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This question is in the spirit of another question I asked before. I would like to explore a style of role-playing in DnD (specifically 3.5e) that may be slightly different from how characters usually work. The question aims to answer if and how such a character can work and be played for everyone's amusement. I am still relatively new to the game, so please forgive me if this question is naive. Probably people have tried before and discarded the idea.


Character concept

The character is supposed to be deceptive, on both the character and the player level. He will thrive to achieve some higher goal that is different to the party's, but not in an open way. He will play along and work for the party's interest, but wait for his moment (ideally towards the end of the campaign) to strike. As such an evil religious fanatic would be ideal, who works towards achieving the goals of his deity by deceiving his party members, gaining their trust and acquiring resources together with them, but when given the choice would take the powerful magical item and bugger off with it.

Motivation and Concerns

The main motivation is to bring some diversity to the usual scheme. People tend to play funny characters and there is usually (at least in our games) happy peace in the party with the only dispute being about who gets the loot. I feel a character like the one suggested would make things more interesting since people can't take their party members for granted anymore.

The concern is of course that it might not be very fun for the party to have their plans destroyed by one member of the party playing an "extra cool" character. I think done well, it could still be fun for the other players though, which is why the rest of the question will be about how to do it.

How?

First of all the DM should probably know, maybe he can even build it into his campaign. The exact story details will then depend on the exact setting, but I am sure together with the DM something could be worked out.

I am mainly interested in if it can work and how it could be fun.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Does "different from" mean "mutually incompatible with"? That seems heavily implied, but it is not stated outright. \$\endgroup\$ – Novak May 16 '16 at 23:25
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    \$\begingroup\$ Do you want/not want to tell the other players? \$\endgroup\$ – Miniman May 16 '16 at 23:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ Related: How to handle the party that doesn't trust you? \$\endgroup\$ – Philipp May 17 '16 at 8:40
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This can work, if your players are experienced roleplayers that don't take story developments personally.

I've run various games where the PCs are not "all on the same side." (In fact, there are various RPGs - Amber, Fiasco, Paranoia - who are predicated precisely on that assumption.) Many novels and movies have that exact kind of plot, where the protagonists are working against another in more or less secret, all the way to "we're together till we beat Lord Whoever, then all bets are off, frenemy mine!" As a result it's certainly tempting to bring the same drama to your RPG. The major obstacles are a) people whose play assumption is that the PCs are all totally on the same goals and b) people who don't have a strong emotional separation between the real group and the in-game group and would feel hurt about such a twist.

You can't go from zero to 60, but here's ways you can prime the pump to make such things palatable to your group.

Give PvP Opportunities

In my games, I'll often let a player run an enemy NPC or whatnot if they're not in that fight (dies, incapacitated, showed up real late to the session and their PC is back home, etc.). As a GM it's hard to put enough zazz into a complicated enemy stat block, especially with all kinds of other stuff going on. And, it gets the group used to having players opposing players without making people cry. (Playing board games and the like also helps). Try playing some of those games I list in the intro that don't assume party hivemind. They are different - Fiasco, for example, assumes everyone knows what's going on, just that everyone is about putting together a good story instead of "winning da fights." Amber and Paranoia are more about secretive screwing over the other guy. Introduce the idea so it's not like "I didn't know you could do that in an RPG!"

Incorporate Realism Early

You don't have to have BETRAYAL!!! to have PCs with differing agendas that don't always want the same solution. Pathfinder Society play has PCs in different factions where they in general want to "solve the adventure" but have different goals, different people they want to get the credit/wealth/info from it, etc. No PvP is allowed, but that helps get people to start thinking and break hivemind syndrome. Also, simply doing more note-passing and information compartmentalization drives this behavior quickly. In the real world most groups are composed of individuals with their own goals and different amounts and type of buyin to the group conceit - at work, on a sports team, etc.

Set Clear Ground Rules

So as to not surprise people, make sure and clarify that such things can happen as part of a campaign briefing.

Here's some examples of campaigns I've been in or run where player betrayal was part of the storyline.

Example 1

In one game, I had a player who was disruptive, even when he was allegedly not against the rest of the party. After he suicided one character in a fit of pique, he called me up and said "You know what was wrong with my last character? He was too much of a team player. I want to play an assassin or something." I sighed. So I came up with the plan of him being a Scarlet Brotherhood spy sent to report on the activities of the PCs - but to never break his cover! This worked great - he was a team player by day and scribbled off letters to his handlers at night. The rest of the group figured I had threatened him with a good solid beating or something to turn him around like that. The player left the campaign some time later when he moved, before I had the chance for a betrayal scene. But if he had, the group would have probably taken him out (his plans were not known for their logical rigor) and he would have rerolled a new PC, gleeful at his accomplishments.

Example 2

I was playing in a Planescape campaign where we were supposed to go get artifact bits and then lock down some kind of blade-lord proto-gods that were trying to escape and kill all the gods. But I was a bladeling, and they started sending dreams to me. I struggled with this all through the campaign and at the very end we were down at the planar prison with all the doohickeys (of course the place to destroy it is also the place to use it, because story) and I told the rest of the group "The gods never did anything for me, screw them, I'm gonna let these guys out." We faced off and had a tense negotiation. It was all of them against me, but I had the doohickeys and was like a super ninja so I reckon I might have been able to just rush the artifact to the planar curtain to free the blade lords. In the end we didn't want to fight each other and struck a bargain. We wouldn't release them but also wouldn't destroy the artifact. We gave a piece to each of us to go hide and let another generation of adventurers deal with it. Was this "betrayal?" Life's more complicated than that.

Example 3

I had a very long 2e campaign run in full realism mode where the PCs were increasingly good/evil segmented (they all thought they were good, but half were of the "I'm good! But you know sometimes you need to ritually sacrifice a party member for the greater good!" kind of evil). At the end, I goaded them into trying to kill/feeling obligated to protect the same person as part of the campaign climax. It took a lot of work to get there, but everyone really enjoyed the story and they didn't bellyache or fight each other in person afterwards. But they were grown-ups who understood the kind of realistic game they were playing, and valued that and the awesome story that resulted.

Example 4

I was running a Forgotten Realms campaign and, on the way to the "real" adventure (Four from Cormyr, I think) the PCs stayed at this inn run by some ladies who were actually vampires (It was actually in some FR sourcebook or another as just a road encounter). Well, so one thing leads to another and one of the PCs gets vamped and a necromancer in the inn puts a spell on her so she can walk around in the daylight for a bit. The PCs get out to the remote encounter location, which features a shrine undead can't enter (obvious "camp site"). Well, after a big fight with the local baddies where half the party's downed, the vampire PC betrays the party and drags off another PC and vamps them. This led to several months where the campaign was half vampire PCs hiding out in the swamps during the day and the living PCs hiding out in the shrine. Vamps vamp PCs, PCs kill vamps and rez them. Everyone had a great time. Eventually they escaped back to the inn and burned it down. It ended the campaign "early," but that's one of those things where the group ends up doing something other than Your Perfect Prepped Story so that's fine.

Counterexamples

I haven't really had this go too bad in my entire gaming life. Every once in a while someone has had their PC betray the party just because they were kinda personally a punk, but usually after they are murdered by the party they just reroll - not since I was a Boy Scout and like 11 years old did I ever see the "and now the new character attacks the last character's enemies!"

Conclusion

Establish this kind of game with mature gamers, and you're golden. Short of that, YMMV. Other factors like "is it in collusion with a GM" or "do the players know what's up out of game or not" are not, in my experience, directly relevant (they are all valid sub-approach options).

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    \$\begingroup\$ "Set clear ground rules" is an extremely important (and non-optional) point. \$\endgroup\$ – GMJoe May 19 '16 at 0:08
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I think the important part of your question is everyone's amusement - that should include the other players. The onus should be on you to make your character work for your play group, not on the play group to fall in line with your character.

Does the group know? Do the characters know?

It's common courtesy to share your plan for your character. "Slimy backstabbing jerk that we have in the party because he's strong" is a reasonably common character archetype, so your fellow players might be into the idea of a bad apple among them. Hell, they might even know in-character that you're probably evil, and you could still have a good time.

What if the players don't know?

The real danger is when the party doesn't know, in or out of character, that you plan to betray them. Let's think about how it might play out:

Your cultist doesn't find a good opportunity to reveal himself

This is a possibility with any sleeper agent. You run around with a bunch of loons getting progressively stronger, maybe roping them into some "go kill this guy/steal this thing" quests that benefit your church. At the end of the day, you never got to play the "I'm evil" card, and that kind of sucks for your character's arc. What was the point?

Your character reveals himself and opposes the party

You have to understand that this ends the campaign (or at least changes it forever in ways a PC normally can't do). As soon as you say "I'm not with the party anymore" the game can't actually continue as it did before. There are several outcomes here:

  • The evil PC is slain by his former party (either in an actual fight or a "cutscene". You roll up a new character. The rest of the party is suspicious of you for the rest of the game, especially if one of the PCs dies. Your betrayal didn't accomplish anything. I recommend rolling up a guy before the fight, and letting the DM play the betrayer.
  • The evil PC runs away. You give him up to the DM, roll a new guy, and join the party to chase him down. This could work without hard feelings, especially if the DM legitimizes it through substantial involvement on his part (demonic minions and established evil NPCs coming to aid you, etc). But you have to make sure that it doesn't feel like an arbitrary stretching-out of the plot, and doesn't come out of nowhere. This is most effective if you hint that you intend to use the item or try and convince the party that it should be used, like Boromir with the One Ring. This is probably the best outcome.
  • Your character kills the rest of the party, and they have to roll up new characters. The only way to make this even remotely fair is if you still give up control of your PC, and roll a new guy with them. This is a completely new campaign, with the goal of chasing down and killing the murderer of the last party!

Your character reveals himself and corrupts the party

"Hey, isn't our questgiver King Snootyjerk a snooty jerk? Why should we give him this artifact, and not use it ourselves to take over the kingdom? The fellow we helped a while back, with the hood and evil laugh, could be a great asset for us in this fight, you know." Your character drafts the party into his evil schemes, and they play along, because you've already had them do progressively worse things and there's no reason not to.

However, don't abruptly spring this on the players. "I want us to be evil now" is kind of a coin flip. A proper evil corrupter works over time. Slowly reveal your agenda - and the powers it grants - to the PCs. Maybe you show up with a cool sword one day, and when the rogue asks where you got it, you take her aside and tell her that for a pint of blood (hers... or not) she can have one too. Warm the party up to the idea of doing evil things to achieve the greater good, then just doing evil things because it's easier. When you make the reveal, the party's characters should be practically guaranteed to join you, because they've already gotten their hands dirty.

When is the right time to betray the party?

You should never sabotage another character's story arc. When you're already hogging so much of the spotlight with your idea, denying the same thing to anyone else is very inconsiderate. If the party fighter wants to fulfill his father's oath by slaying the evil lich, don't turn around at the last moment and reveal you two are actually buddies. If the cleric's goal in life is to return the relic of power to his deity's temple, that's not the artifact you're going to steal.

Ideally, the entire quest to get that item should be driven by you. Reveal to the party that there's a powerful magic item buried in the dangerous ruins of such-and-such, and you want to retrieve it and use it to save the kingdom. Then reveal you actually wanted to destroy the kingdom all along. Because you were the one who wanted the item in the first place, nobody feels like their character was sabotaged. Bonus points if this somehow helps to progress their goals - maybe the evil lich is the one that's holding the item, so you get to help the fighter's character arc instead of derailing it.

What class can do this?

Cleric is a good option, but I would avoid it. It's too easy to detect a cleric of an evil deity - they can't turn undead, they can't cast [Good] spells, and they have an aura of evil. I would use the Archivist from Heroes of Horror - he can scribe and cast all sorts of evil spells as well as good ones, and whichever ones you decide to prepare every day are up to you. As long as your evil spellbook is safely hidden, your unsuspecting party members have no way of knowing that you can bind demons, place curses, and raise undead minions.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Plus, why does one PC getting whacked end the campaign? We have this thing called "re-rolling..." \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk says reinstate Monica May 17 '16 at 2:27
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    \$\begingroup\$ @mxyzplk, "The campaign ends because I don't want to game with that player again." \$\endgroup\$ – Greenstone Walker May 17 '16 at 5:21
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    \$\begingroup\$ @GreenstoneWalker, If that's likely to happen then the player certainly shouldn't be allowed to play that kind of character, personally, as it indicates a setup which is not intended to be enjoyable for all involved. \$\endgroup\$ – Dave May 17 '16 at 12:27
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    \$\begingroup\$ Anecdote: I did the "run off and reroll" once, I was tired of the character, and concocted the betrayal with the help of the GM. It took several sessions to set it up and at the end my character ran off with a villain (or actually, flew off, on a magic broom). There was no big interference on my part though. \$\endgroup\$ – Matthieu M. May 17 '16 at 14:21
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Numrok That's a shame! You can always play the concept in another game; after all, to your group, it will be the first time. \$\endgroup\$ – SPavel Jun 14 '16 at 2:06
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If your player's goals and the rest of the party's goals are just fundamentally incompatible-- evil cultist in a group of paladins, agent of Kingdom X in a group dedicated to bringing down Kingdom X, etc-- then you are in no uncertain terms forcing a win-lose dynamic between characters (and therefore very possibly between players) that does not often exist.

If this is not known to the other players in advance (and by inference, it is not) then you are basically playing a different game than the other players until right up at the very end.

Herein lies the rub. If the players know but the characters don't, it will be very difficult for the players to firewall that knowledge away: They will want to win, and so will you. If neither the players nor the characters know until right at the end, then there will be no need for them to firewall, but you will be in some sense changing the rules on them right at the very end.

Neither of these sound workable, and neither of them sound like a lot of fun.

That said, there are some ways that this concept might be made workable, but they are substantial deviations from the implicit assumptions of your post.

One way is a more sand-boxy game in a setting known for characters not necessarily adventuring in parties, and for having radically different agendas. Something like the Amber Diceless system comes to mind. This is substantially different than what you have in mind.

The other way is to design a character with goals that are different from, but compatible with, the other characters' goals: The group is dedicated to bringing down Kingdom X, the player wants to make sure the Heirloom of Kingdom X goes to Kingdom Z, or something. As long as there is wiggle room and compromise space, this prevents the win-lose dynamic described above, and may even make the game more satisfying overall. But it may also be substantially different than what you ask for, because since there is room for negotiation, there is no need to be fundamentally deceptive either as a character or a player.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ This is good advice, but I think it could be improved with some simple examples of each case. \$\endgroup\$ – GMJoe May 17 '16 at 1:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ There should only ever be two teams unless WE all agreed to it; and even then sometimes one team the story teller is on your side too. rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/41314/… \$\endgroup\$ – Vethor May 17 '16 at 4:46
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Yes, this can work!

You're right that, if the other players are expecting a fully cooperative game, it would not be fun for you to surprise them with a betrayal. So the way to make this work is to make sure they know in advance that they're not playing a fully cooperative game.

One way you could do this would be to just have the GM tell everyone: "Guys, I want you to know in advance that this is not a fully cooperative game, and some characters might have goals contrary to the party's goals." Make sure they know this before they do character creation, so they can have characters who aren't automatically super trusting.

I've run some Paranoia games with rules like this, and the effect I observed is: once players understand that betraying each other is legal, they're happy to betray each other even if there isn't an in-game reason -- they'll backstab each other just for the thrill of getting to murder someone else's character.

If the DM wanted to add some more structure to it, you could secretly assign players to two teams who were working at cross purposes. So the goal would be to figure out who was on your team, so you could work with them to betray the other guys. There are some board games that work like this, for example Shadow Hunters, and they work pretty well.

Obviously this game style is not for everyone, but it can work and it can be fun.

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goal that is different to the party's

If you and the DM want to set this up in a way that doesn't ruin the game, then best ensure that although your goal is different from the party's, the situation is not such that only you or the party can achieve your goals, and not both.

D&D-3.5 isn't really a PvP game, and so if a member of the party is going to betray then that seriously affects the difficulty of the encounter/campaign in which it happens. Furthermore, it is fundamentally uninteresting to be "beaten" by a betraying player in a game you didn't even realise was PvP. It's like someone coming to you from a tennis court and announcing to you that you've just lost to them by default because you didn't show up, and they cleverly beat you at tennis by not inviting you: except that it also ruins the game you thought you actually were playing.

So, a goal to "take the powerful magical item and bugger off with it" would be fine, provided that your disappearance with the powerful magic item near the end of the game is a wrinkle, not game over. You disappear, the party comes up with a Plan B and completes the campaign without you or the item.

This kind of surprise (whether player-driven or GM-driven) works best if the plot is already of the form: "uh, guys, we have yet another problem!". You know, you deal with the orcs and then the trolls show up, so you identify their leader for assassination but then he makes a pact with a demon for protection, so you quest to find the holy wossname but it's not on this plane. Things keep coming up that need dealing with before the main goal can be achieved, and ways are found to deal with them. A problem of your PC's making is therefore a surprise when it happens, but is still in keeping with the game and the players can respond to it.

Another way is to set things up so that you don't bugger off with the item until after the party has used it to save the world. This turns their perfect victory, "We saved the world. Woo!" into something with a downside, "In the process of saving the world we acted as pawns in a greater evil plan! Wah!". Again, this remains in keeping with the kind of plot that's expected from a DM, and the surprise factor is increased by the fact one of the PCs was in on it all along.

Probably the best thing to do is to ask the DM to set your goals, likely via some NPC "evil line manager" you report to. That NPC could of course be the BBEG for the next (phase of the) campaign. The DM can then ensure that you goal is, "throw another problem in the party's path" and not "kill them all and laugh at them".

You should also allow for the possibility that if you are a bad guy, then the DM might intentionally set things up such that there are means available to the party to beat you, just like any monster. So you might find that you vanish off with the magic treasure that can save the world, and the remainder of the party seeks and obtains the assistance of every powerful NPC in the campaign who wants the world saved, to help them get it back. You get squashed. So it goes: of course you're a player too and you want a satisfying outcome too, but if the DM doesn't put into the world any means of saving the world that doesn't go through you, well, the party's going to go through you.

It is possible for the DM to announce that the game is PvP right from the start, but it sounds like that isn't what you want -- you don't actually want the main plot of the game to be to identify the traitor, and if that was the main plot then you might well find yourself discovered way too early to have the sort of impact you want. However:

People tend to play funny characters and there is usually (at least in our games) happy peace in the party

If your goal is to expose everyone to a different kind of game, then don't secretly subvert their usual playstyle, announce and run a different kind of game (or persuade someone else to run it). That way they can appreciate the difference as they play it instead of only in hindsight. If you let them think they're playing the normal sort of game, but they lose at the end for "stupidly" trusting you, then you aren't really exposing them to a different kind of game, you're just making an elaborate criticism of the group's normal style by wrecking it. This will be a lot more fun for you than for them, so just don't.

Games in which PCs are expected to have divided loyalties or responsibilities due to their political associations (Vampire the Masquerade, Legend of the Five Rings, D&D with a warning that this game is unlike your group's previous 12 games) give players a better chance of enjoying a certain level of intra-party conflict, than games in which normally there's an iron alliance in the party, except that this time someone secretly decided to play a jerk, so the conflict necessarily is brief and decisive.

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The simple answer is "Yes". However, it depends on a number of factors, and especially on the dynamics of your particular group. In greater detail, though, this is actually a fairly complex question, and deserves to be broken down into several different categories.

Can a heroic party have evil members?

This is an absolute yes. There is nothing in the description of evil that necessitates "psychotic" or "stupid"...not even in Chaotic Evil. Nor does all evil cooperate. In fact, there are times when Evil fights Evil more than Good fights Evil! So, in practical terms, evil characters can go adventuring for almost all the same reasons that good or neutral characters do, and even some of their own. As long as a good reason for them to do so, an evil character can even be a helpful, supportive character in a party. Lawful Evil can hate criminals and threats to the land as much as Lawful Good, Neutral Evil appreciates a good treasure hoard, and even bloodthirsty Chaotic Evil may appreciate the freedom from consequences of the stereotypical "murderhobo" lifestyle, just as some quick examples.

Can you have goals different from the party?

Once again, this is a definite yes. Even the traditional Goods and Neutrals don't all share the same goals. A human might fight for their god, an elf for their forest, or a dwarf to settle a centuries-old obligation, just to name a few things. Some characters may be answerable to the king, while others consider him a distant figure, unimportant in the daily life in their small remote village. Some characters want lots of treasure, some want to do good for good's sake, and still others just want a story to tell, the glory of victory above all else. So, why would it be any different for an evil character? You're a person first, and an alignment second. It is always the first category that gives a character their goals, though the second may help to define them.

Can a player's goal conflict with the quest?

This is where things get a little trickier. In theory, yes, this can work. However, in practice, I have found from my experiences on both sides of the screen that it is exceedingly hard to make it fun. Maybe you've heard it said before - "share victory, share defeat". That's the normal dynamic in a campaign. It's what players, and DMs, expect by default. Even if characters don't get along, they have a common goal that brings them together. Everyone is cheering and booing at the same things.

When you bring in a character that doesn't want the other character to win, that changes things a lot. The DM now has to find a way to work in a Third Option path, or else the campaign is guaranteed to end with someone not getting what they want. From the players' side, either you tell everyone up front, and it interferes with gameplay as people try to second-guess the possible intrigues, or it comes as a shock at the eleventh hour, to many feelings of betrayal and declarations of "What the hell, man?!". Something Positive actually has a comic that sums up the second scenario pretty well.

This is not to say that it can't work, but it takes a fairly mature and flexible group, and it is very easy to mess up and cause hurt feelings. Basically, if it works at all, it may either create and absolutely amazing dramatic moment, or it may well ruin the campaign. If you don't know which it will be, it's best to avoid it. You can still have your "secretly Evil" PC, you just have to stick to motivations and goals that are furthered by the success of the PCs plans, and don't hinge on having to double-cross them.

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Yes, this can work, but it really only works if the DM is in on it.

I've done this once. The party thought my character was a very suboptimal, somewhat clumsy sorcerer with bad luck when it came to spellcasting. In reality, he was a rogue/sorcerer multiclass (which is why powerful spells didn't work: he didn't actually have them at the appropriate levels!) who was using the party to accomplish his own goals, which were more or less compatible with the party's, right up until they weren't.

It took a lot of RPing to pull it off, but the party never did figure out my character's secret, and the DM and I had a lot of fun with it!

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Yes, you can most definitely have an inside man.

I typically enjoy a game where one or two of my players is running an inside man plot. But your question is how to make this work, so I'll expand on that.

My rules for the inside man are simple:

1) Your goal has to differ from the villains you are chasing. In other words, you can't be secretly working for Ganon and stab Link in the back when he's sleeping. You're using the party to further your own evil agenda, so you want and need them alive. As long as you can figure out a way to balance your goals with that, you're fine.

What this did was allow one of my players, who had touched a page from the Book of Vile Darkness and failed her roll, to become evil. I let her run with it, and she wanted to start spreading plagues and famine wherever the party went. So what she did was play as a cook (background) so she had an excuse to go to farms, markets and had developed enough culinary skill to be chef for the most powerful people in the kingdom's. Using the Book of Vile Darkness, she would unleash slow acting plagues and basically converted any ground she covered into desecrated soil, tainting and destroying crops and poisoning wells. Three weeks AFTER the party had left. This character tied in well with the plot because the party was actively chasing villains to get items of power they needed to battle Tiamat.

Furthermore, when the party was at risk of staying in one place too long, my player would go out and hire orcs and goblins to cause problems in neighbouring towns in order to draw our party out of the area. She handled this ingenuously, and was a very good example of how an evil player can effectively work with the party to accomplish their own ends.

The OTHER evil character in the group was my wife. She was playing what she thought was a Tiefling, but was in actuality a Cambion (she didn't know, I gradually revealed it to her through increased powers as she levelled up until she figured it out by investigating devils and demons.) She was playing evil and wanted to rule a circle of hell. So she used the party to draw Tiamat out of her realm, and then invaded while she was absent, leaving the party to deal with the god, and simultaneously shutting down the portal after bringing her demon army through (with the help of another god, who happened to be her great, great, great, etc grand-father.) It was awesome, and it gave me a reason to weaken Tiamat slightly when the party engaged her at Level 14.

2) No player killing unless absolutely necessary. I hate evil characters who just want to cut other player's throats in the night. That type of player is basically saying, "I'm not here to play a social game. I'm here to ruin people's evening."

Now, if an investigator in the group is getting really close to actually discovering the evil character's motivations and is likely to end him/her, then I step back and let them sort it out. The big reveal is usually fun, and seeing how these players react to it is very interesting.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for your great answer! gave me quite a lot of insight especially in how to coordinate it with the DM. \$\endgroup\$ – Wolpertinger May 20 '16 at 16:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ No problem. I find a lot of people just jump to, "No evil players!" I find that approach eliminates half of the game right away. The hard part is balancing an evil player with a party. If you have a creative player, or you are the creative player, you should be able to recognize that the party can be used as a tool to help you. The best part is when you work an evil scheme and leave the party alive to wallow in the regret of aiding you without their knowledge. I have a lich who destroyed an entire kingdom and the death's of all those innocents lie at the feet of my former party. \$\endgroup\$ – Lino Frank Ciaralli May 23 '16 at 6:03
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I'm playing a character soon who is a betrayer. He is a changeling rogue mastermind and throughout the campaign he plans to trick the party into basically causing a revolution putting him and his terrorist cell into power. If something goes wrong and he kills one of them he will replace them with a changeling that's from his cell. The other player now would play as a changeling pretending to be their old character. This way people can be betrayed yet the campaign not derail.

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