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In our current campaign, my character has oscillated between Neutral Good and True Neutral for a long time, but recent plot events have fundamentally changed the way my alignment works.

The Short Version
After my character's third death, and first failed resurrection, a party member tried to deal with a devil to bring me back. Since that can't happen after a failed resurrection spell, the devil instead replaced my character's soul with a devil whose memory had been replaced with that of my character, making him a "fiendish eidolon". So now my character is a devil in a high-elf body, with high-elf memories, and, at least for now, a True Neutral alignment. But my DM says that over time his alignment will shift to become more and more Lawful Evil. The party has worked with/for Evil NPCs before, and even had a Neutral Evil PC in the party for a while, so it's not as if the party is fundamentally opposed to working with Evil people.
So my question, as a first-time player (in a good party) with no experience playing an evil character, is this:

How do I roleplay a smooth transition into archetypical Lawful Evil without tearing the party apart?

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closed as primarily opinion-based by Wibbs, SPavel, KRyan, Oblivious Sage, Miniman Jul 8 '16 at 15:52

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Reminder: comments are for helping improve the post, not for providing small or incomplete answers. Previous answers in comments have been removed. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Jul 8 '16 at 18:12
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Even Evil has friends

The biggest issue with an Evil character is that a lot of players believe that Evil means selfish, and selfish means screwing with the PC's party members. But the party members are his friends, and source of strength. This makes them part of the in-group. The Evil character may jockey to become the party leader, but he need not go against the interests of the party.

To roleplay the transition, you can start helping the party. Your character realizes that there are things that must be done to achieve the party's goals, and the party is too lily-livered to do it. You might be surprised to find that your party members like you more.

Lawful is not the same as stupid

Your character is just as intelligent as he was before, and his impulse controls is just as good. This means that he will not go picking fights for no reason. Yes, he might want to undermine the power of a Good aligned church, but the way to do that is not to behead a priest in the middle of a service and then burn the church down.

Weigh risk vs reward carefully, and always try to get the party on board with your plans.

You can still perform Neutral acts

Not everything you do needs to be Evil, or Lawful. Characters of an alignment generally act in accordance with it, but every character is more complex than checking off two boxes. LE characters may even perform Good and Chaotic deeds if it serves their greater goals! Unlike Lawful Good's reluctance to perform evil deeds for the greater good, LE has no qualms about doing good to serve the greater evil.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ +1 I just started typing and you somehow stole my answer from my brain >.> \$\endgroup\$ – Premier Bromanov Jul 8 '16 at 15:29
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Lawful Evil isn't Lawful Dick

One of the things to remember is that you're still in a party for the same reasons you were before. Being evil doesn't mean doing whatever you want. And as SPavel wrote, you can still have friends! In your case, being evil could mean voicing a different opinion or casting a different vote for what the party should do next. Your vote could even be the same as it would before, but for the wrong reasons. Make sure you've got a good reason to remain with the party and build from there.

Lawful Evil masquerading as Lawful Good

A common theme in stories is the villain that is doing evil that believes he is doing good, or is pretending to do good. You need to find out where the law in your Lawful Evil comes from. In your case, you're a devil, but it could be more nuanced than that. Your character could become quite religious but for the wrong reasons. Use that religion to justify evil deeds. Think of the overzealous Lawful Good Paladin, whose standards for good are so high, none can possibly pass and therefore becomes too judgmental. His wrath turns to bloodlust. Or the High Priest who justifies Necromancy for the good of the people. "I was just trying to save them!", he cries in vain. Use these themes when interacting with the party; always pretend to be giving the good option but use evil means to get it done.

Evil people don't always know they're Evil

You need a motivation for being evil. In keeping with the aforementioned theme, you can justify many evil actions under the pretense of the ends justifying the means. Remember, your character isn't necessarily aware of his alignment. He might still think he's neutral or good, but his actions tell a different story. This is a great way to keep the party guessing whether or not you are actually evil. In my experience, when the DM and group have discussed a character's changed alignment, there's usually a lot of "Oooh, i remember he did that" and "Oops, I didn't think about that". It's part of the fun to look back on your story and see what came of it. This can be one of those things.

The world isn't black and white

Always remember that there is a middle ground between neutral and evil: you don't always need to pick the most extreme evil to be evil. You can be Lawful Evil and still avoid killing babies and burning down orphanages for no reason. If you feel you've become too evil, dial it back a bit. Find the right amount of evil for your group.

Avoid doing Evil on the side

Finally, avoid killing random people or sneaking away to do "what my guy would do!". You may have the desire to play out your evilness, but try to avoid doing things on the side. For one, it has a tendency to take the reigns from the group and hand them over to you and only you. Not everyone likes watching one person role play for an hour. For two, you can adversely affect your party unknowingly and then you may become Lawful Dick instead of Lawful Evil.

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