Daemonbinders and Blackguards

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booksarefun666
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Daemonbinders and Blackguards

Postby booksarefun666 » Mon Jan 09, 2017 6:55 am

Could they survive in this setting? Is there precedent for either or managing to actually last in this server?

If not, what do you think could help with their survivability? Should it be helped? As it stands, they're a rare bird -- and rightly they should be, in my honest opinion, but there's a difference between "rare" and "never showing up" and it seems to be the later.

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Kerstman
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Re: Daemonbinders and Blackguards

Postby Kerstman » Mon Jan 09, 2017 7:09 am

I can see why many players rather play a character that is unlikely to be executed and therefore lost when caught in the act of Evil. Especially because the progress here is slow and it takes time and effort to bring a char to mid/high level. Even though it is not too bad and PC's who got here a year ago now reached the maximum level. I'd encourage any player interested in playing one of those classes to contact the DM team and likely they shall get some very good guidance already with the Evil PC application system. Next it is best to not be too obvious about having dark plans. For the rest be ready to lose your character when he/she is caught, but the same can happen to nonevil PC's. Likely under different circumstances, but nevertheless they can end up gone forever. We have seen it happen not all too long ago and it was quite an epic tale for this character. My final plea will be that investing time and effort in a very evil PC who shall eventually die can lead to the best roleplay ever. I've seen it happen, but all the same I'll admit that with my limited playtime and my character pool I am unlikely to heed the call.
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Re: Daemonbinders and Blackguards

Postby Vogelens » Mon Jan 09, 2017 7:40 am

I have talked with someone about his evil (And now retired) character before, and I have my own experiences with a character following an evil deity so I figured I would share my views.

Personally, I do not think they really work within the setting as it is. First there is the hefty investment in time in the character before the prestige classes can be even taken, which would be the easy part, I feel A character can be subtly evil, though this does require an investment in a skill like bluff and careful roleplay. Paladins and detect evil can be tricky as I have seen some of them scan non-evil characters before too. Fighter and mage type classes are at a disadvantage with bluff not being a class skill from the start too.

Getting to the prestige class will be tricky, as it essentially means you will have some more evil flavoured abilities, but you will not be able to really use them around the majority of the player base. There have been less Good alligned characters as of late than before, but dealing with daemons and dark forces may leave a bad taste in the mouth of some non-good people too, after the recent plot, and it would essentially mean putting a big target on yourself, and thus cutting your survival chances quite short.

While subtle evil characters can survive, I do not think these fall in that category as they may be a bit -too- extreme, and likely would need a lot of DM attention and maintenance for them to actually do evil and do their things behind the screens. It is rather hard to actually RP out an evil character longterm and be subtle about it, at least if you want to stay true to the character and BE evil and justify the allignment rather than just having it on the character sheets. I feel these prestige classes work better for NPC Antagonists than PCs.

They can work for RP and having some PC antagonists can be fun, but the answer to the question about them being able to survive would be No from my point of view. (They would survive up until the point of getting to the Prestige Class levels a lot better but then they are not BLackguards/Daemonbinders yet technically) I do not think much can be done about their survivability, to make them appealing would mean they need to be somewhat overpowered or more frontloaded with their strengths in the first (maybe first two) prc levels, later levels would realistically not be reached easily (If at all, as you would either need to avoid grouping with others OR not use your class defining abilities, though this may be less the case for Blackguard)., but that approach would give them an unfair advantage, too when it comes to balance.

They would be awesome as antagonists in stories and plots, but they feel out of place as PCs, to me on the serve. And they would require likely far too much time from both player and DMs to make them work. But personally, I think that goes for all evil characters in the setting (And most settings from what I have seen), they do require more DM attention in general to work and act towards their allignment.

I would also say that it does require a good and experienced roleplayer to pull off a subtle evil character well long-term, too.
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Re: Daemonbinders and Blackguards

Postby Toros » Mon Jan 09, 2017 7:52 am

I think part of the issue is that even for an evil PC daemonbinder and blackguard offer flavor but are mechanically behind pure classes, as least as I've been able to ascertain.

Evil is generally a faster or more potent path to power, and also generally either double edged or risking something like losing your soul or free will.

Evil characters will always be outnumbered and unless they're mechanically potent I don't see the risks outweighing the benefits, especially since paladin can detect evil. For my paladin, I wrote into his backstory a mistrust and dislike for that ability, largely because I want to give evil concepts a chance to bloom during the challenging early levels without instantly being spotted.

Impiltur is inherently a strongly LG setting and there are already many NPC potential barriers to playing an evil PC.
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Re: Daemonbinders and Blackguards

Postby Highlander » Mon Jan 09, 2017 8:34 am

At the risk of being bundled into a dark alley by the builder team, the one server I've seen where evil PC's were given an equal footing without a DM requirement was in a Middle Earth server, where evil PC's had a separate hub, and quest line, where they could go out and actually do evil stuff (like killing Wood Elves) rather than muddling along trying to rp the sort of dungeons that mostly imply the PC's are trying to be good, or at least not evil. As well as being a whole heap of building, this approach also makes for some NPC faction issues if a PC is trying to be subtly evil, as there were well defined good and evil areas where NPC's would attack the opposite alignments on sight - as well as neutral ones where more shady goings on could be encouraged. Perhaps for here, a starting point could be a few dungeons which, as in the Elf killing, the evil PC's could do identifiably evil things without DM supervision? A warsword outpost, or merchant caravan, for example, or a chance to play goblins with some underground starting point?
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Re: Daemonbinders and Blackguards

Postby Loreweaver » Mon Jan 09, 2017 9:00 am

I see no special difficulties for a daemonbinder over other evil characters., but it is my impression that a blackguard PC would have trouble surviving if they can't surround themselves with supporters. It's a class which requires the player to step up and organize a faction, and its mechanical strengths are mostly geared around protecting such a faction from challengers.

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Re: Daemonbinders and Blackguards

Postby Vogelens » Mon Jan 09, 2017 10:10 am

Deamonbinders to me seem like the more "open" one over Blackguard. While Blackguard would be the evil knight essentially, and would need followers etc, Daemonbinder would be more obviously evil than other characters, visually. I mean, binding deamons and working with them is not -too- subtle. But, yeah. I think all evil characters struggle, and I do not think the setting supports them fully, which imo is fine. Evil does work better as villains/antagonists which tends to generally work best for DMs, rather than PCs with how progression is set up. An evil inclined hub like Highlander mention would help support them, but ultimately it would lead to tension with good PCs.

One issue that often is the case with evil characters is that people who dislike pvp may avoid them if it is know they are evil, even if they play good alligned characters. There is a difference between fighting an evil NPC, or a player who invested in his or her character.
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Re: Daemonbinders and Blackguards

Postby Artifice » Mon Jan 09, 2017 11:47 am

Does it matter if you're detected as evil? If you're 'found out'? Arguably, depending on your alignment from lawful to chaotic evil, it either shouldn't hinder your character all that much, or your character wouldn't exactly be slowed down by it.

It's easy to point to it as an important facet of a character because you choose it at the start. However, I don't think being evil is a character motivation. They don't wake up in the morning and decide they'll practice an arbitrary set of skills and 'be a bad guy' right? They want to do something and they set out to do it. They weigh their options on the way there differently to a good or neutral character. It's only when that crosses paths with the law in a severe way that they need to worry about being killed on the spot.

Having looked at the server lore a little, I bet it's even possible to wiggle out a legal demonbinder or a blackguard under the right circumstances. Buuuuut I myself probably wouldn't make a demonbinder or a blackguard because it's not really to my tastes.
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Re: Daemonbinders and Blackguards

Postby Khaela Mensha Khaine » Mon Jan 09, 2017 12:04 pm

From my own experience and judgement, I'd say that Evil characters need support from fellow Evil characters in general, which is why I agree that short of consistent DM backing of a single Evil PC, a sort of player group or community would need to exist for said characters to have a decent life expectancy. This is particularly true of both Blackguard and Daemonbinder from what I can see of their abilities, as Daemonbinder seems like the prime candidate for buffing Evil allies with demon-enchanted weaponry and armour.

Though, as with all things alignment related, it really depends on your perspective on Evil and its portrayal. Lawful Evil and Neutral Evil don't demand you to constantly be kicking puppies and getting in everyone's faces, and whilst a Blackguard may pledge themselves to a devil for power, form some kind of pact or so, there's no actual stipulation on what is demanded of them. They could be incredibly charismatic, charming, and could easily make allies.

You can point to the likes of Sarevok from the Baldur's Gate series; he has the blood of Bhaal, the Lord of Murder, coursing through his veins. His objective was to cause enough slaughter that it would elevate him to take his father's place as the new Lord of Murder, but his path to that was often paved via a golden tongue rather than a bloody sword.

As for the original question, I think if either Blackguard or Daemonbinder players want to hold onto their characters indefinitely they need to be particularly smart or subtle about it; make sure they're never caught doing anything blatantly despicable by anyone who would take issue with it, at the very, very least. But I can definitely echo thoughts that they're fairly high maintenance for DMs, which would probably only be softened by like-minded player characters.

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Re: Daemonbinders and Blackguards

Postby Brindisium » Mon Jan 09, 2017 1:57 pm

the one server I've seen where evil PC's were given an equal footing without a DM requirement was in a Middle Earth server, where evil PC's had a separate hub, and quest line, where they could go out and actually do evil stuff (like killing Wood Elves) rather than muddling along trying to rp the sort of dungeons that mostly imply the PC's are trying to be good
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Markshire (a wonderful old Norse themed server) also had a lot of support for ethically challenged characters.
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