dislike that kind of thing, because at its core it's stupid, especially if you are trying to maintain a positon of power. No-one trusts a back-stabber who is often more of a menace to his friends than his enemies. Instead to be a true ruler with an slightly evil bent I'd prefer to be totally Machievellian; skillfully manipulating others into doing my bidding. Under this scheme, the ruler might even appear to be nice, kissing babies and generally trying to make people happy, but in this case the motives are different from a "good" character; the ruler isn't doing it to make people happy, the ruler is doing it to stay in power.


So it's a lot like the President of the United States is what you're saying?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Well, here are some things that villains would like:
1. power
2. money
3. great fortress/dungeon/evil cave/old hut/parents basement
4. Lots of minions to do dirty work
5. Some way to deal with those meddling heros
6. more money
7. a life of debauchery
8. the praise/acceptance/respect/fear/mortal terror of their subjects
9. more debauchery
10. cool magical items
11. not letting anyone else have any more of the above things than themselves.
12. other stuff

So a villains measure could be divided into
1. Resources- Their bases, minions, weapons, territory etc.
2. Reputation- How much they are liked/feared by peasants, hated/feared by enemies, liked/feared by allies.
3. Personal abilities- The villains personal stat (magic, swordmanship, etc.)


Resources would be gained or bought with money that is stolen, or acquired through different ways. (robbing, poaching, selling illegal items, grave-robbing, or just doing legidimate business)

Reputaion would go by a love/hate/fear basis
If they love you then you can command them, they might resist if they don't love you enough.
If they hate you then you're enemies.
If they fear you then you can push them around but they might try stopping you if they don't fear you enough.

stuff like inviting people to depraved parties, extream taxation, or public executions effect how different groups feel about you.

Then personal abilities is basically the same as those of RPG adventures or bosses or whatever. Useful for striking terror into people or dealing with adventures on a personal basis.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
For ease of storywriting/plot, I'd place the game in a culture that is naturally cutthroat/evil. Machiavellian Italy, hyper-styalized prohibition Chicago, a dark elf city... Then setup the competition in that selfish, cutthroat style.

Though the standard comedy-faire evil like Evil Genius and Dungeon Keeper is fun too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The biggest problem I perceive is that RPGs aren't cut for an eviloverlord scenario. In order to really do that, you'd either have to have some superpower of control a large number of minions. RPGs (or at least CRPGS) are pretty much designed for a small number of units versus armies.

However, if it had to be RPG style, I'd probably do it like this:

1) List cults; gangs; weaker, more established villians; anything that can be assimilated.
2) Take control of groups (combat in turn-based style)
3) Use groups to attack potential threats, both competitors and opposition (tactical grid style)
4) Same as 2), but destruction over control (and with minions, simultanious with 3))
5) Allocate biggest threat (say, annoying rebels building up plot-voucher cannon). Destroy defenders, as in 3).
6) Infiltrate threat's weapon, blow it up (2 and 4 style)
7) Win.

All this time, you'll have to fend off assassins and infiltrators (and superheros, if we are using that theme).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Evil is about greed, selfishness, and personal desires above all else. Murder is an evil act, but mass murdering is just psychotic. Stealing is an evil act, but mass stealing is just kleptomania.

At the very root, an evil person does whatever they feel is best for themselves without much regard for others. Intelligent evil people realize that there is value to having allies, and a balance must be struck between short term greed, and the long term rewards possible when the right allies are by your side, only to discard those allies but whateve means convenient when they no longer have any value.

Allies are obtained by whatever means necessary. Deceit, treachery, murder. Creating allies by creating a common enemy (or mearly creating the perception of a common enemy). The enemy of my enemy is my friend. Making enemies is not productive, so playing all sides as best you can is desirable.

A good Evil empire game would have to include in depth and flexible systems for deception, treachery, spies, double agents, assassins, alliances, double alliances, false alliances, secret alliances and tie-ins between all these systems. At this point I think you're looking more at a global strategy type game than an RPG though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
I remember a short story, I think it was in the DragonLance universe, where a dragon discuised himself as a dragonslayer every few months, went into town to hire the half-dozen most powerful warriors, and then led them into a trap and killed them


An excellent idea, as the following site shows:

http://paul.merton.ox.ac.uk/filmtv/overlord.html

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
"Evil is about greed, selfishness, and personal desires above all else"

You can generalize this further, really. Evil is the result of a distorted moral ordering or hierarchy. Hitler, for example, was evil but he was not selfishly motivated - he sought some strange, demented glory for the German Volk and he didn't care how many eggs were broken along the way.

This aluded-to aphorism "you can't make an omelette without breaking eggs" is generally attributed Lenin or Stalin and is precisely what I'm talking about: these guys had a sort of vision of a utopia. They thought they had a handle on absolute truth and therefore any price was worth paying in pursuit of their ideal. It didn't matter who suffered along the road because the destination was perfection.

That is evil.

No plausible character sets out to be evil. They shoulder the burden of evil - look at Darth Vader, for example. He didn't wake up one day and say "I'm gonna be evil!". No - his motives were ultimately noble, or at least comprehensible. And he made a choice that resulted in his fall to the dark side.

If you want a Dr. Evil sort of slapstick/farce evil, that's cool and a perfectly reasonable design decision.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Come on, there's no such thing as evil. People who do 'evil' deeds are just too dumb or unskilled (or just psycho) to get the same result without the bad consequences. Why rape when you can take the challenge of earning it? Why kill when beating the crap out of them hurts them even more? Wanting and obtaining fortune and power is not evil. It's human.

So instead of making an evil character, why not make a realistic one? Someone who doesn't give a damn about some princess they've never heard of. Someone who wouldn't risk their life to weed a random NPC's garden. And of course someone who has an end-goal to suit themselves rather than everyone else.

If you would rather actually impliment a realistically 'evil' character. I suppose a coward who hates challenges and has no honor might work. But I would hate to play as such a loser :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by Kest
Come on, there's no such thing as evil.

In games there is. Just like in movies and books.

Quote:
Why kill when beating the crap out of them hurts them even more?

Are you saying that's what a good person would do? Choose the option that leaves them alive, and hurts them even more? Sounds evil to me.

Quote:

So instead of making an evil character, why not make a realistic one?

I might be grasping at straws here, but it could be because he's not out to make a Reality(tm) Simulator.
Sometimes, evil people make good stories. Or are fun to play. That means they can be used in games, even if they are not "realistic".

Quote:

If you would rather actually impliment a realistically 'evil' character. I suppose a coward who hates challenges and has no honor might work. But I would hate to play as such a loser :D

You just asked the OP to put such a loser into the game, because an evil person was unrealistic. Make up your mind [lol]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by Spoonbender
Quote:
Original post by Kest
Come on, there's no such thing as evil.

In games there is. Just like in movies and books.

I think they only seem evil because of the faked out good guys. Name an evil character that actually had motive behind their evil actions, and I'll explain how their choices were not evil. Vampires feed on human blood to stay alive, and they die without doing so. Humans wear the dead flesh of animals and live in the carcuses of trees, just to be comfortable. Which is worse? IE, vampires are not evil.

Quote:
Quote:
Why kill when beating the crap out of them hurts them even more?

Are you saying that's what a good person would do? Choose the option that leaves them alive, and hurts them even more? Sounds evil to me.

That's a strange perspective. If I were on the receiving end, I would rather be hurt than killed, even though I might suffer more. I learn a lesson instead of being extinguished.

Quote:
Quote:
So instead of making an evil character, why not make a realistic one?

I might be grasping at straws here, but it could be because he's not out to make a Reality(tm) Simulator.
Sometimes, evil people make good stories. Or are fun to play. That means they can be used in games, even if they are not "realistic".

You're not following me. I'm saying a realistic character would seem evil in the game. What is your goal in life? To save the princess? To help your neighbor? Likely, you're like everyone else, aiming to better yourself. Just like the evil villain.

Quote:
Quote:
If you would rather actually impliment a realistically 'evil' character. I suppose a coward who hates challenges and has no honor might work. But I would hate to play as such a loser :D

You just asked the OP to put such a loser into the game, because an evil person was unrealistic. Make up your mind [lol]

I asked him to put a realistically un-evil person into the game, and this person would seem pretty evil in game standards. A realistically evil character would be someone too weak minded to take up the normal challenges needed to reach his goals. IE, a loser. Not very fun to role play. It's just my opinion, though.

Anyway, my point is that faked out bad guys seem lame to me. Realistic bad guys (the kind you can relate to - not out to be bad, just not caring about being good) are very cool. And they seem to help make the best stories.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I think what Kest is saying is "Evil" is a property of actions and their results, not of motives or of a person. If a person's actions consistantly produce evil results, one might figuratively call that person evil.

The people we call evil want the same things everybody does - wealth, power, fame, prestige, etc. But they are unimpeded by ethics in their pursuit of these things. Kest's vampire, for example, can only survive by destroying the lives of others and has decided that he's willing to do it. I suggest that this is unethical - the inverse of noble sacrifice. And that it is only possible for an individual lacking any ethical restraints. And the results are evil and therefor the vampire is, firguratively at least, evil himself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by dalep
I think what Kest is saying is "Evil" is a property of actions and their results, not of motives or of a person. If a person's actions consistantly produce evil results, one might figuratively call that person evil.

Somewhat what I was saying. I seriously doubt real people who everyone considers evil would consider themselves evil. In fact, they most likely totally justify their own actions.

Hitler, no matter how disturbed, truely thought he would help evolve the human species by killing out other 'races'. But I don't see Hitler as evil. He was just a disturbed idiot, and his theory was completely backwards. Anyone should be able to realize that our species' strength comes from our diversity. We should be wanting more different types of humans, not less. Anyway, a lot of people see Hitler as evil. This is the type of lame character that I wouldn't want to role play. The wrong sense of direction, misguided, cowardly, or dumb.

Quote:
Kest's vampire, for example, can only survive by destroying the lives of others and has decided that he's willing to do it. I suggest that this is unethical - the inverse of noble sacrifice.

It might just be my overwhelming empathy, but I don't see it as unethical, especially from the perspective of a human. Life feeds on life to live. It's the same for every species on earth. If vampires were real, and their only sin was staying alive, I would consider humans to be much more evil in general.

Quote:
And that it is only possible for an individual lacking any ethical restraints. And the results are evil and therefor the vampire is, firguratively at least, evil himself.

A vampire is as evil to humans as humans are evil to every other stinking species on earth. Well, except dogs, in some countries.

Anyway, sorry about all of the BS. Really, truely, my only point was that most bad guys are lame. A really good example of the difference between excessive, non-sense badness and normal badness is Darth Vader in the latest released StarWars trilogy. Vader was normal-bad until he felt the need to chop up the kids with the light saber. It didn't even come close to fitting his character up to that point. First he was just driven. He had high goals and he did what it took to reach them. That's cool. That demands respect. But chopping up innocent kids is evil. It's also incredibly pathetic. What, he was too cowardly to let them grow up and face them honorably? I thought Vader was a badass? That's just weak. See? Evil = weak and cowardly.

[Edited by - Kest on October 12, 2005 2:50:11 PM]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have to make note here, on the Darth Vader issue. You see his actions as being weak and cowardly, and in that regard "evil". But let's look at it through your own eyes as you've described them to us thus far.

Vader knows that these certain children are going to cause him problems down the road. Being that he is "evil" in the cartoonish sort of way, or maybe as others have said "morally unrestrained" he chooses to eliminate the threat before it truly becomes a threat. The same level of "cowardly-ness" could be applied to you changing your oil. A seemingly innocent action, as you're avoiding your engine blowing up, but nonetheless, you're foreseeing a problem in your future and taking steps to avoid it.

Yes, on an ethical level, there is no comparison where I just made one, however, ethics seem to be at the very heart of this discussion. What is ethical to one, is evil to another, it's all in your perspective. So perhaps yes, you should not be doing things "for the sake of doing evil things", but however, you should be doing things that are "the correct choice for your character" but ultimately, would be considered evil by others.

Take the game "Hitman" for example, you play a hired assassin. Evil enough right? But we can rationalize it. Hitman needs to eat, hitman must work to have money to eat, hitman only knows how to kill people, therefore, Hitman's killing of others is merely a survival instinct, therefore, not evil as we already discussed Vampires earlier.

You may call it empathy, that you can relate to the bad guy and make his choices seem innocent. But to the larger, general public, the actions are still evil, thus, one must build a game wherein the player makes actions that are considered evil by the general public.

My two cents, something to chew on.

Vopisk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by Vopisk
Vader knows that these certain children are going to cause him problems down the road. Being that he is "evil" in the cartoonish sort of way, or maybe as others have said "morally unrestrained" he chooses to eliminate the threat before it truly becomes a threat.

That was pretty much my point. What people term as evil is usually just an easier, less impressive method to reach the goal. It just goes to show that the good guy is too superior to challenge on equal ground. My idea of a really cool bad guy is one who is mean enough to not have to cheat. One who isn't evil, just rough and determined. His goals conflict with the good guy's goals. This is the type of bad guy who good guys should fear. Not the ones who take short cuts.

Quote:
Take the game "Hitman" for example, you play a hired assassin. Evil enough right? But we can rationalize it. Hitman needs to eat, hitman must work to have money to eat, hitman only knows how to kill people, therefore, Hitman's killing of others is merely a survival instinct, therefore, not evil as we already discussed Vampires earlier.

Right, but that has been my point. No such thing as evil. You can always replace 'evil' with another word. Think up an evil action, replace evil with another word. Why did they choose the evil choice? What made them go in that direction? If that word sounds degrading to the bad guy, don't impliment the action. Then you'll have what I consider a great bad guy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I love this topic, because it figures heavily into the cosmology of my universe. (I've written several short stories and plan to implement it for my current CRPG).

Quote:
Original post by Kest
That was pretty much my point. What people term as evil is usually just an easier, less impressive method to reach the goal.


I don't necessarily agree with that description of evil. There is always going to be an easier, less impressive method of doing stuff. Is it "evil" to use a more advanced API instead of the awful Win32 GDI? I'd be really impressed if somebody was determined enough to make a game without any kind of API, but that doesn't make them morally upright. Nor does it make people who take the easy road morally depraved.

I think the best way to define evil is that a person derives enjoyment from the suffering of others. Negative actions don't count as evil, because it can only exist in the intent of the evil-doer.

For instance, you're driving down the highway when the car ahead of you flies of the road for whatever reason. Being a concerned person, you pull over and find that the car is upside-down and wrapped around a tree. You help the guy out of the car, because you think it'll explode from watching too many action movies. It turns out, the car doesn't explode AND you exacerbated his neck injury. Your actions were unnecessasrily negative, but you're certainly not evil.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by templewulf
I don't necessarily agree with that description of evil. There is always going to be an easier, less impressive method of doing stuff. Is it "evil" to use a more advanced API instead of the awful Win32 GDI? I'd be really impressed if somebody was determined enough to make a game without any kind of API, but that doesn't make them morally upright. Nor does it make people who take the easy road morally depraved.

I didn't say it worked both ways. Just because you don't choose the most challenging route doesn't make you more evil. But most choices that people call evil seem to be mostly about avoiding challenge. Of course you can always throw a character in who does evil just to be evil, but it's not very believable. It makes him look more psychotic than anything else.

Quote:
I think the best way to define evil is that a person derives enjoyment from the suffering of others.

Why would someone enjoy making people suffer? I'm guessing these suffering individuals have no way of fighting back? What does that tell you about this evil guy? Why would he need to hurt defenseless people to be satisfied? Don't get me wrong. It's one thing to knock the hell out of an annoying idiot. That's the essence of a cool bad guy. He doesn't put up with BS. But hurting defenseless people just for the sake of hurting sounds like he lacks what it takes to face a real challenge.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You have to have a reason to be evil. Perhaps your trying to regain things lost through the ages? Artifacts from ancient times that your race worshipped, areas of land that have been wared over and lost on your race's side.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by Kest
But hurting defenseless people just for the sake of hurting sounds like he lacks what it takes to face a real challenge.


I didn't say he had to enjoy the suffering of the defenseless. What about Naraku, from the Inuyasha series, who enjoys the suffering of the good guys who are as powerful as he is?

Plus, what about Akuma / Gouki, who has no problem killing anyone, but who also won't fight weaklings?

Although, historically, I guess "evil" is just the word for everybody on the other side.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Advertisement