(the following hints are provided by anonymous)
(from a different anonymous evil)
Tancred Husteem was a creation of mine, I really wanted to play an evil character, but one like no one has ever done before. So after looking at some deities and places in FR, I came up with the idea of Tancred Husteem, a displaced Waterdhavian noble, a worshiper of Gargauath, come to Narfell to carve out his own part of the land.
Naturally, Tancred wasn’t built for combat. He had high mental stats, and was only semi decent with a rapier, traditional weapon of a noble. Even though he was Neutral Evil, he was a noble, and thus very polite to everyone he met, making him quite liked in Peltarch. Of course, that didn’t do much to further his ultimate goals. I then turned to the idea of merchanting for Tancred, selling exquisite clothing imported from Waterdeep, clothes that I made up in the toolset. This was my way to make money and influence with Tancred, since he was no fighter, he couldn’t go kill goblins for gold, he had to find another way, and this was it. So for a while, I made him a merchant, my plan being, to wait for enough money and influence to start his own grab to power, most likely as a Peltarch Senator.
But then the N’jast war happened. Seeing the opportunity for power, I quickly made efforts for Tancred to help N’jast in their war, in return for his own land as spoils of war, once it was won. At first, he hired mercenaries, Ibn Hafsun & his man, and put them on the side of Narfell’s heroes, even though they were actually sabotaging the Narfellian efforts, especially at the defence of Jiyyd. This continued until Ibn Hafsun and his men were killed by the Legion in a failed ambush.
Tancred still had his cover however, taking great care to cover his involvement with Ibn Hafsun up. Then the chance came to Tancred to enlist the forces of Undead Eastlanders onto his side. While he was caught doing this by Marty when he attempted to kill her, he ended up coming back with a different skin. The Undead Eastlanders, under Tancred’s command, continued to be a thorn in the side of the heroes, both in battle and in Peltarch, assassinating a magistrate.
While it went so well, even the takeover of Peltarch, where Tancred placed his foul undead allies into the lake to flank the defenders successfully, we all know the war ended up turning against N’jast and her allies, including Tancred and his undead, leaving Tancred to flee the land forever, his army truly dead forever.
So, while Tancred wasn’t completely successful, the impact he made on the war was massive, and was very successful for an evil PC, especially considering people had no idea what he was up to until he was caught by Marty. Also, the opportunity arose perfectly for him, and he took it just in time.
When creating an evil PC, it can be useful to consider types of evil, in terms of motivation and how they will deal with other PCs.
- Some creatures are supernaturally evil. Demons, devils, other lower-planar creatures, and many intelligent undead fall into this category. Their being is suffused with evil to an extent that it doesn't just color their actions - it drives them. They will actively search for options that will cause maximum pain, death and destruction, while accomplishing their goals, and in most cases their short or long-term goals will be causing maximum pain, death and destruction. Players will almost never play a PC who is supernaturally evil. Paladins may attack these creatures on sight, and may be in peril of losing their good standing with their deity if they choose to negotiate with said beings.
- Goblins, orcs, ogres and other creatures of non-PC races whose alignment is defined in the monster manual as evil are evil by nature. Their perspective on any issue is going to be such that they will actively search for options that will cause maximum pain, death and destruction, while accomplishing their goals. If such a creature were raised away from any evil influence, they would still make evil choices. Unlike Supernatural Evil creatures, their goals will not necessarily always be evil, and it is possible for them to work with non-evils on short or long-term non-evil goals. Consider them evil opportunists. It is possible for an individual PC of a normal player race to be evil by nature, though this can be difficult to RP while maintaining the PC as a viable character in Narfell. Such a PC will have a difficult time becoming (or staying) good aligned even if they want to, as their natural inclinations will be towards evil. Paladins may attack these creatures on sight without fear of censure, though the normal strictures against attacking defenseless creatures may still apply in the case of noncombatants and children.
- Some creatures are evil by nurture. This means that although the creature is not defined as evil by race, and does not have a natural inclination to evil, their upbringing or circumstances led them to evil. Half-orcs raised by orcish parents (or maltreated by human society if raised by their human parent), rogues who grew up in the slums, or people who found that being evil was the only way for them to survive are good examples of this. PCs with this sort of background will generally continue being evil (as it is what they know), though it is certainly possible for them to change, given the right environment and examples. Many evil and some neutral PCs fall into this category.
- People who are evil by design may have also been evil by nurture - but whatever their background, they have since chosen evil. In degree, this can be as minorly malicious as the merchant who uses dishonest weights to measure the goods he sells or as overwhelmingly evil as a demonologist who uses live sacrifices to seal his contracts. Many evil PCs fall into this category.
- Similar to evil by design, someone who is incidentally evil may become evil through actions that are incidental to his goals. A healer who purchases slaves and then vivisects them (cuts them open while they are alive) to find out how to become a better healer, or a mage who contracts with lower-planar creatures or undead to complete his research can be examples of this. While evil is not the primary goal of either of these examples, their willingness to use evil methods to achieve their goals can cause them to become evil. PCs are often seen in this position, though few RP it as such. While it is possible that someone who is incidentally evil may actually believe their actions serve the greater good, and that the ends justify the means, their beliefs make their actions themselves no less evil.