At the start of this D&D game, I had decided to do something a little different for me. I like to play the heroic style characters?save the baby and no reward please mam. So I picked a character who grew up in a loving, and loyal family, but who had suffered repeated and horrendous cruelties at the hands of strangers. The result was an evil character, who valued family and friends above all else, and heaven help any who would threaten them. My idea was to have a tiny, microcosmic experiment. I wanted to see how “good” characters would respond to a “coming out” within a game. Race and sexual orientation are largely invisible in D&D. They can be present, but they’re very hard to see. But everyone sees alignment eventually.
For seven levels the game rollicked along just fine. Loque (my evil alter-ego) constantly put himself at the forefront of danger, risking his neck again and again to save his pals, dealing with utmost harshness against those who crossed their paths. He was generous and open, forgoing magic and money, to keep his compatriots well and happy. The subject of his alignment almost never even came up, except on the rare occasion when someone questioned the way he dealt with a stranger, and generally a quick change of subject was sufficient to steer the conversation away.
This came crashing to a halt when the DM introduced a paladin NPC into the game. Now there are various ways to play a paladin. You can be cool, accepting and protective?as long as it doesn’t require a compromise of your holy purpose. Or you can be a Lawful Prick who assumes righteousness equals authority and everyone better dance to your tune or you’ll stick ’em with a hunk o’ razor edged steel. Our new friend was the latter.
Of course he very soon began threatening Loque and referring to him as evil, which of course pushed my little experiment to it’s conclusion. Half the party had already figured it out and didn’t care anyway, (I had dropped many hints over our months of play, some subtle, some not) and half the party was suddenly “Oh he’s evil? Well f*ck him anyway. We’ll just kill him.”
I don’t know exactly what I was expecting, but I don’t think that was it. I have actually grown fond of poor, damaged Loque, and I hope I won’t have to get rid of him in favor of a more socially acceptably aligned character. (If I do he’ll be a real mean good guy!) I pretty much have one chance at making it work out with the other members who have decided to hate him. But no matter what happens, should they drive him off or learn to embrace acceptance?that paladin is friggin’ toast.